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Malawi Med J ; 33(1): 54-58, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1369850


Background: Several studies have been published on the topic of COVID-19 and pregnancy over recent months. However, few studies have evaluated the impact of this pandemic on maternal mental health, particularly in low-resource settings. Aim: To determine the prevalence and predictors of COVID-19-related depression, anxiety and stress symptoms among pregnant women. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study that involved 456 pregnant women attending prenatal care at Abakaliki, Nigeria, during the COVID-19 lockdown. These patients were screened for psychological morbidities using the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21). Results: Severe and extremely severe depression were reported in 7.2% (n=33) and 6.4% (n=29) of participants, respectively. Analysis also revealed that 3.3% (n=15) and 7.7% (n=35) of women had severe and extremely severe anxiety, respectively. In total, 23% (n=105) of the participating women had severe stress while 16.7% (n=76) reported extremely severe stress. Multiparity (2-4) and occupation, such as trading and farming, were predictors of depression whereas grand-multiparity, urban residence, and trading, were identified as predictors of anxiety and stress. Conclusion: Symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress were relatively common among pregnant women during the COVID-19 lockdown in Abakaliki, Nigeria. There is a clear need to integrate screening for depression, anxiety and stress, in existing antenatal care programs so as to identify and prevent long-term adverse psychological outcomes related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anxiety Disorders/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology , Maternal Health , Pregnancy Complications/epidemiology , Quarantine , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Adult , Anxiety Disorders/etiology , COVID-19/complications , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/etiology , Female , Humans , Nigeria/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Prevalence , Psychiatric Status Rating Scales , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Psychological/etiology