Development of Anxiety Symptoms in Obstetric Patients during Current Covid 19 Crisis
Objective: To assess the development of anxiety symptoms in obstetric patients during the current COVID-19 crisis.
Methodology: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Fauji Foundation Hospital, Rawalpindi, for six months from March 2020 to August 2020. A total of 300 pregnant women attending antenatal clinics were included in the study using the non-probability purposive sampling technique. Using DMS 5 criteria (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition) to assess anxiety, an 8-items self-administered questionnaire on a 2-point Likert scale (1=agree.2=disagree) was prepared to assess anxiety due to COVID-19 pandemic in pregnant women. All women having a single alive fetus on ultrasonography, with a history of at least two antenatal visits were included in the study. The frequencies of the outcome variable were noted along with age, gestational age, parity and education status of the women.
Results: A total of 300 (n=300) pregnant women participated in the study. The mean age of the women was 31.71+5.26; mean parity was 3.18 +3.5 and mean gravidity was 2.18+1.74 with a mean gestational age of 29.4+7.57. In our study, almost half of the participants had anxiety symptoms such as difficulty in concentrating on their daily routine activities (56%), fear that COVID-19 would infect them and their families was in 56% of the cases. Increased muscle fatigue (51%), sleep problems (50%), upsetting thoughts, restlessness (47%) and aggressive behaviour was found in 37% of cases.
Conclusion: Our study findings suggest the development of anxiety symptoms in pregnant women due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The most frequent symptoms were difficulty in concentrating on routine daily work and the fear of acquiring COVID-19 by themselves as well as by their families.
Keywords: Anxiety, COVID-19, Pandemic
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