Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health of pregnant women: An observational study
Background: COVID-19 pandemic has spread rapidly throughout the world, with a high number of infected and deaths. It has undoubtedly made a huge impact on people’s lives, especially those more vulnerable. Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the mental health of pregnant women in Norway during the COVID-19 pandemic. Method: An online questionnaire in “Nettskjema” was spread through social media and midwife clinics. Important background information was collected, as well as self-reported impact of the pandemic on health and well-being. To assess mental health, two validated self-reporting questionnaires for depression and anxiety were incorporated; the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS) and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder - 7 item Scale (GAD-7). Results: In total, 774 pregnant women were included. Participants had a median age of 25 (range 19 to 44) years, 53.5% were primiparous, 67.7% had a university degree, 35.4% worked in the healthcare system and 3.5% belonged to a minority group. The proportion scoring 13 or above on EPDS (indicative of depression) was 14.3% (n=111) while 21.4% (n=166) received a score of 10 or above on GAD-7 (indicative of anxiety). Risk factors for anxiety and depression found in this study are age under 25 years, lower education levels, belonging to a minority group and working outside the healthcare system. No difference between geographical regions in Norway was found. The women were more worried about the health of their child than themselves, and many isolated themselves to avoid infection. Conclusion: The prevalence of anxiety and depression in the Norwegian pregnant population appears to be higher during the COVID-19 pandemic than before, but lower than what has been reported from other countries.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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