Fear, anxiety and depression among pregnant women during COVID-19 pandemic: impacts of healthy eating behaviour and health literacy

Thuc C Luong, Thu T M Pham, Minh H Nguyen, Anh Q Do, Linh V Pham, Hoang C Nguyen, Huu C Nguyen, Tung H Ha, Hung K Dao, Manh V Trinh, Thinh V Do, Hung Q Nguyen, Thao T P Nguyen, Cuong Q Tran, Khanh V Tran, Trang T Duong, Hai X Pham, Thao T Do, Phuoc B Nguyen, Anh L TraDung T Phan, Binh N Do, Tuyen Van Duong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has been influencing people's psychological health, especially in pregnant women. We aimed to examine associated factors of fear of COVID-19, anxiety and depression among pregnant women during the pandemic where the impacts of healthy eating behaviour (HES) and health literacy (HL) were emphasized.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted between 14 February 2020 and 31 May 2020 in 18 health centres and hospitals across Vietnam. Data of 518 pregnant women were analysed, including socio-demographics, pregnant-related factors, HES, HL, health-related behaviours, fear of COVID-19 scale (FCoV-19S), anxiety (using the generalized anxiety disorder (GAD-7)) and depression (using the patient health questionnaire with 9 items (PHQ-9)). Regression analysis was utilized to explore the associations.

RESULTS: Pregnant women with higher scores of HES and HL had lower likelihood of anxiety (odds ratio, OR, 0.79; 95% confidence interval (95%CI), 0.73, 0.87; p < .001; and OR, 0.94; 95%CI, 0.90, 0.99; p = .018) and depression (OR, 0.84; 95%CI, 0.78, 0.91; p < .001; and OR, 0.96; 95%CI, 0.91, 0.99; p = .044), respectively. Pregnant women being employed had a lower FCoV-19S score (regression coefficient, B, -1.46; 95%CI, -2.51, -0.40; p = .007). Besides, other significant predictors of anxiety were eating healthier during the pandemic, unchanged or more physical activity, elevated gestational age and smoking. Other significant predictors of depression were eating healthier during the pandemic, elevated gestational age and smoking.

CONCLUSIONS: Among others, HES and HL had positive impacts on protecting pregnant women against anxiety and depression. Improving HES and HL should be addressed as a strategic approach to improve reproductive health during the pandemic.KEY MESSAGEThe COVID-19 pandemic influences antenatal mental disorders with the higher level as opposed to that before the pandemic.Healthy eating behaviour and better health literacy (HL) had critical roles in lowering prenatal anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 crisis.Strategic approaches for improving healthy eating and HL should be recommended for protecting pregnant women from mental health problems during the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2120-2131
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Medicine
Volume53
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

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