NURS 6630 Assessing and Treating Vulnerable Populations for Depressive Disorders Assignment

Sample Answer for NURS 6630 Assessing and Treating Vulnerable Populations for Depressive Disorders Assignment Included After Question

NURS 6630 Assessing and Treating Vulnerable Populations for Depressive Disorders Assignment

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Assessing and Treating Vulnerable Populations for Depressive Disorders

Resources

Be sure to review the Learning Resources before completing this activity.
Click the weekly resources link to access the resources.

WEEKLY RESOURCES

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources, including the Medication Resources indicated for this week.
  • Reflect on the psychopharmacologic treatments you might recommend for the assessment and treatment of vulnerable patient populations requiring antidepressant therapy.

The Assignment: 5 pages

For this assignment, you will develop a patient medication guide for treatment of depressive disorders in a vulnerable population (your choice for one vulnerable patient population to choose from: children, adolescents, older adults, dementia patients, pregnant women or one not listed of your choice!). Be sure to use language appropriate for your audience (patient, caregiver, parent, etc.). You will include non-copyright images and/or information tables to make your patient medication guide interesting and appealing. Limit your patient medication guide to 5 pages. You will create this guide as an assignment; therefore, a title page, introduction, conclusion, and reference page are required. You must include a minimum of 3 scholarly supporting resources outside of your course provided resources.

In your patient guide, include discussion on the following:

  • Depressive disorder causes and symptoms
  • How depression is diagnosed for the vulnerable population of your choice, why is this population considered vulnerable
  • Medication treatment options including risk vs benefits; side effects; FDA approvals for the vulnerable population of your choice
  • Medication considerations of medication examples prescribed (see last bullet item)
  • What is important to monitor in terms of labs, comorbid medical issues with why important for monitoring
  • Special Considerations (you must be specific, not general and address at least one for EACH category; you must demonstrate critical thinking beyond basics of HIPPA and informed consent!): legal considerations, ethical considerations, cultural considerations, social determinants of health
  • Where to follow up in your local community for further information
  • Provide 3 examples of how to write a proper prescription that you would provide to the patient or transmit to the pharmacy.

Note: Support your rationale with a minimum of five academic resources. While you may use the course text to support your rationale, it will not count toward the resource requirement. You should be utilizing the primary and secondary literature.

Reminder: The College of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references. The Sample Paper provided at the Walden Writing Center

Links to an external site. provides an example of those required elements (available at https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/templates/general#s-lg-box-20293632)

Links to an external site.. All papers submitted must use this formatting.

NURS 6630 Assessing and Treating Vulnerable Populations for Depressive Disorders Assignment
NURS 6630 Assessing and Treating Vulnerable Populations for Depressive Disorders Assignment

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NURS 6630 Assessing and Treating Vulnerable Populations for Depressive Disorders Assignment Rubric

NURS_6630_Week4_Assignment_Rubric

NURS_6630_Week4_Assignment_Rubric
Criteria Ratings Pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Develop a patient medication guide for treatment of depressive disorders in a vulnerable population you selected. • Depressive disorder causes and symptoms • How depression is diagnosed for the vulnerable population of your choice
20 to >17.0 pts

Excellent Point range: 90–100

Discussion includes Depressive disorder causes and symptoms; Discussion includes how depression is diagnosed for the chosen vulnerable population. The response accurately and clearly explains in detail the specific patient factors that impact decision making when prescribing medication for this patient.

17 to >15.0 pts

Good Point range: 80–89

Discussion is vague regarding Depressive disorder causes and symptoms; Discussion is vague on how depression is diagnosed for the chosen vulnerable population.

15 to >13.0 pts

Fair Point range: 70–79

Discussion is vague regarding Depressive disorder and missing causes and/or symptoms; Discussion is vague on how depression is diagnosed for the chosen vulnerable population.

13 to >0 pts

Poor Point range: 0–69

Discussion is inaccurate regarding Depressive disorder and missing causes and/or symptoms; Discussion is missing and/or inaccurate on how depression is diagnosed for the chosen vulnerable population.

20 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome • Medication treatment options including risk vs benefits; side effects; FDA approvals for the vulnerable population of your choice • Medication considerations of medication examples prescribed • What is important to monitor in terms of labs, comorbid medical issues with why important for monitoring of medications prescribed
20 to >17.0 pts

Excellent Point range: 90–100

Medication treatment options are discussed including risk vs benefits; side effects; FDA approvals for the chosen vulnerable population; Medication considerations of medication examples prescribed; contains discussion of items important to monitor in terms of labs, comorbid medical issues with why important for monitoring.

17 to >15.0 pts

Good Point range: 80–89

Medication treatment options are briefly discussed and vague regarding risk vs benefits; side effects; FDA approvals for the chosen vulnerable population is vague; vague discussion medication considerations of medication examples prescribed; contains discussion of items important to monitor in terms of labs, comorbid medical issues with why important for monitoring.

15 to >13.0 pts

Fair Point range: 70–79

Medication treatment options are vague and missing risk vs benefits; side effects; missing discussion of FDA approvals for the chosen vulnerable population; no medication considerations of medication examples prescribed; missing elements of discussing items important to monitor in terms of labs, comorbid medical issues with why important for monitoring.

13 to >0 pts

Poor Point range: 0–69

Medication treatment options are inaccurate, vague and/or missing including risk vs benefits; side effects; missing or inaccurate discussion on FDA approvals for the chosen vulnerable population; no medication considerations of medication examples prescribed discussed; contains inaccurate, minimal, or no discussion of items important to monitor in terms of labs, comorbid medical issues with why important for monitoring.

20 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome • Special Considerations (you must be specific, not general and address at least one for EACH category; you must demonstrate critical thinking beyond basics of HIPPA and informed consent!): legal considerations, ethical considerations, cultural considerations, social determinants of health • Where to follow up in your local community for further information
20 to >17.0 pts

Excellent Point range: 90–100

Special Considerations are discussed and specific, not general and address at least one for EACH category demonstrating critical thinking beyond basics of HIPPA and informed consent: legal considerations, ethical considerations, cultural considerations, social determinants of health. Discussion includes directions for where to follow up in local community for further information.

17 to >15.0 pts

Good Point range: 80–89

Special Considerations are discussed not specific, but general and address at least one for EACH category demonstrating critical thinking beyond basics of HIPPA and informed consent: legal considerations, ethical considerations, cultural considerations, social determinants of health. Discussion includes directions for where to follow up in local community for further information.

15 to >13.0 pts

Fair Point range: 70–79

Special Considerations are discussed not specific, but general and missing 1-2 of EACH category and does not demonstrate critical thinking beyond basics of HIPPA and informed consent: legal considerations, ethical considerations, cultural considerations, social determinants of health. Discussion directions for where to follow up in local community for further information are vague.

13 to >0 pts

Poor Point range: 0–69

Special Considerations are discussed not specific, is inaccurate and/or general and missing 3+ or more or does not discuss any of EACH category, inaccurate discussion and/or does not demonstrate critical thinking beyond basics of HIPPA and informed consent: legal considerations, ethical considerations, cultural considerations, social determinants of health. Discussion does not include directions for where to follow up in local community for further information.

20 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome • The medication guide discusses why the chosen population is considered vulnerable. The medications guide language is appropriate for the intended audience (patient, caregiver, parent, etc). The medication guide is interesting and appealing including use of graphics/tables.
15 to >13.0 pts

Excellent Point range: 90–100

The medication guide discusses why the chosen population is considered vulnerable. The medications guide language is appropriate for the intended audience (patient, caregiver, parent, etc). The medication guide is interesting and appealing including use of graphics/tables.

13 to >11.0 pts

Good Point range: 80–89

The medication guide is vague in discussion why the chosen population is considered vulnerable. The medications guide language is not consistently appropriate for the intended audience (patient, caregiver, parent, etc). The medication guide is interesting and appealing including use of graphics/tables.

11 to >9.0 pts

Fair Point range: 70–79

The medication guide does not discuss why the chosen population is considered vulnerable. The medications guide language is not consistently appropriate for the intended audience (patient, caregiver, parent, etc). The medication guide has limited appeal with use of graphics/tables.

9 to >0 pts

Poor Point range: 0–69

The medication guide does not discuss why the chosen population is considered vulnerable. The medications guide language is not appropriate for the intended audience (patient, caregiver, parent, etc). The medication guide is not interesting and appealing in and/or missing use of graphics/tables.

15 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Provides three examples of how to write a proper prescription that would be provided to patient and/or transmitted to pharmacy. Prescription contains date, medication and strength, amount to be taken, route to be taken, frequency, indication, quantity, refills; providers signature.
15 to >13.0 pts

Excellent Point range: 90–100

Provides three examples of how to write a proper prescription that would be provided to patient and/or transmitted to pharmacy. Prescription contains date, medication and strength, amount to be taken, route to be taken, frequency, indication, quantity, refills; providers signature.

13 to >11.0 pts

Good Point range: 80–89

Provides three examples of how to write a proper prescription that would be provided to patient and/or transmitted to pharmacy. Prescription is missing 1-2 elements of the following; date, medication and strength, amount to be taken, route to be taken, frequency, indication, quantity, refills; providers signature.

11 to >9.0 pts

Fair Point range: 70–79

Provides two examples of how to write a proper prescription that would be provided to patient and/or transmitted to pharmacy. Prescription is missing 3 of the following: date, medication and strength, amount to be taken, route to be taken, frequency, indication, quantity, refills; providers signature.

9 to >0 pts

Poor Point range: 0–69

Provides one example of how to write a proper prescription that would be provided to patient and/or transmitted to pharmacy. Prescription is missing 4+ or is inaccurately written for date, medication and strength, amount to be taken, route to be taken, frequency, indication, quantity, refills; providers signature.

15 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Written Expression and Formatting—Paragraph development and organization: Paragraphs make clear points that support well-developed ideas, flow logically, and demonstrate continuity of ideas. Sentences are carefully focused—neither long and rambling nor short and lacking substance. A clear and comprehensive purpose statement and introduction are provided that delineate all required criteria.
5 to >4.0 pts

Excellent Point range: 90–100

Paragraphs and sentences follow writing standards for flow, continuity, and clarity. … A clear and comprehensive purpose statement, introduction, and conclusion are provided that delineate all required criteria.

4 to >3.5 pts

Good Point range: 80–89

Paragraphs and sentences follow writing standards for flow, continuity, and clarity 80% of the time. … Purpose, introduction, and conclusion of the assignment are stated, yet they are brief and not descriptive.

3.5 to >3.0 pts

Fair Point range: 70–79

Paragraphs and sentences follow writing standards for flow, continuity, and clarity 60%–79% of the time. … Purpose, introduction, and conclusion of the assignment is vague or off topic.

3 to >0 pts

Poor Point range: 0–69

Paragraphs and sentences follow writing standards for flow, continuity, and clarity less than 60% of the time. … No purpose statement, introduction, or conclusion were provided.

5 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Written Expression and Formatting—English writing standards: Correct grammar, mechanics, and punctuation; Includes title page and reference page with a minimum of 3 scholarly supporting resources outside of course provided resources. Paper is limited to 5 pages not including title and reference page.
5 to >4.0 pts

Excellent Point range: 90–100

Uses correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation with no errors; Includes title page and reference page with a minimum of 3 scholarly supporting resources outside of course provided resources; Paper is limited to 5 pages not including title and reference page.

4 to >3.5 pts

Good Point range: 80–89

Contains a few (one or two) grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors; includes the following: title page and reference page. Only contains 2 scholarly supporting resources outside of course provided resources; Paper is 6 pages not including title and reference page.

3.5 to >3.0 pts

Fair Point range: 70–79

Contains several (three or four) grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors; missing one of the following; title page or reference page; only contains 1 scholaraly supporting resources outside of course provided; Paper is 7 pages not including title and reference page resources.

3 to >0 pts

Poor Point range: 0–69

Contains many (≥ five) grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors that interfere with the reader’s understanding; missing the following; title page and reference page; contains no scholaraly supporting resources outside of course provided resources; Paper is 8+ pages not including title and reference page.

5 pts
Total Points: 100

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NURS 6630 Assessing and Treating Vulnerable Populations for Depressive Disorders Assignment Grading Rubric

Performance Category 100% or highest level of performance

100%

16 points

Very good or high level of performance

88%

14 points

Acceptable level of performance

81%

13 points

Inadequate demonstration of expectations

68%

11 points

Deficient level of performance

56%

9 points

 

Failing level

of performance

55% or less

0 points

 Total Points Possible= 50           16 Points    14 Points 13 Points        11 Points           9 Points          0 Points
Scholarliness

Demonstrates achievement of scholarly inquiry for professional and academic topics.

Presentation of information was exceptional and included all of the following elements:

  • Provides evidence of scholarly inquiry relevant to required TD topic(s).
  • Presents specific information from scholarly sources to develop a comprehensive presentation of facts.
  • Uses at least one outside scholarly reference that is relevant, less than 5 years old (use of older references requires instructor permission) and reliable for the required topic.*
  • Uses in-text citation and full reference at end of posting when presenting another person’s thoughts as quotes or paraphrase of information.
Presentation of information was good, but was superficial in places and included all of the following elements:

  • Provides evidence of scholarly inquiry relevant to required TD topic(s).
  • Presents specific information from scholarly sources to develop a comprehensive presentation of facts.
  • Uses at least one outside scholarly reference that is relevant, less than 5 years old (use of older references requires instructor permission) and reliable for the required topic.*
  • Uses in-text citation and full reference at end of posting when presenting another person’s thoughts as quotes or paraphrase of information.
Presentation of information was minimally demonstrated in all of the following elements:

  • Provides evidence of scholarly inquiry relevant to required TD topic(s).
  • Presents specific information from scholarly sources to develop a comprehensive presentation of facts.
  • Uses at least one outside scholarly reference that is relevant, less than 5 years old (use of older references requires instructor permission) and reliable for the required topic.*
  • Uses in-text citation and full reference at end of posting when presenting another person’s thoughts as quotes or paraphrase of information.
 

Presentation of information is unsatisfactory in one of the following elements:

  • Provides evidence of scholarly inquiry relevant to required TD topic(s).
  • Presents specific information from scholarly sources to develop a comprehensive presentation of facts.
  • Uses at least one outside scholarly reference that is relevant, less than 5 years old (use of older references requires instructor permission) and reliable for the required topic.*
  • Uses in-text citation and full reference at end of posting when presenting another person’s thoughts as quotes or paraphrase of information.
 

Presentation of information is unsatisfactory in two of the following elements:

  • Provides evidence of scholarly inquiry relevant to required TD topic(s).
  • Presents specific information from scholarly sources to develop a comprehensive presentation of facts.
  • Uses at least one outside scholarly reference that is relevant, less than 5 years old (use of older references requires instructor permission) and reliable for the required topic.*
  • Uses in-text citation and full reference at end of posting when presenting another person’s thoughts as quotes or paraphrase of information.
Presentation of information is unsatisfactory in three or more of the following elements

  • Provides evidence of scholarly inquiry relevant to required TD topic(s).
  • Presents specific information from scholarly sources to develop a comprehensive presentation of facts.
  • Uses at least one outside scholarly reference that is relevant, less than 5 years old (use of older references requires instructor permission) and reliable for the required topic.*
  • Uses in-text citation and full reference at end of posting when presenting another person’s thoughts as quotes or paraphrase of information
 16 Points  14 Points  13 Points 11 Points 9 Points  0 Points
Application of Course Knowledge

Demonstrate the ability to analyze and apply principles, knowledge and information learned in the outside readings and relate them to real-life professional situations

Presentation of information was exceptional and included all of the following elements:

  • Applies principles, knowledge and information from scholarly resources to the required topic.
  • Applies facts, principles or concepts learned from scholarly resources to a professional experience.
  • Application of information is comprehensive and specific to the required topic.
Presentation of information was good, but was superficial in places and included all of the following elements:

  • Applies principles, knowledge and information from scholarly resources to the required topic.
  • Applies facts, principles or concepts learned from scholarly resources to a professional experience.
  • Application of information is comprehensive and specific to the required topic.
Presentation of information was minimally demonstrated in the all of the following elements:

  • Applies principles, knowledge and information from scholarly resources to the required topic.
  • Applies facts, principles or concepts learned from scholarly resources to a professional experience.
  • Application of information is comprehensive and specific to the required topic.
Presentation of information is unsatisfactory in one of the following elements:

  • Applies principles, knowledge and information from scholarly resources to the required topic.
  • Applies facts, principles or concepts learned from and scholarly resources to a professional experience.
  • Application of information is comprehensive and specific to the required topic.
Presentation of information is unsatisfactory in two of the following elements:

  • Applies principles, knowledge and information from scholarly resources to the required topic.
  • Applies facts, principles or concepts learned from scholarly resources to a professional experience.
  • Application of information is comprehensive and specific to the required topic.
Presentation of information is unsatisfactory in three of the following elements

  • Applies principles, knowledge and information and scholarly resources to the required topic.
  • Applies facts, principles or concepts learned scholarly resources to a professional experience.
  • Application of information is comprehensive and specific to the required topic.
   10 Points 9 Points  6 Points  0 Points
Interactive Dialogue

Initial post should be a minimum of 300 words (references do not count toward word count)

The peer and instructor responses must be a minimum of 150 words each (references do not count toward word count)

Responses are substantive and relate to the topic.

Demonstrated all of the following:

  • Initial post must be a minimum of 300 words.
  • The peer and instructor responses must be a minimum of 150 words each.
  • Responses are substantive
  • Responses are related to the topic of discussion.
Demonstrated 3 of the following:

  • Initial post must be a minimum of 300 words.
  • The peer and instructor responses must be a minimum of 150 words each.
  • Responses are substantive
  • Responses are related to the topic of discussion.
Demonstrated 2 of the following:

  • Initial post must be a minimum of 300 words.
  • The peer and instructor responses must be a minimum of 150 words each.
  • Responses are substantive
  • Responses are related to the topic of discussion.
Demonstrated 1 or less of the following:

  • Initial post must be a minimum of 300 words.
  • The peer and instructor responses must be a minimum of 150 words each.
  • Responses are substantive
  • Responses are related to the topic of discussion.
  8 Points 7 Points  6 Points         5 Points          4 Points  0 Points
Grammar, Syntax, APA

Points deducted for improper grammar, syntax and APA style of writing.

The source of information is the APA Manual 6th Edition

Error is defined to be a unique APA error. Same type of error is only counted as one error.

The following was present:

  • 0-3 errors in APA format

AND

  • Responses have 0-3 grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors

AND

  • Writing style is generally clear, focused on topic,and facilitates communication.
The following was present:

  • 4-6 errors in APA format.

AND/OR

  • Responses have 4-5 grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors

AND/OR

  • Writing style is somewhat focused on topic.
The following was present:

  • 7-9 errors in APA format.

AND/OR

  • Responses have 6-7 grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors

AND/OR

  • Writing style is slightly focused on topic making discussion difficult to understand.
 

The following was present:

  • 10- 12 errors in APA format

AND/OR

  • Responses have 8-9 grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors

AND/OR

  • Writing style is not focused on topic, making discussion difficult to understand.
 

The following was present:

  • 13 – 15 errors in APA format

AND/OR

  • Responses have 8-10 grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors

AND/OR

  • Writing style is not focused on topic, making discussion difficult to understand.

AND/OR

  • The student continues to make repeated mistakes in any of the above areas after written correction by the instructor.
The following was present:

  • 16 to greater errors in APA format.

AND/OR

  • Responses have more than 10 grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors.

AND/OR

  • Writing style does not facilitate communication
  0 Points Deducted 5 Points Lost
Participation

Requirements

Demonstrated the following:

  • Initial, peer, and faculty postings were made on 3 separate days
Failed to demonstrate the following:

  • Initial, peer, and faculty postings were made on 3 separate days
  0 Points Lost 5 Points Lost
Due Date Requirements Demonstrated all of the following:

  • The initial posting to the graded threaded discussion topic is posted within the course no later than Wednesday, 11:59 pm MT.

A minimum of one peer and one instructor responses are to be posted within the course no later than Sunday, 11:59 pm MT.

Demonstrates one or less of the following.

  • The initial posting to the graded threaded discussion topic is posted within the course no later than Wednesday, 11:59 pm MT.

A minimum of one peer and one instructor responses are to be posted within the course no later than Sunday, 11:59 pm MT.

Read Also: NURS 6630 ASSESSING AND TREATING PATIENTS WITH SLEEP/WAKE DISORDERS ASSIGNMENT  

A Sample Answer For the Assignment: NURS 6630 Assessing and Treating Vulnerable Populations for Depressive Disorders Assignment

Title: NURS 6630 Assessing and Treating Vulnerable Populations for Depressive Disorders Assignment

Assessing and Treating Vulnerable Populations for Depressive Disorders  

 

 

Lucreshia Jackson 

Walden University 

NURS 6630N: Approaches to Treatment 

Dr. Christopher Bradley 

December 24th, 2023 

 

Assessing and Treating Vulnerable Populations for Depressive Disorders  

Depressive disorders are a source of considerable disease burden to the global population. The disorders affect productivity, lower the quality of life of the affected populations, and cause premature mortalities. Pharmacological interventions are the mainstream treatments for depressive disorders. Nurse practitioners should be aware of the safety, indications, and monitoring of different populations prescribed medications for depressive disorders. Therefore, this essay examines the medications used in treating major depression in children and adolescents, considerations, monitoring, follow-up, diagnosis, and its causes and symptoms.  

Causes and Symptoms 

Major depression in children and adolescents is an important public health concern since it affects 5% of 12-year-olds and 17% of 17-year-olds in America. Psychological, biological, and environmental factors cause major depression in children and adolescents. Some of the biological risk factors associated with major depression include overweight, female sex, having a family history of depression, early puberty in girls, chronic illness, and polymorphisms that affect dopamine, serotonin, or monoamine oxidase genes. Some of the psychological factors that cause major depression in this population include dysfunctional emotional regulation, body dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, negative thinking, and substance abuse (Boaden et al., 2020; Farley, 2020). Environmental causes of major depression among children and adolescents include bullying, victimization, exposure to traumatic events, parental rejection, and dysfunctional families.  

Children and adolescents affected by major depression present to the hospital with a range of symptoms. They include hypersomnia or insomnia, weight gain or loss, difficulty concentrating, lack of interest and pleasure, easy irritability, and feeling sad or hopeless. Patients also report difficulties in making decisions, feeling guilty, and suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempts (Dwyer & Bloch, 2019; Selph & McDonagh, 2019). The symptoms affect the patient’s normal functioning in areas such as academic and social activities.  

Diagnosing the Disorder and Why the Population is Considered Vulnerable 

Screening tools such as PHQ-A are used in the diagnosis of major depression in children and adolescents. The screening tool helps healthcare providers rate the client’s depressive symptoms and rule out other potential causes such as generalized anxiety disorder and bipolar disorder. Major depression can present with symptoms that are seen in other conditions such as hypothyroidism. As a result, healthcare providers must perform laboratory investigations such as thyroid function tests to rule out other comorbidities. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fifth edition (DSM-5) also guides the diagnosis of major depression in children and adolescents. The DSM-5 manual sets the criteria that must be met for a diagnosis of major depression to be made (Selph & McDonagh, 2019). For example, patients should report symptoms such as being depressed almost every day most of the time, lack of interest and pleasure, changes in appetite and weight, being hopeless or guilty, having difficulties concentrating and making decisions, and symptoms affecting normal functioning.  

Children and adolescents are considered a vulnerable population. Firstly, children and adolescents are not mature enough to make safe decisions about issues that affect their health. Children and adolescents rely on others for decision-making and support. As a result, they are at risk of harm and practices that affect their health outcomes. Children and adolescents are also highly vulnerable to social, emotional, and physical changes. Exposure to negative experiences such as abuse, or violence can alter significantly their normal development and progression to adulthood. This makes them a vulnerable group to other health problems based on their environmental exposures. Children and adolescents also have immature body systems and organs. This means that, unlike adults, children and adolescents are prone to harm from medications used for different conditions. Their risk of developing side and adverse effects due to immature organs involved in drug metabolism and elimination is higher than in adults (Farley, 2020). Therefore, they are considered a vulnerable population and caution must be taken when treating mental health problems that affect them.  

Medication Treatment Options and Examples  

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved escitalopram and fluoxetine for use in treating major depression in children and adolescents. The guidelines recommend the use of fluoxetine in children who are aged eight years and older while escitalopram is used for patients who are aged 12 years and above. The other FDA-non-approved antidepressants used for treating major depression in this population include paroxetine, sertraline, citalopram, and fluvoxamine (Feeney et al., 2022). Bupropion and mirtazapine might also be considered despite the lack of adequate evidence that supports their use in the population.  

Antidepressants have the benefit of managing the depressive symptoms of major depression. The improvement in symptoms results in enhanced functioning, well-being, and quality of life. Antidepressants also reduce the risk of symptom relapse among children and adolescents with major depression. However, practitioners should be aware of the risks associated with antidepressants. They include predisposing patients to suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempts. Patients might also suffer from a negative self-image from weight gain associated with antidepressants (Boaden et al., 2020; Dwyer & Bloch, 2019). Patients and their families should also be educated about anticipated side effects such as insomnia, sedation, sexual dysfunction, gastrointestinal upset, hyperhidrosis, and dry mouth.  

Monitoring 

Close patient monitoring should be done for children and adolescents prescribed antidepressants. Firstly, children and adolescents should be monitored for suicide risks. Antidepressants are associated with the adverse effect of increasing the risk of suicide in patients. Laboratory investigations such as a lipid panel and complete blood count should be performed periodically. Antidepressants are associated with side effects such as weight gain. Patients should be assessed for cardiovascular risks such as hyperlipidemia with weight gain (Hazell, 2022). Blood pressure and weight should also be assessed regularly, and patients advised on effective interventions to promote healthy weight gain.   

Healthcare providers should also monitor children and adolescents for pediatric behavioral activation syndrome. The syndrome can be diagnosed based on symptoms such as mania, hyperactivity, and agitation. Patients should also be monitored for serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome develops among patients with dual antidepressant therapy (Zhou et al., 2020). Patients with serotonin syndrome present to the hospital with symptoms that include hypertension, diarrhea, sweating, hyperthermia, and tachycardia.  

Special Considerations 

Several considerations influence drug therapy for children and adolescents diagnosed with major depression. Firstly, ethical considerations influence the selected treatments. Ethical principles such as autonomy and non-maleficence guide the practitioner’s decisions. Autonomy entails protecting a client’s right to self-determination. Healthcare providers ensure informed consent is obtained from the parents and legal custodians of the children and adolescents when treating major depression (Dwyer & Bloch, 2019). They also make decisions that are associated with optimum benefits such as a reduction in symptoms of major depression and minimum risk of patient harm.  

Legal considerations also affect the treatment of major depression in children and adolescents. Healthcare providers must ensure data privacy and confidentiality when treating major depression in children and adolescents. They should ensure that unauthorized parties do not access the patient’s data. Informed consent should be obtained before sharing the information with other healthcare providers. Healthcare providers must also make decisions in the client’s best interest to prevent negligence in their practice. Nurse practitioners should also be aware of the effect of culture on treatment outcomes in children and adolescents with major depression. Cultural practices associated with mental health problems such as stigma and isolation lower treatment utilization and adherence (Zhou et al., 2020). Healthcare providers must advocate the adoption of strategies that address stereotypes related to mental health problems in their communities.  

Social determinants of health also influence major depression among children and adolescents. Children and adolescents born to poor families are likely to experience barriers in accessing their needed mental healthcare services due to issues such as cost. Income and education levels also influence the access to and utilization of mental health services by this population (Sokol et al., 2019). Therefore, addressing social determinants of health would result in increased access to mental healthcare services for children and adolescents.  

Follow-Up 

Antidepressants take between two and six weeks to produce the desired effects in managing depressive symptoms. Therefore, patients should be followed up after two weeks to assess their response to treatment and identify any issues that should be addressed for optimum treatment outcomes. Patients should also be linked with social support groups for mental health problems to help them learn effective ways to cope with their conditions.  

Examples of Proper Prescription  

Name: L.L. 

Age: 12 years  

Diagnosis: Major depression  

Treatment: Oral sertraline 25 mg OD for two weeks  

Refills: none  

Follow-up: after two weeks  

Name of the prescriber and DEA number:  

Name: Y.Y.  

Age: 14 years  

Diagnosis: Major depression  

Treatment: Oral escitalopram 25 mg once daily for two weeks  

Refills: none  

Follow-up: two weeks  

Name of the prescriber and DEA number:  

Name: L.A. 

Age: 17 years  

Diagnosis: Major depression  

Treatment: Oral Fluoxetine 25 mg once daily for two weeks  

Refills: none  

Follow-up: two weeks  

Name of the prescriber and DEA number:  

Conclusion 

In summary, major depression in children and adolescents is the selected depressive disorder of focus in this assignment. FDA-approved and non-approved antidepressants are used in treating major depression in children and adolescents. Healthcare providers should weigh the benefits and risks of the available treatment. Legal, ethical, and cultural considerations and social determinants of health inform treatment decisions in children and adolescents diagnose with major depression.  

 

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