Pandemic fear and psychological resilience in pregnant women after the pandemic – a study in Turkey

Pandemic fear in pregnant women after the pandemic


  • Fatih Akkus necmettin erbakan university
  • Merve Akkuş


Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate the levels of pandemic-related fear, depression, stress and anxiety in pregnant women in different trimesters after the pandemic and to examine their relationship with psychological resilience.

Methods: A total of 250 women were included in the study, including 125 pregnant women and 125 healthy controls. The participants were divided into three groups according
to their trimester of pregnancy. The Depression-Anxiety-Stress Scale 21 (DASS-21), the Epidemic Disease Anxiety Scale (EDAS) and the Short Psychological Resilience Scale (SPRS) were used to measure depression, anxiety, stress and psychological resilience.

Results: Pregnant women had significantly higher DASS-21 total scores [19 (4–42)] than healthy controls [11 (1–42)], P = 0.001. The prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress was 23.2%, 44% and 20% respectively in pregnant women compared to 12.8%, 31.2% and 9.6% in healthy controls. DASS-21 total scores were highest in the 1st (21.2 ± 5.8) and 3rd (22.8 ± 8.9) trimesters and lowest in the 2nd (16.1 ± 6.9) trimesters. The DASS-21 total score was positively correlated with the EDAS total score and the pandemic perception subscale. SPRS total score was negatively correlated with anxiety, stress and DASS-21 total score.

Conclusion: Pregnant women experienced higher levels of depression, anxiety, stress, and pandemic anxiety
than non-pregnant women in the post-pandemic period. Psychological resilience was negatively associated with depression, anxiety, and stress in pregnant women. These findings indicate that the pandemic negatively affects the mental health of pregnant women and the importance of
providing psychological support services to protect their mental health.