Who Benefits More?

Nurses General Nursing


I encountered another NCLEX question where there is no answer key for it. It was about a community health teaching about the benefits of Folic Acid in preventing Neural Tube Defects. The question is, who among the participants will benefit more from this teaching?

1.) parents of babies with spina bifida

2.) newly married young adults

3.) A class of high school girls

4.) post partum women attending baby care class

My answer is 2 because the teaching is preventive so meaning, there is no disease yet. In number 1, there already is a defect and the teaching, should I say, is a bit too late? 3 and 4 seem to be obviously wrong.

Do you think my answer was right?


1,302 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

I would say number 2, also. Your reasoning is sound. The only other option is perhaps the high school girls since we have a pretty high rate of teen-age pregnancies and this population tends to be undernourished.

morte, LPN, LVN

7,015 Posts

i think "the most benefit" might actually point to the hs girls.....since this is a female issue.....and waiting till marriage is going to miss a 'hole-lot-a-babies......

In my opinion, the group of high school students would benefit the most from this information. Last time I checked, a woman did not have to be married in order to become pregnant. Ideally, these students will not become pregnant while still in high school, but at least they will be armed with the information to help ensure that any pregnancy will be a healthy one.


243 Posts

I kind of agree with the HS girls answer, but if you consider "readiness to learn" as being a necessary prerequisite for acquiring knowledge, it kind of leads me to choose the newly-married, since they are presumably more concerned with having kids than high school girls may be. This is the kind of NCLEX question you can think and then re-think...


505 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Hospice.

I chose the high school girls.

The key to prevention is to start early. The girls who are presently sexually active are at risk for pregnancy already and the majority of those who are not will probably become active within the next few years. Teaching them about folic acid now will go further to prevent spina bifida.

Folic acid needs to be started before pregnancy to be effective and the CDC recommends that all women of childbearing age who are capable of becoming pregnant take it daily.


68 Posts

Specializes in Family Med, Mental Health, Public Health.

I chose answer 3. High school girls would benefit the most from this information. As a public health nurse, I educate EVERY woman ( I work with teens) on the importance of folic acid. This needs to be started well before the pregnancy is even began, as the previous poster noted. The girls in this age group are beginning to, if not already starting to think about or have had sex. I would sway away from answer 2, due to the fact just because you are "newly married" does not mean a thing! People have sex everyday whether they are married or not. Also, jsut because a couple is young and newly married, does not mean that they are planning to start a family. It seems like a distractor, IMO. Again, prevention is key and this option presents the earliest window of opportunity for education.


133 Posts

I hope you don't mind my responding, I'm only a pre-nursing student so you can take my 2c worth a grain of salt.

I would think #1 would be the answer because someone who's had a child with a neural tube defect is at a much higher risk of having another one. So if they are planning another pregnancy, it is especially important for them to take a sufficient amount of folic acid.

I agree that 3 and 4 seem wrong - while teenage girls may experience accidental pregnancies, I just don't see them taking folic acid as a precaution in case they have an accidental pregnancy. If they are taking folic acid, why not birth control pills, kwim? I guess it depends on what you define as "most valuable". I think people who have had a baby with a neural tube defect (or any birth defect) would be much more careful about any future pregnancies, planning carefully, whereas a teenager is much more likely to have an accidental pregnancy. One could think that that would make it even more important for teenagers to be educated about it, but realistically I just don't see that happening - teenagers taking folic acid as a precaution for a potential accidental pregnancy.

pagandeva2000, LPN

7,984 Posts

Specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

I am leaning towards the high school students because of the recommendation that fertile women should take folic acid. Newly married is a close second, but, to me, we are focusing on preventing neural tubal defects, which can happen whether the female is married or not.

Music in My Heart

1 Article; 4,109 Posts

Specializes in being a Credible Source.

I choose #3.

Being married has nothing to do with the question unless you assume (a big no-no for NCLEX questions) that marriage is some sort of condition for sexual activity.

I choose the youngest possible population -- HS girls, married or not.

Elvish, BSN, DNP, RN, NP

4 Articles; 5,259 Posts

Specializes in Community, OB, Nursery.

I'd go w/ the high school girls as well. Taking folic acid to prevent neural tube defects is something that needs to be directed toward women and girls, not couples. (I mean it's nice if the guy cares, but it doesn't matter if he takes folic acid or not.)

pagandeva2000, LPN

7,984 Posts

Specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

And when you think about it, the high school girl group is more inclusive.

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