Anxiety, depression and concerns of pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2021 Jul;304(1):125-130. doi: 10.1007/s00404-020-05944-1. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Abstract

Purpose: In December 2019, the emerging of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has influenced the whole world. The current pandemic also triggers several psychological changes. Uncertainties and changes in health practices may cause anxiety, depression, and concerns on vulnerable populations such as pregnant. This study aims to survey the pregnant women to capture the psychological impact and perceptions during the pandemic.

Methods: A total of 297 pregnant women aged ≥ 18 years were enrolled in May 2020. We evaluated the hard-copy survey included questions about demographic and clinical information of patients, 95% confidence intervals of a COVID-19-related questionnaire in a Likert scale and 14-item Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).

Results: A total of 297 pregnant women were included in this study with a mean age of 27.64. Most patients (82.5%) had concerns about infecting their babies during delivery. The fear of infection of the fetus during delivery revealed elderly age and having anxiety as the unique significant risk factors. Mean HADS-A and HADS-D scores were 7.94 (± 4.03) and 7.23 (± 3.84), respectively. Multivariate analysis showed having anxiety was associated with a high HADS-D score and concern about the inability to reach obstetrician, and being in advanced age, having a high HADS-A score, and concern about the inability to reach obstetrician demonstrated significant effects on HADS-D score.

Conclusion: We conclude that in future pandemics, communications and reassurance of the patients should be prioritized upon their routine ante-natal care to avoid increased levels of anxiety and even depression.

Keywords: Anxiety; COVID-19; Depression; Pandemic; Pregnancy; Psychological impact.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / psychology*
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Fear / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Surveys and Questionnaires