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1.
Front Public Health ; 10: 965306, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2022992

ABSTRACT

Background: At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, support for breastfeeding was disrupted in many countries. Italy was severely impacted by the pandemic and is known to have the lowest exclusive breastfeeding rate of all European countries. Considering the inverse association between anxiety and breastfeeding, maternal concerns about the COVID-19 emergency could reduce breastfeeding rates. The aim of the study is to explore the association between infant feeding practices and maternal COVID-19 concerns. Methods: This paper is a secondary analysis of the cross-sectional study COVID-ASSESS conducted in Italy in 2020. The original survey was administered in two phases: during the first lockdown and during the reopening. The survey included five sections: socio-demographic, medical history, concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, infant feeding practices and psychometric evaluation. Participants were considered eligible for the post-hoc analyses if they were exclusively breastfeeding or they were feeding with infant formula (either alone or with breastfeeding) at the time of the interview. Results: Between phase 1 and phase 2 there was a decrease in anxiety and concerns about the danger of COVID-19 to general health, except for concerns about their baby's health. Women using formula were more concerned about all the health topics investigated. Moreover, they showed higher levels of stress, state anxiety, somatization and PTSD symptoms. Conclusion: Breastfeeding during the first pandemic lockdown in Italy seems to have been an independent factor associated with lower anxiety about COVID-19, fewer psychopathological symptoms, and a positive experience of infant feeding.


Subject(s)
Breast Feeding , COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Pandemics
2.
Int J Ment Health Addict ; : 1-20, 2022 Mar 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1750813

ABSTRACT

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health has not been clarified yet, with multiple studies warranting a special focus on women and young adults. A sample of 101 Italian women recruited from the general population was evaluated a few weeks before the onset of the pandemic and during the first and the second wave of the pandemic. Depression values at the Brief Symptom Inventory showed an initial increase followed by a stabilization on higher values in respect to the baseline, whereas Phobic Anxiety was stably worsened. Participants with insecure attachment styles and childhood trauma showed higher levels of distress at all timepoints. In many psychopathological domains, moderation analysis showed an unfavorable trend over time for younger participants. The present study seems to confirm a high burden on mental health for women during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting young age, insecure attachment style, and childhood trauma as negative prognostic factors.

3.
Front Psychiatry ; 12: 789344, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581145

ABSTRACT

The negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on people with Eating Disorders (EDs) has been documented. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a history of traumatic experiences during childhood or adolescence was associated with a higher degree of psychopathological worsening during COVID-19 related lockdown and in the following re-opening period in this group of people. People with EDs undergoing a specialist ED treatment in different Italian services before the spreading of COVID-19 pandemic (n = 312) filled in an online survey to retrospectively evaluate ED specific and general psychopathology changes after COVID-19 quarantine. Based on the presence of self-reported traumatic experiences, the participants were split into three groups: patients with EDs and no traumatic experiences, patients with EDs and childhood traumatic experiences, patients with EDs and adolescent traumatic experiences. Both people with or without early traumatic experiences reported retrospectively a worsening of general and ED-specific psychopathology during the COVID 19-induced lockdown and in the following re-opening period. Compared to ED participants without early traumatic experiences, those with a self-reported history of early traumatic experiences reported heightened anxious and post-traumatic stress symptoms, ineffectiveness, body dissatisfaction, and purging behaviors. These differences were seen before COVID-19 related restrictions as well as during the lockdown period and after the easing of COVID-19 related restrictions. In line with the "maltreated ecophenotype" theory, these results may suggest a clinical vulnerability of maltreated people with EDs leading to a greater severity in both general and ED-specific symptomatology experienced during the exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic.

4.
J Affect Disord ; 285: 77-83, 2021 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087022

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We assessed the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on specific Eating Disorder (ED) and general psychopathology in people with an ED diagnosis during the lockdown period and after the end of the related containment measures. METHODS: People with clinically defined diagnosis and undergoing treatment for an ED completed an online survey, which included adapted questions from standardized psychometric scales. Data relative to three different time periods (before, during and after the end of lockdown) were collected. Psychopathological changes over these periods were investigated and compared through one-way analysis of variance or covariance with repeated measures. RESULTS: Three hundred twelve people completed the survey (57.4% diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa (AN) or atypical AN, 20.2% with Bulimia Nervosa, 15.4% with Binge Eating Disorder, 7.05% with Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders). The severity of both specific and general psychopathology increased during the lockdown and the rise of general symptoms persisted in the following re-opening phase, except for suicide ideation. Almost all of these findings were not affected by ED diagnosis, participants' age and illness duration. LIMITATIONS: The retrospective nature of data collection is the main limitation of the study. CONCLUSIONS: People with EDs showed a COVID-19 emergency-induced worsening of both general and specific psychopathology. The effect on general psychopathology persisted in the re-opening period. These findings suggest a high stress vulnerability of ED individuals with important effects on internalizing symptoms, which are worth of attention by clinicians.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Feeding and Eating Disorders , Communicable Disease Control , Feeding and Eating Disorders/epidemiology , Humans , Psychopathology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
5.
J Psychosom Res ; 141: 110328, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-957249

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Italy has been largely involved by the COVID-19 pandemic. The present study aimed at evaluating the impact of the lockdown during the pandemic on mental health adopting both a longitudinal and a cross-sectional design. Accordingly, the study investigated general psychopathology a few weeks before the COVID-19 outbreak (T0) and during lockdown (T1), and the associations between lockdown-related environmental conditions, self-perceived worsening in daily living and psychopathology. METHODS: 130 subjects (aged 18-60 years) were included in the longitudinal design, and an additional subsample of 541 subjects was recruited for the in-lockdown evaluation. Socio-demographic data and the Brief Symptom Inventory were collected both at T0 and T1. Moreover, at T1 an online survey was administered for the evaluation of lockdown-related environmental conditions and self-perceived variations in daily living induced by quarantine, along with the Impact of Event Scale-Revised. RESULTS: Longitudinal analysis showed that phobic anxiety and depressive symptoms increased at T1 as compared with T0, whereas interpersonal sensitivity and paranoid ideation decreased. Pre-existing general psychopathology predicted COVID-19-related post-traumatic symptomatology. Cross-sectional analyses underlined that self-perceived deteriorations in various areas of daily living were associated with general and post-traumatic psychopathology, and with several lockdown-related conditions, especially economic damage. CONCLUSION: The present study underlined a different trend of increased internalizing and decreased interpersonal symptoms during COVID-19 quarantine in Italy. Furthermore, the results showed that subjects with pre-existing psychopathology and those reporting economic damage during the pandemic were more likely to develop deterioration of their mental health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Quarantine/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
6.
Arch Womens Ment Health ; 23(6): 783-786, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-935278

ABSTRACT

Italy was the first COVID-19 pandemic epicenter among European countries and established a period of full "lockdown", consisting of travel bans, mandatory staying at home, and temporary closure of nonessential businesses. Similar measures are known risk factors for psychological disturbances in the general population; still, little is known about their impact on pregnant women's mental health during COVID-19 pandemic. The cross-sectional, web-based, national survey "COVID-19 related Anxiety and StreSs in prEgnancy, poSt-partum and breaStfeeding" (COVID-ASSESS) was conducted during the first month of full "lockdown" in Italy. Participants were recruited via social networks with a snowball technique. The questionnaire was specifically developed to examine COVID-19 concerns and included the psychometric tests National Stressful Events Survey (NSESSS) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. A multivariable logistic regression model was fitted to explore the association of the concern, anxiety and PTSD symptoms with age, gestational weeks, parity, days of "lockdown", assisted reproductive technology use, psychopathological history, and previous perinatal losses. Out of 1015 pregnant women reached, 737 (72.6%) fully answered the questionnaire; no woman reported a COVID-19 infection. Median age was 34.4 years [quartiles 31.7, 37.2], median days in "lockdown" were 13.1 [11.0, 17.0], median gestational weeks were 27.8 [19.8, 34.0]. Clinically significant PTSD symptoms were present in 75 women (10.2%, NSESSS cutoff 24) and clinically significant anxiety symptoms were present in 160 women (21.7%, STAI-Y1 cutoff 50). Women were particularly worried about the health of their baby and of their elderly relatives, as well as of the possible impact of pandemic in the future of society. Previous anxiety predicted higher concern and PTSD symptoms; previous depression and anxiety were independently associated with current PTSD symptoms.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Pregnancy Complications/psychology , Psychopathology , Quarantine/psychology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , Adult , Age Distribution , Aged , Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Gestational Age , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications/epidemiology , Pregnant Women/psychology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Socioeconomic Factors , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/psychology
7.
Int J Eat Disord ; 53(11): 1855-1862, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-734194

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: the aim of this longitudinal study was to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 epidemic on Eating Disorders (EDs) patients, considering the role of pre-existing vulnerabilities. METHOD: 74 patients with Anorexia Nervosa (AN) or Bulimia Nervosa (BN) and 97 healthy controls (HCs) were evaluated before lockdown (T1) and during lockdown (T2). Patients were also evaluated at the beginning of treatment (T0). Questionnaires were collected to assess psychopathology, childhood trauma, attachment style, and COVID-19-related post-traumatic symptoms. RESULTS: A different trend between patients and HCs was observed only for pathological eating behaviors. Patients experienced increased compensatory exercise during lockdown; BN patients also exacerbated binge eating. Lockdown interfered with treatment outcomes: the descending trend of ED-specific psychopathology was interrupted during the epidemic in BN patients. Previously remitted patients showed re-exacerbation of binge eating after lockdown. Household arguments and fear for the safety of loved ones predicted increased symptoms during the lockdown. BN patients reported more severe COVID-19-related post-traumatic symptomatology than AN and HCs, and these symptoms were predicted by childhood trauma and insecure attachment. DISCUSSION: COVID-19 epidemic significantly impacted on EDs, both in terms of post-traumatic symptomatology and interference with the recovery process. Individuals with early trauma or insecure attachment were particularly vulnerable.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Feeding and Eating Disorders/psychology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Quarantine/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Exercise/psychology , Feeding Behavior/psychology , Feeding and Eating Disorders/therapy , Female , Humans , Italy , Longitudinal Studies , Middle Aged , Object Attachment , Psychological Trauma/psychology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/etiology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
8.
Women Birth ; 34(4): 335-343, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-641163

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In March 2020, COVID-19 was declared to be a pandemic. While data suggests that COVID-19 is not associated with significant adverse health outcomes for pregnant women and newborns, the psychological impact on pregnant women is likely to be high. AIM: The aim was to explore the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Italian pregnant women, especially regarding concerns and birth expectations. METHODS: A cross-sectional online survey of pregnant women in Italy was conducted. Responses were analysed for all women and segregated into two groups depending on previous experience of pregnancy loss. Analysis of open text responses examined expectations and concerns before and after the onset of the pandemic. FINDINGS: Two hundred pregnant women responded to the first wave of the survey. Most (n=157, 78.5%) had other children and 100 (50.0%) had a previous history of perinatal loss. 'Joy' was the most prevalent emotion expressed before COVID-19 (126, 63.0% before vs 34, 17.0% after; p<0.05); fear was the most prevalent after (15, 7.5% before vs 98, 49.0% after; p<0.05). Positive constructs were prevalent before COVID-19, while negative ones were dominant after (p<0.05). Across the country, women were concerned about COVID-19 and a history of psychological disorders was significantly associated with higher concerns (p<0.05). A previous pregnancy loss did not influence women's concerns. CONCLUSIONS: Women's expectations and concerns regarding childbirth changed significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy. Women with a history of psychological disorders need particular attention as they seem to experience higher levels of concern.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Fear , Parturition/psychology , Pregnant Women/psychology , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Adult , Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Internet , Italy/epidemiology , Mental Disorders , Mental Health , Motivation , Pandemics , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
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