A Systematic Review of the Prevalence of Mental Health Disorders in Pregnant Women during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors

1 Fellowship of Pediatric Intensive Care, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Department of Reproductive Health and Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Neonatal and Maternal Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

4 General Physician, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

5 Pediatrician, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

6 Department of Midwifery, Firoozabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Firoozabad, Iran.

10.22038/ijp.2020.52315.4155

Abstract

Background
There is not enough evidence to estimate the prevalence of depression and anxiety in pregnant women during the COVID-19 outbreak. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of mental health disorders among pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Materials and Methods: In the present systematic review, a search process was conducted to screen the databases of ProQuest, Scopus, EMBASE, Web of Science, and MEDLINE for the relevant articles published between 2019 and 2020. The quality of the articles was assessed by the STROBE checklist.
Results: From the relevant studies, 15 were selected for review. The results showed the prevalence of anxiety was between 3.8 to 17.5% in Asian countries, with the lowest in Iran (3.8%) and the highest in Sri Lanka (17.5 %). The prevalence of anxiety was from 23.9 to 72% in Western countries, with the lowest in the USA (23%) and the highest in Canada (72%). In two of the studies in China, the prevalence of anxiety was from 3.09 to 29.6% and of depression from 5.2 to 40%. The incidence rate of self-harm thoughts as a result of the epidemic was significantly high (RR=2.85, 95% CI= 1.70, 8.85, P=0.005).
Conclusion
The prevalence of anxiety was from 3.8 to 17.5% in Asian countries and from 23.9 to 72% in Western countries. The prevalence of depression was from 5.2 to 40%. Moderate levels of anxiety and depression were reported in Western countries compared with Asian countries. Depression and anxiety should be regularly screened in obstetrics and gynecology wards following the current epidemic to ensure optimal mental health during pregnancy and infancy.

Keywords