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.