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Health  2024 

Risk and Protective Factors Associated with Depression and Anxiety among Pregnant Women during the COVID-19 Pandemic

DOI: 10.4236/health.2024.161004, PP. 37-51

Keywords: Depression, Anxiety, Factors, Pregnancy, COVID-19 Pandemic

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Abstract:

Background: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted perinatal women’s mental health. However, protective factors associated with depression among pregnant Japanese women during the pandemic have not been reported. Purpose: The present study investigated the risk and protective factors associated with depression and anxiety among pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: An online questionnaire was administered to 157 pregnant women between October 2022 and May 2023 at two general hospitals in Japan. The Japanese versions of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and General Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) were used to assess symptoms of depression and anxiety. The χ2 test or Fishers exact test and multivariate logistic regression model were used to examine factors associated with depression and anxiety among pregnant women. Results: Overall, 47.1% and 35.7% of the pregnant women reported depressive and anxiety symptoms, respectively. A “history of mental illness” was a risk factor for depression and anxiety among pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, unmarried status was a risk factor for anxiety among pregnant women, whereas outdoor and indoor exercises were protective factors against depression and anxiety, respectively. Conclusions: Exercise may have protected pregnant women from depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Encouraging exercise may help maintain the mental health of pregnant women who do not have exercise restrictions.

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