Psychosocial impacts, preventive behaviours, and concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic for pregnant and non-pregnant women: A matched analysis from the International iCARE Study.

Publication date: Mar 05, 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected physical and psychological health worldwide. Pregnant women were likely more vulnerable to mental health difficulties due to the significant social, psychological, and hormonal changes they experience. During the pandemic, higher rates of antenatal depression and anxiety were observed compared to pre-pandemic rates. Increased mental health symptoms in pregnancy have been associated with adverse outcomes for child development. Understanding pandemic-specific preventive behaviours (i. e., mask use, physical distancing) and concerns may also be linked to maternal psychological well-being. To compare matched pregnant and non-pregnant women (N = 474) to assess COVID-19 psychosocial impacts, preventive behaviours, and concerns. This study used a matched analysis of data collected by the International COVID-19 Awareness and Responses Evaluation (iCARE) Study. Participants were matched on several demographic factors and analyses were adjusted for chronic illness and psychiatric disorder. Linear regression analyses indicated that pregnant women did not significantly differ from matched non-pregnant women for psychosocial impacts (B = 0. 11, SE = 0. 08, p = 0. 178). Those who reported a chronic illness (B=-0. 19, SE = 0. 09, p = 0. 036) or a psychiatric disorder (B=-0. 28, SE = 0. 09, p = 0. 003) were more likely to report more significant psychosocial impacts. Logistic regression analyses indicated that pregnant women were more likely to report staying at home rather than going to work (OR = 2. 01, 95% CI 1. 31-3. 08, p = 0. 002) and being concerned about being infected (OR = 1. 61, 95% CI 1. 05-2. 46, p = 0. 028). Our findings in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic highlight the need to consider interventions targeting women, with chronic illnesses or psychiatric disorders, as they are often the most vulnerable.

Concepts Keywords
Covid COVID-19
Pandemic COVID-19-related concerns
Pregnant Mental health
Therapy Pregnancy
Preventive behaviours


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
disease VO pregnant women
disease MESH chronic illness
disease MESH psychiatric disorder
disease VO report

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