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Title: Anxiety among pregnant women during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland
Authors: Ilska, Michalina
Brandt-Salmeri, Anna
Kołodziej-Zaleska, Anna
Preis, Heidi
Rehbein, Emily
Lobel, Marci
Keywords: COVID-19; pregnant women; postpartum women; mental health disorder; anxiety
Issue Date: 2022
Citation: Scientific Reports, Vol. 12, iss. 1 (2022), art. no. 8445
Abstract: Although anxiety is common because of the transitional nature of the perinatal period, particularly high levels of anxiety have been observed in some studies of pregnant women during the pandemic. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the severity of anxiety among pregnant women during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland, and factors associated with it. Cross-sectional study with a total of 1050 pregnant women recruited via social media in Poland during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, from March 1 until June 1, 2020. The survey included validated psychological measures: the GAD-7 (anxiety), the PREPS (pandemic stress), with two subscales: preparedness and infection stress, and obstetric, sociodemographic and COVID-19 related variables. T-tests, ANOVAs, and hierarchical binary logistic regression for dichotomized GAD-7 scores (minimal or mild vs. moderate or severe) were used. Over a third of respondents experienced moderate or severe levels of anxiety. Predictors of moderate or severe anxiety were non-pandemic related factors like unplanned pregnancy and emotional and psychiatric problems, as well as pandemic related pregnancy stress. Levels of anxiety among pregnant women during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland exceeded pre-pandemic norms. Findings suggest that prior psychiatric conditions, unplanned pregnancy, and elevated pandemic-related pregnancy stress due to concerns about infection or poor preparation for birth contributed to the risk of high anxiety in Polish pregnant women during the pandemic onset. Given the harmful effects of antenatal anxiety on the health and well-being of mothers and their children, psychotherapeutic interventions, efforts to alleviate pregnant women’s stress, and training in adaptive ways to cope with stress are vital to reduce the prevalence of maternal anxiety and its potential consequences during this global crisis.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-12275-5
ISSN: 2045-2322
Appears in Collections:Artykuły (WNS)

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