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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 217-221

Psychological distress in pregnant women: A cross-sectional study


1 Department of Psychiatry, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Kochi, Kerala, India
2 Department of General Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Kochi, Kerala, India
3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Kochi, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. K P Lakshmi
Department of Psychiatry, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Kochi - 682 041, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/amhs.amhs_174_22

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Background and Aim: The morbidity and mortality caused by COVID-19, the economic crisis brought about by the pandemic, and the health policies laid down for the containment of the virus, have a negative effect on the mental health of the people. Pregnant women represent a high-risk group, being particularly susceptible to stress and emotional instability. This study aims to estimate the prevalence of psychological distress in pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional observational study done in a tertiary care center in Kerala between June and July 2021. All the pregnant women attending the obstetric department, after taking their informed consent were assessed with a pro forma to collect their sociodemographic details and Kessler Psychological Distress Scale was used to assess their psychological distress. The association between sociodemographic variables and distress was assessed using the Chi-square test. Results: A total of 66 pregnant women were studied. Fourteen (21.2%) were noted to have psychological distress. Three (4.5%) and 6 (9.1%) were in moderate and severe distress, respectively. None of these women were known to have any psychiatric illness. Psychological distress was more prevalent among homemakers compared to employed pregnant women (P = 0.134), more in primi, compared to second and third gravida (P = 0.825) and more in pregnant women in the second trimester compared to women in the first and third trimesters (P = 0.296). Conclusion: Psychological distress is highly prevalent in pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is an urgent need for health policies to decrease its negative impact on the health of pregnant women, mothers, and children.


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