Knowledge and Anxiety of Pregnant Women towards COVID-19 Pandemic in the Prevaccination Phase
Dr. Anusha Devalla,
Senior Resident, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 1st Floor, IPD Building, AIIMS Hospital, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India.
Introduction: Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to devastating and unprecedented health crises especially in the vulnerable population, ever since its origin in 2019. COVID-19 management in pregnant women had been a matter of controversy before the introduction of the standard protocols by the various international bodies. A lot of concern still prevails around the adverse foeto-maternal outcomes such as preterm birth, stillbirth, increased caesarean rates, maternal morbidity and mortality. Furthermore, uncertainty about the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic had also increased anxiety among pregnant women, particularly during the first wave.
Aim: To find out the knowledge and beliefs of pregnant women towards the COVID-19 infection in first wave and to know whether it had increased anxiety among non infected pregnant women before the advent of the COVID-19 vaccination.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was conducted on the 280 asymptomatic pregnant women attending the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, over four months (10th October 2020 to 10th February 2021). These women were provided with a questionnaire and a Generalised Anxiety Disorder Score-7 (GAD-7) chart. Statistical analysis was performed using the Pearson’s Chi-square analyses with p<0.05 considered statistically significant.
Results: The total number of participants were 280. Majority of them were in their 20’s and were primigravida. The mean GAD-7 score for the study population was 4.642 and the overall prevalence of anxiety in the present study was 34.3% (n=96). GAD-7 score chart showed 65.7% (n=184) had 0-4 levels (minimal) while severe scores ≥15 were noted in 2.9% (n=8). In the current study, greater anxiety scores were found in the homemakers. A high prevalence of anxiety was seen in primigravida and during the third trimester. About 37.5% of the participants believed that COVID-19 could transmit to the foetus-in-utero, if infected and 50.36% felt being pregnant could increase the risk of contracting COVID-19 infection.
Conclusion: The present findings suggest that pregnant women showed a lot of concerns and significant anxiety due to COVID-19 during the study period.