Chapter 19: Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders
1. A nursing instructor is teaching about trauma and stressor-related disorders. Which student statement indicates that further instruction is needed? 1. “The trauma that women experience is more likely to be sexual assault and child sexual abuse.” 2. “The trauma that men experience is more likely to be accidents, physical assaults, combat, or viewing death or injury.” 3. “After exposure to a traumatic event, only 10 percent of victims develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).” 4. “Research shows that PTSD is more common in men than in women.” ANS: 4 Rationale: Research shows that PTSD is more common in women than in men. This student statement indicates a need for further instruction. Cognitive Level: Application Integrated Process: Evaluation 2. Which factors differentiate the diagnosis of PTSD from the diagnosis of adjustment disorder (AD)? 1. PTSD results from exposure to an extreme traumatic event, whereas AD results from exposure to “normal” daily events. 2. AD results from exposure to an extreme traumatic event, whereas PTSD results from exposure to “normal” daily events. 3. Depressive symptoms occur in PTSD and not in AD. 4. Depressive symptoms occur in AD and not in PTSD. ANS: 1 Rationale: PTSD results from exposure to an extreme traumatic event, whereas AD results from exposure to “normal” daily events, such as divorce, failure, or rejection. Depressive symptoms can occur in both PTSD and AD. Cognitive Level: Analysis Integrated Process: Assessment 3. Which client would a nurse recognize as being at highest risk for the development of an AD? 1. A young married woman 2. An elderly unmarried man 3. A young unmarried woman 4. A young unmarried man ANS: 3 Rationale: Adjustment disorders are more common in women, unmarried persons, and younger people. Although more common in the young, it can occur at any age. Cognitive Level: Application Integrated Process: Assessment 4. A nursing instructor is explaining the etiology of trauma-related disorders from a learning theory perspective. Which student statement indicates that learning has occurred? 1. “How clients perceive events and view the world affect their response to trauma.” 2. “The psychic numbing in PTSD is a result of negative reinforcement.” 3. “The individual becomes addicted to the trauma owing to an endogenous opioid response.” 4. “Believing that the world is meaningful and controllable can protect an individual from PTSD.” ANS: 2 Rationale: Learning theorists view negative reinforcement as behavior that leads to a reduction in an aversive experience, thereby reinforcing and resulting in repetition of the behavior. Psychic numbing decreases or protects an individual from emotional pain and, therefore, the learned response is the repetition of this behavior. Cognitive Level: Application Integrated Process: Evaluation 5. As the sole survivor of a roadside bombing, a veteran is experiencing extreme guilt. Which nursing diagnosis would address this client’s symptom? 1. Anxiety 2. Altered thought processes 3. Complicated grieving 4. Altered sensory perception ANS: 3 Rationale: The client’s survivor guilt is disrupting the normal process of grieving. Although the client may also experience anxiety, the symptom presented in the question is extreme guilt. There is no evidence presented in the question to indicate altered thought or altered sensory perception. Cognitive Level: Analysis Integrated Process: Diagnosis 6. A client has been assigned a nursing diagnosis of complicated grieving related to the death of multiple family members in a motor vehicle accident. Which intervention should the nurse initially employ? 1. Encourage the journaling of feelings. 2. Assess for the stage of grief in which the client is fixed. 3. Provide community resources to address the client’s concerns. 4. Encourage attending a grief therapy group. ANS: 2 Rationale: Prior to implementing all other nursing interventions presented, the nurse must assess the stage of grief in which the client is fixed. Appropriate nursing interventions are always based on accurate assessments. Cognitive Level: Application Integrated Process: Implementation 7. Which clinical presentation is associated with the most commonly diagnosed adjustment disorder (AD)? 1. Anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, and worry 2. Truancy, vandalism, and fighting 3. Nervousness, worry, and jitteriness 4. Depressed mood, tearfulness, and hopelessness ANS: 4 Rationale: AD with depressed mood is the most commonly diagnosed adjustment disorder. The clinical presentation is one of predominant mood disturbance, although less pronounced than that of major depression. The symptoms, such as depressed mood, tearfulness, and feelings of hopelessness, exceed what is an expected or normative response to an identified stressor. Cognitive Level: Analysis Integrated Process: Assessment 8. Both situational and intrapersonal factors most likely contribute to an individual’s stress response. Which factor would a nurse categorize as intrapersonal? 1. Occupational opportunities 2. Economic conditions 3. Degree of flexibility 4. Availability of social supports ANS: 3 Rationale: Intrapersonal factors that might influence an individual’s ability to adjust to a painful life change include social skills, coping strategies, the presence of psychiatric illness, degree of flexibility, and level of intelligence. Cognitive Level: Application Integrated Process: Assessment 9. A client diagnosed with AD has been assigned the nursing diagnosis of anxiety R/T divorce. Which correctly written outcome addresses this client’s problem? 1. Rates anxiety as 4 out of 10 by discharge. 2. States anxiety level has decreased by day one. 3. Accomplishes activities of daily living independently. 4. Demonstrates ability for adequate social functioning by day three. ANS: 1 Rationale: An outcome statement must be client-centered, specific, measurable, and contain a time frame, so that it can be evaluated effectively. A “decrease” in anxiety is vague rather than specific, and expecting an anxiety decrease by day one may also be unrealistic. Accomplishing activities of daily living independently and demonstrating the ability for adequate social functioning do not address the anxiety nursing diagnosis. Cognitive Level: Application Integrated Process: Planning 10. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) has been empirically validated for which disorder? 1. Adjustment disorder 2. Generalized anxiety disorder 3. Panic disorder 4. Post-traumatic stress disorder ANS: 4 Rationale: EMDR has been used for depression, adjustment disorder, phobias, addictions, generalized anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. However, at present, EMDR has only been empirically validated for trauma-related disorders such as PTSD and acute stress disorder. Cognitive Level: Application Integrated Process: Evaluation 11. After a teaching session about grief, a client says to the nurse, “I seem to be stuck in the anger stage of grieving over the loss of my son.” How would the nurse assess this statement, and in what phase of the nursing process would this occur? 1. Assessment phase; nursing actions have been successful in achieving the objectives of care. 2. Evaluation phase; nursing actions have been successful in achieving the objectives of care. 3. Implementation phase; nursing actions have been successful in achieving the objectives of care. 4. Diagnosis phase; nursing actions have been successful in achieving the objectives of care. ANS: 2 Rationale: In the evaluation phase of the nursing process, reassessment is conducted to determine if the nursing actions have been successful in achieving the objectives of care. The implementation of client teaching has enabled the client to verbalize an understanding of the grief process and his or her position in the process. Therefore, the nurse’s actions can be evaluated as successful. Cognitive Level: Analysis Integrated Process: Evaluation 12. By which biological mechanism does EMDR achieve its therapeutic effect? 1. EMDR achieves its therapeutic effect, but the exact biological mechanism is unknown. 2. EMDR achieves its therapeutic effect by causing a decrease in imagery vividness. 3. EMDR achieves its therapeutic effect by causing an increase in memory access. 4. EMDR achieves its therapeutic effect by decreasing trauma associated anxiety. ANS: 1 Rationale: Some studies have indicated that eye movements cause a decrease in imagery vividness and distress, as well as an increase in memory access. EMDR is thought to relieve anxiety associated with the traumatic event. However, the exact biological mechanisms by which EMDR achieves its therapeutic effects are unknown. Cognitive Level: Application Integrated Process: Evaluation 13. A client receiving EMDR therapy says, “After only two sessions of my therapy, I am feeling great. Now I can stop and get on with my life.” Which of the following nursing responses is most appropriate? 1. “I am thrilled that you have responded so rapidly to EMDR.” 2. “To achieve lasting results, all eight phases of EMDR must be completed.” 3. “If I were you, I would complete the EMDR and comply with doctor’s orders.” 4. “How do you feel about continuing the therapy?” ANS: 2 Rationale: Clients often feel relief quite rapidly with EMDR. However, to achieve lasting results, it is important that each of the eight phases be completed. The nurse’s most appropriate response should be to give information to correct the client’s misconceptions about the therapy. In answer 3 the nurse is subjectively giving advice rather than providing objective information. Cognitive Level: Application Integrated Process: Implementation 14. A nurse would recognize which treatment as most commonly used for AD and its appropriate rationale? 1. Psychotherapy; to examine the stressor and confront unresolved issues 2. Fluoxetine (Prozac); to stabilize mood and resolve symptoms 3. Eye movement desensitization therapy; to reprocess traumatic events 4. Lorazepam (Ativan); a first-line treatment to address symptoms of anxiety ANS: 1 Rationale: Psychotherapy is the most common treatment used for AD. AD is not commonly treated with medications. Anxiolytic and antidepressant medications may be prescribed as adjuncts to psychotherapy but should not be given as the first line of treatment. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy is not used to treat adjustment disorders. Cognitive Level: Application Integrated Process: Implementation 15. A nurse has been caring for a client diagnosed with PTSD. Which realistic goal should be included in this client’s plan of care? 1. The client will have no flashbacks. 2. The client will be able to feel a full range of emotions by discharge. 3. The client will not require zolpidem (Ambien) to obtain adequate sleep by discharge. 4. The client will refrain from discussing the traumatic event. ANS: 3 Rationale: Obtaining adequate sleep without zolpidem by discharge is a goal that should be included in the client’s plan of care. Having no flashbacks and experiencing a full range of emotions by discharge are unrealistic goals. Clients are encouraged, not discouraged, to discuss the traumatic event. Cognitive Level: Application Integrated Process: Planning 16. A client diagnosed with PTSD is receiving paliperidone (Invega). Which symptoms should a nurse identify that would warrant the need for this medication? 1. Flat affect and anhedonia 2. Persistent anorexia and 10 lb weight loss in 3 weeks 3. Flashbacks of killing the enemy 4. Distant and guarded in relationships ANS: 3 Rationale: The nurse should identify that a client who has flashbacks of killing the enemy may need paliperidone. Paliperidone is an antipsychotic medication that will address the symptoms of psychosis. Cognitive Level: Application Integrated Process: Assessment 17. A client, who recently delivered a stillborn baby, has a diagnosis of adjustment disorder unspecified. The nurse case manager should expect which client presentation that is characteristic of this diagnosis? 1. The client worries continually and appears nervous and jittery. 2. The client complains of a depressed mood, is tearful, and feels hopeless. 3. The client is belligerent, violates others’ rights, and defaults on legal responsibilities. 4. The client complains of many physical ailments, refuses to socialize, and quits her job. ANS: 4 Rationale: The diagnosis of adjustment disorder unspecified is assigned when the maladaptive reaction is not consistent with any of the other categories. Manifestations may include physical complaints, social withdrawal, or work or academic inhibition, without significant depressed or anxious mood. Cognitive Level: Application Integrated Process: Assessment 18. A client has been extremely nervous ever since a person died as a result of the client’s drunk driving. When assessing for the diagnosis of AD, within what time frame should the nurse expect the client to exhibit symptoms? 1. To meet the DSM-5 criteria for adjustment disorder, the client should exhibit symptoms within one year of the accident. 2. To meet the DSM-5 criteria for adjustment disorder, the client should exhibit symptoms within three months of the accident. 3. To meet the DSM-5 criteria for adjustment disorder, the client should exhibit symptoms within six months of the accident. 4. To meet the DSM-5 criteria for adjustment disorder, the client should exhibit symptoms within nine months of the accident. ANS: 2 Rationale: According to the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for adjustment disorders, the development of emotional or behavioral symptoms in response to an identifiable stressor occurs within three months of the onset of the stressor. Cognitive Level: Application Integrated Process: Assessment 19. A 20-year-old client and a 60-year-old client have had drunk driving accidents and are both experiencing extreme anxiety. From a psychosocial theory perspective, which of these clients would be predisposed to the diagnosis of adjustment disorder? 1. The 60-year-old, because of memory deficits. 2. The 60-year-old, because of decreased cognitive processing ability. 3. The 20-year-old, because of limited cognitive experiences. 4. The 20-year-old, because of lack of developmental maturity. ANS: 4 Rationale: Research indicates that there is a predisposition to the diagnosis of adjustment disorder when there is limited developmental maturity. By comparison, the 20-year-old does not have the developmental maturity, life experiences, and coping mechanisms that the 60-year-old might possess. Cognitive Level: Analysis Integrated Process: Evaluation Multiple Responses 20. A client diagnosed with an adjustment disorder says to the nurse, “Tell me about medications that will cure this problem.” Which of the following are appropriate nursing responses? (Select all that apply.) 1. “Medications can interfere with your ability to find a more permanent problem solution.” 2. “Medications may mask the real problem at the root of this diagnosis.” 3. “Adjustment disorders are not commonly treated with medications.” 4. “Psychoactive drugs carry the potential for physiological and psychological dependence.” 5. “Psychoactive drugs will be prescribed only if your problems persist for more than three months.” ANS: 1, 2, 3, 4 Rationale: Adjustment disorders are not commonly treated with medications because of temporary effects, masking the real problem, interfering with finding a permanent solution, and the potential for addiction. Cognitive Level: Application Integrated Process: Implementation 21. A nurse is admitting a client who has been diagnosed with PTSD. Which of the following symptoms might the nurse expect to assess? (Select all that apply.) 1. Feelings of guilt that precipitate social isolation 2. Aggressive behavior that affects job performance 3. Relationship problems 4. High levels of anxiety 5. Escalating symptoms lasting less than one month ANS: 1, 2, 3, 4 Rationale: Characteristic symptoms of PTSD include re-experiencing the traumatic event, a sustained high level of anxiety or arousal, general numbing of responsiveness, nightmares, inability to remember certain aspects of the traumatic event, depression, guilt feelings, substance abuse, anger, and aggressive behaviors. The full-symptom picture must present for more than one month and cause significant interference with social, occupational, and other areas of functioning. Cognitive Level: Application Integrated Process: Assessment 22. A family asks the nurse why their son was diagnosed with PTSD and others in the accident were not. Which of the following information should the nurse offer? (Select all that apply.) 1. An individual’s religious affiliation can affect response to trauma. 2. Responses are affected by how an individual handled previous trauma. 3. Protectiveness of family and friends can help an individual deal with trauma. 4. Control over the possibility of recurrence can affect the response to trauma. 5. The time in which the trauma occurred can affect the individual’s response. ANS: 2, 3, 4, 5 Rationale: Variables that affect whether an individual exposed to massive trauma develops trauma-related disorders are grouped into characteristics of (1) the traumatic experience, (2) the individual, and (3) the recovery environment. All information presented falls under one of these groups. Spiritual beliefs, which can be considered a cultural influence, can affect the individual’s response, however, an individual’s specific religious affiliation should have no bearing or influence. Cognitive Level: Application Integrated Process: Assessment 23. A nurse would recognize which of the following as the best predictors of PTSD in Vietnam veterans? (Select all that apply.) 1. The severity of the stressor 2. The degree of ego strength 3. The degree of psychosocial isolation in the recovery environment 4. The attitudes of society regarding the experience 5. The presence of preexisting psychopathology ANS: 1, 3 Rationale: In research with Vietnam veterans, it was shown that the best predictors of PTSD were the severity of the stressor and the degree of psychosocial isolation in the recovery environment. Cognitive Level: Analysis Integrated Process: Assessment 24. A client diagnosed with PTSD states, “Why did my doctor prescribe an antidepressant rather than an antianxiety drug for me?” Which of the following are the most appropriate nursing responses? (Select all that apply.) 1. “I’m not sure, because antianxiety drugs have been approved by the FDA for PTSD.” 2. “Antidepressants are now considered first-line treatment choice for PTSD.” 3. “Many people have adverse reactions to antianxiety drugs.” 4. “Because of their addictive properties, antianxiety drugs are less desirable.” 5. “There have been no controlled studies on the effect of antianxiety drugs on PTSD.” ANS: 2, 4, 5 Rationale: Antidepressants are now considered the first-line treatment of choice for PTSD. There has been an absence of controlled studies demonstrating the efficacy of benzodiazepines for the treatment of PTSD. Their addictive properties make them less desirable than other medications used in the treatment of PTSD. Paroxetine and sertraline (antidepressant drugs), not antianxiety drugs, have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of PTSD. Adverse reactions can occur with the use of anxiolytic drugs, but these reactions are not common.