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BMC Pregnancy Childbirth ; 21(1): 768, 2021 Nov 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528682


BACKGROUND: Pregnant and postpartum women face unique challenges and concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus far, no studies have explored the factors associated with increased levels of worry in this population globally. The current study sought to assess the frequency and sources of worry during the COVID-19 pandemic in an international sample of pregnant and postpartum women. METHODS: We conducted an anonymous, online, cross-sectional survey in 64 countries between May and June 2020. The survey was available in 12 languages and hosted on the Pregistry platform for COVID-19 studies. Participants were sought mainly on social media platforms and online parenting forums. The survey included questions related to demographics, level of worry, support, stress, COVID-19 exposure, frequency of media usage, and mental health indicators. RESULTS: The study included 7561 participants. Eighty-three percent of all participants indicated that they were either 'somewhat' or 'very' worried. Women 13-28 weeks pregnant were significantly more likely to indicate that they were 'very worried' compared to those who were postpartum or at other stages of pregnancy. When compared with women living in Europe, those in Africa, Asia and Pacific, North America and South/Latin America were more likely to have increased levels of worry, as were those who more frequently interacted with social media. Different forms of support and stress also had an impact upon level of worry, while indicators of stress and anxiety were positively associated with worry level. CONCLUSION: Pregnant and postpartum women are vulnerable to the changes in societal norms brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding the factors associated with levels of worry within this population will enable society to address potential unmet needs and improve the current and future mental health of parents and children.

Anxiety/etiology , COVID-19/psychology , Pregnancy Complications/etiology , Adolescent , Adult , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Global Health/statistics & numerical data , Health Surveys , Humans , Logistic Models , Odds Ratio , Postpartum Period/psychology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications/psychology , Risk Factors , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/etiology , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Young Adult
PLoS One ; 16(4): e0249780, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1197377


Pregnant and postpartum women face unique challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic that may put them at elevated risk of mental health problems. However, few large-scale and no cross-national studies have been conducted to date that investigate modifiable pandemic-related behavioral or cognitive factors that may influence mental health in this vulnerable group. This international study sought to identify and measure the associations between pandemic-related information seeking, worries, and prevention behaviors on perinatal mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. An anonymous, online, cross-sectional survey of pregnant and postpartum women was conducted in 64 countries between May 26, 2020 and June 13, 2020. The survey, available in twelve languages, was hosted on the Pregistry platform for COVID-19 studies ( and advertised in social media channels and online parenting forums. Participants completed measures on demographics, COVID-19 exposure and worries, information seeking, COVID-19 prevention behaviors, and mental health symptoms including posttraumatic stress via the IES-6, anxiety/depression via the PHQ-4, and loneliness via the UCLA-3. Of the 6,894 participants, substantial proportions of women scored at or above the cut-offs for elevated posttraumatic stress (2,979 [43%]), anxiety/depression (2,138 [31%], and loneliness (3,691 [53%]). Information seeking from any source (e.g., social media, news, talking to others) five or more times per day was associated with more than twice the odds of elevated posttraumatic stress and anxiety/depression, in adjusted models. A majority of women (86%) reported being somewhat or very worried about COVID-19. The most commonly reported worries were related to pregnancy and delivery, including family being unable to visit after delivery (59%), the baby contracting COVID-19 (59%), lack of a support person during delivery (55%), and COVID-19 causing changes to the delivery plan (41%). Greater worries related to children (i.e., inadequate childcare, their infection risk) and missing medical appointments were associated with significantly higher odds of posttraumatic stress, anxiety/depression and loneliness. Engaging in hygiene-related COVID-19 prevention behaviors (face mask-wearing, washing hands, disinfecting surfaces) were not related to mental health symptoms or loneliness. Elevated posttraumatic stress, anxiety/depression, and loneliness are highly prevalent in pregnant and postpartum women across 64 countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Excessive information seeking and worries related to children and medical care are associated with elevated symptoms, whereas engaging in hygiene-related preventive measures were not. In addition to screening and monitoring mental health symptoms, addressing excessive information seeking and women's worries about access to medical care and their children's well-being, and developing strategies to target loneliness (e.g., online support groups) should be part of intervention efforts for perinatal women. Public health campaigns and medical care systems need to explicitly address the impact of COVID-19 related stressors on mental health in perinatal women, as prevention of viral exposure itself does not mitigate the pandemic's mental health impact.

COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Health , Pregnancy/psychology , Adult , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/psychology , Female , Humans , Loneliness/psychology , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Parturition/psychology , Perinatal Care , Postpartum Period/psychology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/etiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Women's Health
Psychol Trauma ; 12(S1): S133-S135, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-594988


This commentary contextualizes potential mental health outcomes for children during and after the COVID-19 pandemic within the risk and resilience literature. Individual, familial, and community-level factors that may increase risk for mental health challenges for children as well as factors associated with positive adaptation in the face of adversity are considered. We highlight the value of considering children's resilience within a systemic perspective by considering family-centered approaches including both short-term and long-term evidence-informed mental health practices. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

Adaptation, Psychological , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Mental Health Services , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Psychological Distress , Resilience, Psychological , COVID-19 , Child , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Telemedicine , United States