The relationship among fear and anxiety of COVID-19, pregnancy experience, and mental health disorder in pregnant women: A structural equation model

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Brain Behav. 2020 Sep 23:e01835. doi: 10.1002/brb3.1835. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Coronavirus pandemic causes stress and anxiety for pregnant women worldwide. The present study was conducted for the path analysis of the relationship among fear and anxiety caused by coronavirus, pregnancy experience, and the mental health of pregnant women.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 222 pregnant women who were referred to Kamali Hospital in Alborz province in 2020. The eligible individuals entered the study through convenience sampling, and data were collected using five questionnaires including the Fear of COVID-19 Scale, the Anxiety of COVID-19 Scale, the pregnancy experiences Scales, Depression Anxiety Stress scale, and demographic checklist. The obtained data were then analyzed using SPSS-16 and Amos software.

RESULTS: According to results of the path analysis, the anxiety of COVID-19 and concerns during pregnancy were variables that were positively and significantly correlated with mental health only through one path, which was direct, and anxiety of COVID-19 had also the highest positive direct correlation among them (B = 0.32). The next variable was the happiness during pregnancy experiencing, which had a significantly negative and direct correlation with mental health disorder (B = 0.29). Moreover, fear of COVID-19 through the mediating concerns of pregnancy experiences was shown to have a significant positive relationship with mental health through an indirect path (B = 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Based on the result of this study, it is necessary to pay more attention to the mental health of pregnant women during a pandemic. In addition, it is recommended to provide a virtual training group to reduce anxiety caused by coronavirus and pregnancy concerns, as well as emphasizing the feeling of enjoying happiness caused by pregnancy experience during a pandemic.

PMID:32969190 | DOI:10.1002/brb3.1835