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Anxiety During Pregnancy in the Era of the COVID-19 Pandemic

18 Pages Posted: 18 May 2020

See all articles by Themistoklis Dagklis

Themistoklis Dagklis

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki - 3rd Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Ioannis Tsakiridis

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki - 3rd Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Apostolos Mamopoulos

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki - 3rd Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Apostolos Athanasiadis

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki - 3rd Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Georgios Papazisis

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki - Department of Clinical Pharmacology

More...

Abstract

Background: To assess anxiety symptoms in pregnant women living in the quarantine conditions in Greece, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: All pregnant women that received routine antenatal care in a university clinic following total lockdown in Greece were eligible to participate in the study. The Greek version of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (Form Y) was employed. Associated risk factors for maternal anxiety were also investigated.

Results: In total, 146 women consented to participate in the survey. Αnxiety in pregnancy was estimated to affect 53.4% of the participants (S-Anxiety) whereas lifetime anxiety (T-Anxiety) was reported in 34.2% of the women (p<0.001). Moreover, the median S-Anxiety score was higher than the median T-Anxiety value [40 (range 21-67) versus 34 (range 23-67) respectively; p<0.001], thus indicating a significant increase in anxiety levels during the lockdown. For S-anxiety, 28.1% of the women were classified as non-anxious (score<35), 35.6% with mild anxiety (score 35-45), 20.5% with moderate anxiety (score 46-55), 12.3% with high anxiety (score 56-65) and 3.4% with very high anxiety (score > 65). The number of weeks after lockdown (first week - OR: 6.924; 95% CI: 2.807-17.027, second week - OR: 2.654; 95% CI: 1.138-6.192, third week – OR: 1.000) and smoking (OR: 3.815; 95% CI: 1.215-11.985) in pregnancy were identified as independent risk factors for anxiety. No differences were found in the incidence of anxiety between the three trimesters of pregnancy.

Conclusion: A significant increase in anxiety levels during the lockdown was observed in pregnant women, with the increase being highest in the first week of the quarantine, gradually regressing in the second and reaching almost normal levels in the third week. This finding may be associated with the effective mitigation measures on the spread of the disease in Greece.

Funding Statement: None.

Declaration of Interests: None to declare.

Ethics Approval Statement: The research complied with all the relevant national regulations, institutional policies and in accordance with the tenets of the Helsinki Declaration. Moreover, the study protocol was approved by the bioethics committee of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a written informed consent was necessary in order to participate.

Keywords: anxiety, pregnancy, covid-19, pandemic, stai questionnaire

Suggested Citation

Dagklis, Themistoklis and Tsakiridis, Ioannis and Mamopoulos, Apostolos and Athanasiadis, Apostolos and Papazisis, Georgios, Anxiety During Pregnancy in the Era of the COVID-19 Pandemic (4/25/2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3588542 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3588542

Themistoklis Dagklis

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki - 3rd Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Greece

Ioannis Tsakiridis

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki - 3rd Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Greece

Apostolos Mamopoulos

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki - 3rd Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Greece

Apostolos Athanasiadis

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki - 3rd Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Greece

Georgios Papazisis (Contact Author)

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki - Department of Clinical Pharmacology ( email )

Greece

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