Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, ISSN - 0973 - 709X

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Dr Mohan Z Mani

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Department of Dermatolgy,
Believers Church Medical College,
Thiruvalla, Kerala
On Sep 2018




Prof. Somashekhar Nimbalkar

"Over the last few years, we have published our research regularly in Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. Having published in more than 20 high impact journals over the last five years including several high impact ones and reviewing articles for even more journals across my fields of interest, we value our published work in JCDR for their high standards in publishing scientific articles. The ease of submission, the rapid reviews in under a month, the high quality of their reviewers and keen attention to the final process of proofs and publication, ensure that there are no mistakes in the final article. We have been asked clarifications on several occasions and have been happy to provide them and it exemplifies the commitment to quality of the team at JCDR."



Prof. Somashekhar Nimbalkar
Head, Department of Pediatrics, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad
Chairman, Research Group, Charutar Arogya Mandal, Karamsad
National Joint Coordinator - Advanced IAP NNF NRP Program
Ex-Member, Governing Body, National Neonatology Forum, New Delhi
Ex-President - National Neonatology Forum Gujarat State Chapter
Department of Pediatrics, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad, Anand, Gujarat.
On Sep 2018




Dr. Kalyani R

"Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research is at present a well-known Indian originated scientific journal which started with a humble beginning. I have been associated with this journal since many years. I appreciate the Editor, Dr. Hemant Jain, for his constant effort in bringing up this journal to the present status right from the scratch. The journal is multidisciplinary. It encourages in publishing the scientific articles from postgraduates and also the beginners who start their career. At the same time the journal also caters for the high quality articles from specialty and super-specialty researchers. Hence it provides a platform for the scientist and researchers to publish. The other aspect of it is, the readers get the information regarding the most recent developments in science which can be used for teaching, research, treating patients and to some extent take preventive measures against certain diseases. The journal is contributing immensely to the society at national and international level."



Dr Kalyani R
Professor and Head
Department of Pathology
Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College
Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research , Kolar, Karnataka
On Sep 2018




Dr. Saumya Navit

"As a peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research provides an opportunity to researchers, scientists and budding professionals to explore the developments in the field of medicine and dentistry and their varied specialities, thus extending our view on biological diversities of living species in relation to medicine.
‘Knowledge is treasure of a wise man.’ The free access of this journal provides an immense scope of learning for the both the old and the young in field of medicine and dentistry as well. The multidisciplinary nature of the journal makes it a better platform to absorb all that is being researched and developed. The publication process is systematic and professional. Online submission, publication and peer reviewing makes it a user-friendly journal.
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I wish JCDR a great success and I hope that journal will soar higher with the passing time."



Dr Saumya Navit
Professor and Head
Department of Pediatric Dentistry
Saraswati Dental College
Lucknow
On Sep 2018




Dr. Arunava Biswas

"My sincere attachment with JCDR as an author as well as reviewer is a learning experience . Their systematic approach in publication of article in various categories is really praiseworthy.
Their prompt and timely response to review's query and the manner in which they have set the reviewing process helps in extracting the best possible scientific writings for publication.
It's a honour and pride to be a part of the JCDR team. My very best wishes to JCDR and hope it will sparkle up above the sky as a high indexed journal in near future."



Dr. Arunava Biswas
MD, DM (Clinical Pharmacology)
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology
Calcutta National Medical College & Hospital , Kolkata




Dr. C.S. Ramesh Babu
" Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR) is a multi-specialty medical and dental journal publishing high quality research articles in almost all branches of medicine. The quality of printing of figures and tables is excellent and comparable to any International journal. An added advantage is nominal publication charges and monthly issue of the journal and more chances of an article being accepted for publication. Moreover being a multi-specialty journal an article concerning a particular specialty has a wider reach of readers of other related specialties also. As an author and reviewer for several years I find this Journal most suitable and highly recommend this Journal."
Best regards,
C.S. Ramesh Babu,
Associate Professor of Anatomy,
Muzaffarnagar Medical College,
Muzaffarnagar.
On Aug 2018




Dr. Arundhathi. S
"Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR) is a reputed peer reviewed journal and is constantly involved in publishing high quality research articles related to medicine. Its been a great pleasure to be associated with this esteemed journal as a reviewer and as an author for a couple of years. The editorial board consists of many dedicated and reputed experts as its members and they are doing an appreciable work in guiding budding researchers. JCDR is doing a commendable job in scientific research by promoting excellent quality research & review articles and case reports & series. The reviewers provide appropriate suggestions that improve the quality of articles. I strongly recommend my fraternity to encourage JCDR by contributing their valuable research work in this widely accepted, user friendly journal. I hope my collaboration with JCDR will continue for a long time".



Dr. Arundhathi. S
MBBS, MD (Pathology),
Sanjay Gandhi institute of trauma and orthopedics,
Bengaluru.
On Aug 2018




Dr. Mamta Gupta,
"It gives me great pleasure to be associated with JCDR, since last 2-3 years. Since then I have authored, co-authored and reviewed about 25 articles in JCDR. I thank JCDR for giving me an opportunity to improve my own skills as an author and a reviewer.
It 's a multispecialty journal, publishing high quality articles. It gives a platform to the authors to publish their research work which can be available for everyone across the globe to read. The best thing about JCDR is that the full articles of all medical specialties are available as pdf/html for reading free of cost or without institutional subscription, which is not there for other journals. For those who have problem in writing manuscript or do statistical work, JCDR comes for their rescue.
The journal has a monthly publication and the articles are published quite fast. In time compared to other journals. The on-line first publication is also a great advantage and facility to review one's own articles before going to print. The response to any query and permission if required, is quite fast; this is quite commendable. I have a very good experience about seeking quick permission for quoting a photograph (Fig.) from a JCDR article for my chapter authored in an E book. I never thought it would be so easy. No hassles.
Reviewing articles is no less a pain staking process and requires in depth perception, knowledge about the topic for review. It requires time and concentration, yet I enjoy doing it. The JCDR website especially for the reviewers is quite user friendly. My suggestions for improving the journal is, more strict review process, so that only high quality articles are published. I find a a good number of articles in Obst. Gynae, hence, a new journal for this specialty titled JCDR-OG can be started. May be a bimonthly or quarterly publication to begin with. Only selected articles should find a place in it.
An yearly reward for the best article authored can also incentivize the authors. Though the process of finding the best article will be not be very easy. I do not know how reviewing process can be improved. If an article is being reviewed by two reviewers, then opinion of one can be communicated to the other or the final opinion of the editor can be communicated to the reviewer if requested for. This will help one’s reviewing skills.
My best wishes to Dr. Hemant Jain and all the editorial staff of JCDR for their untiring efforts to bring out this journal. I strongly recommend medical fraternity to publish their valuable research work in this esteemed journal, JCDR".



Dr. Mamta Gupta
Consultant
(Ex HOD Obs &Gynae, Hindu Rao Hospital and associated NDMC Medical College, Delhi)
Aug 2018




Dr. Rajendra Kumar Ghritlaharey

"I wish to thank Dr. Hemant Jain, Editor-in-Chief Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR), for asking me to write up few words.
Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium i e; into the words and sentences on paper. Quality medical manuscript writing in particular, demands not only a high-quality research, but also requires accurate and concise communication of findings and conclusions, with adherence to particular journal guidelines. In medical field whether working in teaching, private, or in corporate institution, everyone wants to excel in his / her own field and get recognised by making manuscripts publication.


Authors are the souls of any journal, and deserve much respect. To publish a journal manuscripts are needed from authors. Authors have a great responsibility for producing facts of their work in terms of number and results truthfully and an individual honesty is expected from authors in this regards. Both ways its true "No authors-No manuscripts-No journals" and "No journals–No manuscripts–No authors". Reviewing a manuscript is also a very responsible and important task of any peer-reviewed journal and to be taken seriously. It needs knowledge on the subject, sincerity, honesty and determination. Although the process of reviewing a manuscript is a time consuming task butit is expected to give one's best remarks within the time frame of the journal.
Salient features of the JCDR: It is a biomedical, multidisciplinary (including all medical and dental specialities), e-journal, with wide scope and extensive author support. At the same time, a free text of manuscript is available in HTML and PDF format. There is fast growing authorship and readership with JCDR as this can be judged by the number of articles published in it i e; in Feb 2007 of its first issue, it contained 5 articles only, and now in its recent volume published in April 2011, it contained 67 manuscripts. This e-journal is fulfilling the commitments and objectives sincerely, (as stated by Editor-in-chief in his preface to first edition) i e; to encourage physicians through the internet, especially from the developing countries who witness a spectrum of disease and acquire a wealth of knowledge to publish their experiences to benefit the medical community in patients care. I also feel that many of us have work of substance, newer ideas, adequate clinical materials but poor in medical writing and hesitation to submit the work and need help. JCDR provides authors help in this regards.
Timely publication of journal: Publication of manuscripts and bringing out the issue in time is one of the positive aspects of JCDR and is possible with strong support team in terms of peer reviewers, proof reading, language check, computer operators, etc. This is one of the great reasons for authors to submit their work with JCDR. Another best part of JCDR is "Online first Publications" facilities available for the authors. This facility not only provides the prompt publications of the manuscripts but at the same time also early availability of the manuscripts for the readers.
Indexation and online availability: Indexation transforms the journal in some sense from its local ownership to the worldwide professional community and to the public.JCDR is indexed with Embase & EMbiology, Google Scholar, Index Copernicus, Chemical Abstracts Service, Journal seek Database, Indian Science Abstracts, to name few of them. Manuscriptspublished in JCDR are available on major search engines ie; google, yahoo, msn.
In the era of fast growing newer technologies, and in computer and internet friendly environment the manuscripts preparation, submission, review, revision, etc and all can be done and checked with a click from all corer of the world, at any time. Of course there is always a scope for improvement in every field and none is perfect. To progress, one needs to identify the areas of one's weakness and to strengthen them.
It is well said that "happy beginning is half done" and it fits perfectly with JCDR. It has grown considerably and I feel it has already grown up from its infancy to adolescence, achieving the status of standard online e-journal form Indian continent since its inception in Feb 2007. This had been made possible due to the efforts and the hard work put in it. The way the JCDR is improving with every new volume, with good quality original manuscripts, makes it a quality journal for readers. I must thank and congratulate Dr Hemant Jain, Editor-in-Chief JCDR and his team for their sincere efforts, dedication, and determination for making JCDR a fast growing journal.
Every one of us: authors, reviewers, editors, and publisher are responsible for enhancing the stature of the journal. I wish for a great success for JCDR."



Thanking you
With sincere regards
Dr. Rajendra Kumar Ghritlaharey, M.S., M. Ch., FAIS
Associate Professor,
Department of Paediatric Surgery, Gandhi Medical College & Associated
Kamla Nehru & Hamidia Hospitals Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 462 001 (India)
E-mail: drrajendrak1@rediffmail.com
On May 11,2011




Dr. Shankar P.R.

"On looking back through my Gmail archives after being requested by the journal to write a short editorial about my experiences of publishing with the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR), I came across an e-mail from Dr. Hemant Jain, Editor, in March 2007, which introduced the new electronic journal. The main features of the journal which were outlined in the e-mail were extensive author support, cash rewards, the peer review process, and other salient features of the journal.
Over a span of over four years, we (I and my colleagues) have published around 25 articles in the journal. In this editorial, I plan to briefly discuss my experiences of publishing with JCDR and the strengths of the journal and to finally address the areas for improvement.
My experiences of publishing with JCDR: Overall, my experiences of publishing withJCDR have been positive. The best point about the journal is that it responds to queries from the author. This may seem to be simple and not too much to ask for, but unfortunately, many journals in the subcontinent and from many developing countries do not respond or they respond with a long delay to the queries from the authors 1. The reasons could be many, including lack of optimal secretarial and other support. Another problem with many journals is the slowness of the review process. Editorial processing and peer review can take anywhere between a year to two years with some journals. Also, some journals do not keep the contributors informed about the progress of the review process. Due to the long review process, the articles can lose their relevance and topicality. A major benefit with JCDR is the timeliness and promptness of its response. In Dr Jain's e-mail which was sent to me in 2007, before the introduction of the Pre-publishing system, he had stated that he had received my submission and that he would get back to me within seven days and he did!
Most of the manuscripts are published within 3 to 4 months of their submission if they are found to be suitable after the review process. JCDR is published bimonthly and the accepted articles were usually published in the next issue. Recently, due to the increased volume of the submissions, the review process has become slower and it ?? Section can take from 4 to 6 months for the articles to be reviewed. The journal has an extensive author support system and it has recently introduced a paid expedited review process. The journal also mentions the average time for processing the manuscript under different submission systems - regular submission and expedited review.
Strengths of the journal: The journal has an online first facility in which the accepted manuscripts may be published on the website before being included in a regular issue of the journal. This cuts down the time between their acceptance and the publication. The journal is indexed in many databases, though not in PubMed. The editorial board should now take steps to index the journal in PubMed. The journal has a system of notifying readers through e-mail when a new issue is released. Also, the articles are available in both the HTML and the PDF formats. I especially like the new and colorful page format of the journal. Also, the access statistics of the articles are available. The prepublication and the manuscript tracking system are also helpful for the authors.
Areas for improvement: In certain cases, I felt that the peer review process of the manuscripts was not up to international standards and that it should be strengthened. Also, the number of manuscripts in an issue is high and it may be difficult for readers to go through all of them. The journal can consider tightening of the peer review process and increasing the quality standards for the acceptance of the manuscripts. I faced occasional problems with the online manuscript submission (Pre-publishing) system, which have to be addressed.
Overall, the publishing process with JCDR has been smooth, quick and relatively hassle free and I can recommend other authors to consider the journal as an outlet for their work."



Dr. P. Ravi Shankar
KIST Medical College, P.O. Box 14142, Kathmandu, Nepal.
E-mail: ravi.dr.shankar@gmail.com
On April 2011
Anuradha

Dear team JCDR, I would like to thank you for the very professional and polite service provided by everyone at JCDR. While i have been in the field of writing and editing for sometime, this has been my first attempt in publishing a scientific paper.Thank you for hand-holding me through the process.


Dr. Anuradha
E-mail: anuradha2nittur@gmail.com
On Jan 2020

Important Notice

Original article / research
Year : 2022 | Month : March | Volume : 16 | Issue : 3 | Page : LC20 - LC25 Full Version

Perceived Anxiety and Stress among Pregnant Women during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-sectional Study


Published: March 1, 2022 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.7860/JCDR/2022/52514.16134
Manju Leelavathy, Manjusha Viswanathan, Anil Bindu Sukumaran, Regi Jose, Nazeema Beevi, Susanna John

1. Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Sree Gokulam Medical College and Research Foundation, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. 2. Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sree Gokulam Medical College and Research Foundation, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. 3. Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Sree Gokulam Medical College and Research Foundation, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. 4. Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Sree Gokulam Medical College and Research Foundation, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. 5. Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Sree Gokulam Medical College and Research Foundation, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. 6. Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Sree Gokulam Medical College and Research Foundation, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India.

Correspondence Address :
Dr. Susanna John,
Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Sree Gokulam Medical College
and Research Foundation, Venjaramoodu, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India.
E-mail: suston14@gmail.com

Abstract

Introduction: Mental health and well-being is as important as physical health during pregnancy. But the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused more anxiety and stress among pregnant women. The augmented levels of anxiety and stress may have detrimental effects on antenatal women. Anxiety and depression in pregnancy can lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes like increased risk of abortions, preterm labour and even foetal deaths.

Aim: To assess the anxiety and stress levels among pregnant women attending a tertiary care hospital in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala during the COVID-19 pandemic and to determine the associated factors.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 348 pregnant women attending a tertiary care teaching hospital in Thiruvananthapuram District in Kerala during the period between October 2020 to November 2020 using a validated tool, Pandemic Anxiety Stress Scale for pregnant women (PASSP). Higher scores indicating higher perceived anxiety stress with a maximum score of 60, categorised as normal, mild, moderate and severe with score between 0-14, 15-29, 30-44, and 45-60, respectively. Qualitative variables were expressed in frequency and percentage. Multivariate logistic regression was done to determine the factors associated with anxiety and stress. The p-value <0.05 was considered significant.

Results: Mild anxiety and stress were seen in 160 (45.98%) pregnant women, 89 (25.57%) had moderate and 7 (2.01%) had severe anxiety and stress, 92 (26.44%) women had no anxiety. A total of 145 (41.67%) pregnant women were scared of vertical transmission to their baby. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that residents in urban area and pregnant women with other co-morbidities associated with pregnancy were the two significant factors (p<0.05) associated with anxiety-stress.

Conclusion: About one-fourth of pregnant women had moderate or severe level of anxiety and stress. Antenatal women with pregnancy related diseases and those living in urban area had more anxiety and stress during pandemic. Measures need to be taken by health system to address the mental health of pregnant women.

Keywords

Antenatal women, Coronavirus-2019, Logistic regression, Mental health, Risk factors

The COVID-19 has spread rampantly worldwide, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared it as a pandemic on 11th March 11, 2020 (1). The pandemic control measures and restrictions that followed to reduce the COVID-19 spread like lockdowns, travel restrictions, social distancing, wearing masks, quarantine, isolation, border closures have knowingly or unknowingly, taken a huge toll on the mental health of the people. Pregnancy period should be a time of emotional well-being for the expecting mother. COVID-19 epidemics created stress and anxiety among pregnant population (2). Elevated levels of anxiety and stress may have adverse effect on pregnant women (3). Anxiety and depression in pregnancy can lead to increased risk of abortions, preterm labour and even foetal deaths. Children born to mothers who had high levels of stress in pregnancy may develop behavioural and cognitive problems (4). Pregnant women are concerned not only about themselves but also about the health of their in-utero babies and thus COVID-19 pandemic pose as a risk factor that may increase the stress of pregnant women who are already prone to develop anxiety and depression.

Although many recent studies have proven that there is no risk of foetal transmission of COVID-19 and that pregnant women are not at risk of serious COVID-19 infection, still many are anxious (5),(6),(7),(8). So, women who got pregnant during this COVID-19 pandemic may have had to experience a lot more emotional variance, especially due to the pandemic control measures, which may increase their anxiety and stress and thus affect the health of the developing foetus. Main concerns of pregnant women were that, they were unable to interact with others as earlier, not able to go out, not able to see their dear ones who live far away, unable to engage in regular physical activity, fear of going to hospital for regular antenatal visits and not having authentic information about the effects of COVID-19 on pregnancy (9). Anxiety during pregnancy is estimated to affect between 15% and 23% of women and is associated with increased risk for a range of negative maternal and child outcomes (3),(10). Patients with co-morbidities are more at risk to COVID-19 (11). Naturally, pregnant women with co-morbidities might have higher level of anxiety and may be in need of support than usual. However, it is possible to improve the mental well-being of pregnant women by identifying those who have the symptoms of anxiety and stress and give adequate care and counselling.

To date, there are only limited studies on the psychological state of pregnant women during this pandemic (12),(13),(14),(15),(16). Hence, objectives of this study were to assess the level of anxiety-stress among the pregnant women and to identify the factors associated with anxiety and stress among pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic in Kerala.

Material and Methods

A cross-sectional study was carried out among 348 pregnant women attending the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Outpatient Department (OPD) of a tertiary care hospital at Sree Gokulam Medical College and Research Foundation, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India, between 10th October 2020 to 10th November 2020. Institutional Ethics Committee approval was obtained before data collection (IEC No. SGMC IEC/37/600/06/2020/F).

Inclusion criteria: Pregnant women who were willing to take part in the study.

Exclusion criteria: Antenatal women with eclampsia, preclampsia, placenta previa, any disease to heart or kidney and foetal anomalies were excluded from the study.

Sample size calculation: Sample size was calculated using the formula:

The calculated sample size for this study was 234 with proportion of pregnant women with moderate/severe anxiety-stress obtained as 74% (p) from pilot study on 30 samples; relative precision of 10% (d) and level of significance 1% (α). Eventually 348 women, attending the hospital were included in the study.

Study Procedure

Pregnant women who were willing to participate were directly asked to fill a validated self-administered structured questionnaire in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Outpatient Department (OPD), after obtaining their informed consent. The filled-up questionnaire was collected before leaving the OPD. Consecutive sampling technique was employed. The self-reported questionnaire consisted of two sections. First part is socio-personal and obstetrics characteristics such as age, education level, occupational status, socio-economic level, area of residence, parity, gestational age, living arrangement and history of anxiety disorder (17). Moreover, two more questions to assess the knowledge regarding COVID-19 and its control measures and how they follow the instructions of Government authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Second part contained fifteen items tapping the respondent’s COVID-19 related anxiety and stress as reflected in their perception regarding several aspects of the situation using a validated questionnaire “Pandemic Anxiety Stress Scale for Pregnant women” (PASSP) (18) [Appendix 1]. This tool contains fifteen items to assess the anxiety and stress among pregnant women during COVID-19 pandemic. The reliability coefficient, Cronbach’s alpha of the tool was 0.88 demonstrating good reliability. Response options were “never”, “rarely”, “sometimes”, “often”, and “always” and scored as 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively. The total score ranges from 0 to 60 with higher scores indicating higher perceived anxiety stress. Those women who had a scores ranging from 0-14 were considered as normal, 15-29 as mild, 30-44 as moderate and from 45-60 were considered as severe perceived anxiety-stress. During the study period, 364 women filled the questionnaire, 348 records were included in the analysis after excluding incomplete records.

Statistical Analysis

Statistical analysis was carried out using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software Released 2009, version 18.0. Chicago: SPSS Inc. Qualitative variables were expressed in frequency and percentage. Chi-square/Fisher’s-exact test was done to find out the socio-personal variables associated with anxiety. Binary logistic regression model was used to compute the Odds Ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval among the variables which are found to be significant. Multivariate logistic regression was done on the variables with p-value <0.10 using the forward step-wise method.

Results

The response rate of the study was 348 (95.6%). The mean age of the 348 participants was 26.18 years with standard deviation of 3.67 years with a minimum age of 18 years and maximum age of 39 years. Forty two (12.07%) of antenatal women were in the first trimester, 118 (33.91%) in the second trimester and 188 (54.02%) in the third trimester. There were 203 nulliparous women (58.3%). Pregnancy related co-morbidities were reported by 176 (50.57%) participants. History of past or current anxiety disorder was reported by only 13 (3.73%) participants. The socio-demographic patterns of the study participants are given in (Table/Fig 1).

Among the pregnant women 7 (2.01%) had severe perceived anxiety-stress followed by 89 (25.57%) had moderate and majority 160 (45.98%) had mild anxiety (Table/Fig 2).

The tool opens with a question to assess the self-rated knowledge regarding the measures to prevent COVID-19 infection among them. Among the 348 participants, 171 (49.14%) responded that they had good knowledge followed by 82 (23.56%) opined of very good knowledge. The distribution is given in (Table/Fig 3). The first part of the tool ended with a question to assess how well they follow the recommendations of Government authorities to prevent the spread of disease, 317 (91.09%) replied that they were very much following, 25 (7.18%) were of the opinion that they were rather much following, 6 (1.72%) responded as to some extent/only a little/not at all. Total 208 (59.77%) presumed that COVID-19 become serious if affected in pregnancy. Response of participants to PASSP questionnaire is mentioned in (Table/Fig 4). Anxiety regarding vertical transmission of disease to baby was reported by 145 (41.67%). The association between socio-demographic variables and anxiety is seen in (Table/Fig 5). Gestational age, education, parity and past history of mental illness had no statistically significant association with anxiety-stress.

Univariate logistic regression was done on the significant variables to estimate the OR and 95% CI. Place, occupational status, socio-economic status and pregnancy related co-morbidities of antenatal women were associated with anxiety-stress. Results are given in (Table/Fig 6).

Multivariate logistic regression with forward step-wise method was done on variables which are found to be significant at 10% in the univariate analysis. Results are given in (Table/Fig 7).

Multivariate logistic regression revealed that women residing in corporation area and having co-morbidities associated with pregnancy are the two socio-demographic variables associated with higher levels of anxiety and stress.

Discussion

Pregnancy is most important period of every woman’s life and it is considered as stressful and challenging period for women (19). The pandemic might have caused elevated levels of anxiety and stress among the people specifically the antenatal women. The result of this study showed that 45.98% had mild, 25.57% had moderate and 2.01% had severe anxiety. Based on multiple logistic regression model, place of residence and co-morbidities associated with pregnancy are the two factors affecting anxiety and stress. Anxiety regarding vertical transmission of disease was reported by 41.67%. Global estimated prevalence of prenatal anxiety fluctuates between 14% and 24% (20),(21),(22). But in this study period those with moderate and severe anxiety was 27.58%, higher than the global range (13). The findings of the present study were compared with similar studies and are tabulated in (Table/Fig 8) (12),(13),(14),(15).

A case-control study conducted by Lee DT et al., to study the anxiety among pregnant women during the outbreak of COVID-19 reported that anxiety in pregnant women was slightly higher than those who were pregnant before the outbreak but no significant difference were observed between the two groups (23). In the present study, majority of pregnant women were under the normal/mild category (72.41%). This is consistent with the study conducted by Effati-Daryani F et al., in Iran, in which the normal/mild constitutes 73.7% (12). Trimester of pregnancy is not associated with anxiety which is also in line with study by Effati-Daryani F et al., (12). This may be because pregnant women are following the advice of healthcare professionals such as wearing mask, keeping social distancing, using sanitisers and avoiding public transportation, giving them the confidence to keep the pandemic away. Duranku F and Aksu E conducted a study in Turkey assessed the anxiety using Becks Anxiety Inventory tool reported that pregnant women exhibited higher levels of anxiety than usual (24). It has been reported in a study conducted in Israel that the levels of all aspects of COVID-19 related anxiety were quite high (25). Association between age, education, socio-economic status, gestational weeks and anxiety were also reported, but in the present study only place of residence and co-morbidities related to pregnancy were found to be associated with anxiety which may be because of the educational, cultural and social differences between the two study settings.

Yue C et al., conducted a study in China and observed that out of a total of 308 pregnant women, 14.3% reported the incidence of anxiety which is less than reported in the present study, may be because the study was conducted within one month after confirmation of the first case of COVID-19 in the study setting in China (13). A study conducted in Poland by Stepowicz A et al., concluded that anxiety levels in pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic are significantly higher (14). Age, education, parity and co-morbidities occurred to be statistically not significant whereas history of mental illness, marital status and gestational age were found to be significant, but in the present study only place of residence and co-morbidities associated with pregnancy were found to be significant. Antenatal women living in rural areas were found to be less anxious than those in urban areas. This is because of people in urban areas are using more social media and spending more time on COVID-19 related information.

Furthermore, in Stepowicz A et al., study and the one by Saccone G et al., it was shown that anxiety levels experienced by women in the first trimester are higher than in later stages of pregnancy or postpartum. This is inconsistent with the present study’s findings, where the trimester of pregnancy was not associated with anxiety level (14),(16). Saccone G et al., in his research conducted on a group of 100 pregnant women in Italy, reported more than two-thirds of the women reported higher than normal anxiety which is slightly lower than that of our study (16). In the present study, many pregnant women had apprehension regarding vertical transmission of disease, which is investigated as 41.67% which is also in line with Saccone G et al., (16). Shrestha D et al., conducted a descriptive study in Nepal among 273 antenatal women using the Hamilton anxiety rating scale reported that about 91.6% of the participants were in mild category followed by 7.7% in the mild to moderate category and only 0.7% in the moderate to severe category, which is lesser than that reported in the present study (15).

Sukumaran SAB et al., reported that 24.2% pregnant women in Kerala missed their scheduled antenatal visit atleast once, 12.7% missed twice and 3.2% missed three or more times during the pandemic period. Missing the scheduled hospital visit due to lockdown and restrictions also could be a reason for increased the anxiety and stress among pregnant women (26). In the current study nearly 49.14% women self-rated their knowledge on COVID-19 protective measures as good followed by 23.56% with very good knowledge. In another study in Kerala, it is reported that knowledge among pregnant women regarding COVID-19 and its preventive measures rated as very good by 22.22%, good by 50%, average by 22.22%, limited knowledge by 6.16% and poor by 0.40% by pregnant women (26).

Limitation(s)

The sampling population was from a tertiary care hospital in Trivandrum district in Kerala, which may limit the generalisability.

Conclusion

Among the 348, 96 (27.58%) of pregnant women have moderate/severe level of anxiety and stress. Antenatal women with pregnancy related co-morbidities and living in urban area had more anxiety and stress. The results of the present study help to identify pregnant women at greater risk and provide them with adequate psychological support. These findings recommend actions by healthcare system with the aim of supporting pregnant women to alleviate their anxiety and stress. In the current scenario, this can be achieved best by tele-counselling facility or by setting online groups to attend their concerns and refer those with high level of anxiety or stress to counsellors. This study was conducted in a tertiary care hospital in Kerala. A nation-wide multicentric study can reveal the psychological impact of COVID-19 on antenatal women and the possible consequences during their postpartum period.

Acknowledgement

Authors acknowledge all the pregnant women who participated in this study.

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DOI and Others

DOI: 10.7860/JCDR/2022/52514.16134

Date of Submission: Sep 21, 2021
Date of Peer Review: Dec 16, 2021
Date of Acceptance: Jan 05, 2022
Date of Publishing: Mar 01, 2022

AUTHOR DECLARATATION:
• Financial or Other Competing Interests: None
• Was Ethics Committee Approval obtained for this study? Yes
• Was informed consent obtained from the subjects involved in the study? Yes
• For any images presented appropriate consent has been obtained from the subjects. NA

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