Examining the relationship between perinatal anxiety, COVID-19 phobia and birth type preferences: A cross-sectional study
Güdül Öz, Hatice
MetadataShow full item record
Aim: To examine the relationship between the COVID-19 phobia and perinatal anxi-ety levels and birth type preferences of pregnant women in the third trimester.Design: This was designed a cross-sectional study using the non- random convenience sampling method following the STROBE checklist.Methods: The research was conducted with 315 pregnant women from April to May 2021. Data were collected using a personal information form, the COVID-19 Phobia Scale, and the Perinatal Anxiety Screening Scale (PASS).Results: We found a positive and moderate correlation between the total scores for peri-natal anxiety and COVID-19 phobia. During the COVID-19 pandemic, 4.1% of the partici-pants changed their birth type preferences and this change was statistically significant according to McNemar's test. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the women changed their birth type preferences in favour of caesarean section. However, there was no statisti-cally significant difference between those who changed their birth type preferences and those who did not in terms of perinatal anxiety or COVID-19 phobia levels. Women with no access to prenatal follow-up visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic had higher mean PASS scores and higher mean scores for the perfectionism, control and trauma subscale. The scores for general worry and specific fears were lower among individuals who had obtained information about birth types in prenatal follow-up visits. Also, perinatal anxi-ety and COVID-19 phobia levels were higher among pregnant women who were worried about giving birth in hospital compared to those who were not worried.Conclusion: We conclude that COVID-19 phobia has increased women's perinatal anxiety, causing them to change their birth type preferences in favour of caesarean section.Relevance to clinical practice: We recommended that healthcare professionals take COVID-19 phobia and perinatal anxiety into account when counselling pregnant women about birth types to improve prenatal care.No patient or public contribution: No patient or public contribution was required to design, to outcome measures or undertake this research. Patients/members of the public contributed only to the data collection. Data were obtained from pregnant women in the third trimester, who came to a regional hospital-affiliated obstetrics polyclinic for routine prenatal follow-up visits.