Use of Mobile Applications by Pregnant Women and Levels of Pregnancy Distress During the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic

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Matern Child Health J. 2021 Apr 30:1-12. doi: 10.1007/s10995-021-03162-y. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Pregnancy and postpartum periods require continuity in care and counseling. During the pandemic process, telemedicine and telenursing applications have been used to meet the need for healthcare throughout the world, and skills in this area have been developed. This study aimed to identify the use of mobile applications by pregnant women in receiving health information, counseling, and healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic and their distress levels during pregnancy.

METHODS: This research was a descriptive cross-sectional study. The study was designed as an online survey administered between August 2020 and November 2020 via a questionnaire and the Tilburg Pregnancy Distress Scale (TPDS). A total of 376 women agreed to participate in the study. Women were included if they were literate, had a gestational age of ≥ 12th weeks, and accommodated within the Republic of Turkey’s boundaries.

RESULTS: A total of 77.9% of participants reported using pregnancy-related mobile applications during the pandemic. The mean total Tilburg Pregnancy Distress Scale score was 24.09, and 37.2% of the participants were found to be at risk for high distress according to the cut-off point. There was a significant difference between the change in receiving health services and the anxiety about coronavirus transmission and the Tilburg Pregnancy Distress Scale total score. (p ≤ 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: This study helped understand the pandemic’s impact on pregnancy distress and usage of mobile health applications by pregnant women during the pandemic. Also, our results indicate that a decrease in pregnant women receiving health services during this period. Mobile health applications appear to be usable for prenatal follow-ups because mobile applications are common among pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PMID:33929653 | PMC:PMC8085653 | DOI:10.1007/s10995-021-03162-y