The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Pregnant Women with Perinatal Anxiety Symptoms in Pakistan: A Qualitative Study



Rauf, Nida, Zulfiqar, Shaffaq, Mumtaz, Sidra, Maryam, Hadia, Shoukat, Rabail, Malik, Abid, Rowther, Armaan A, Rahman, Atif ORCID: 0000-0002-2066-4467, Surkan, Pamela J and Atif, Najia
(2021) The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Pregnant Women with Perinatal Anxiety Symptoms in Pakistan: A Qualitative Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (16). 8237 - 8237.

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Abstract

<jats:p>The impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on people with existing mental health conditions is likely to be high. We explored the consequences of the pandemic on women of lower socioeconomic status with prenatal anxiety symptoms living in urban Rawalpindi, Pakistan. This qualitative study was embedded within an ongoing randomized controlled trial of psychosocial intervention for prenatal anxiety at a public hospital in Rawalpindi. The participants were women with symptoms of anxiety who had received or were receiving the intervention. In total, 27 interviews were conducted; 13 women were in their third trimester of pregnancy, and 14 were in their postnatal period. The data were collected through in-depth interviews and analyzed using framework analysis. Key findings were that during the pandemic, women experienced increased perinatal anxiety that was linked to greater financial problems, uncertainties over availability of appropriate obstetric healthcare, and a lack of trust in health professionals. Women experienced increased levels of fear for their own and their baby’s health and safety, especially due to fear of infection. COVID-19 appears to have contributed to symptoms of anxiety in women already predisposed to anxiety in the prenatal period. Efforts to address women’s heightened anxiety due to the pandemic are likely to have public health benefits.</jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Population Health
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2021 07:29
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2022 07:12
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18168237
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3133921