Background: Evidence concerning the impact of COVID-19-related stress exposure on prenatal attachment in pregnant women is unknown. In this study we sought to assess the effect of psychological distress and risk perception of COVID-19 on prenatal attachment in a Italian sample of pregnant women. Methods: 1179 pregnant women completed an anonymous online survey and self-report questionnaires measuring socio-demographic and obstetric characteristics, psychological distress (STAI Form Y-1-2 and BDI-II), prenatal attachment (PAI) and risk perception of COVID-19. Data were collected from March 2020 to April 2020 referring to the national lockdown period. Results: After adjusting for the socio-demographic and obstetric factors in the multivariable analysis, we found out the state anxiety was shown to be a significant predictor (p < 0001) of prenatal attachment. Moreover, the COVID-19-risk perception positively moderate the relationship between trait anxiety and prenatal attachment (p=0008), indicating that when COVID-19-risk perception is high, the effects of trait anxiety on prenatal attachment is attenuated. The synergistic effect between STAI Form Y-1 and COVID-19-risk perception index on PAI is partially mediated by STAI Form Y-2 score. Conclusions: Findings from this study showed that state anxiety related to COVID-19 outbreak in pregnant women may affect the prenatal attachment process of the expectant mother negatively. However, an adequate and functional perception of COVID-19 could enhance prenatal attachment. These results underline the importance of monitoring the prenatal attachment process and the mother's mental health during pandemics, to safeguard maternal and infant mental health.

Effects of maternal psychological distress and perception of COVID-19 on prenatal attachment in a large sample of Italian pregnant women

Craig F.;Tenuta F.;Costabile A.
2021

Abstract

Background: Evidence concerning the impact of COVID-19-related stress exposure on prenatal attachment in pregnant women is unknown. In this study we sought to assess the effect of psychological distress and risk perception of COVID-19 on prenatal attachment in a Italian sample of pregnant women. Methods: 1179 pregnant women completed an anonymous online survey and self-report questionnaires measuring socio-demographic and obstetric characteristics, psychological distress (STAI Form Y-1-2 and BDI-II), prenatal attachment (PAI) and risk perception of COVID-19. Data were collected from March 2020 to April 2020 referring to the national lockdown period. Results: After adjusting for the socio-demographic and obstetric factors in the multivariable analysis, we found out the state anxiety was shown to be a significant predictor (p < 0001) of prenatal attachment. Moreover, the COVID-19-risk perception positively moderate the relationship between trait anxiety and prenatal attachment (p=0008), indicating that when COVID-19-risk perception is high, the effects of trait anxiety on prenatal attachment is attenuated. The synergistic effect between STAI Form Y-1 and COVID-19-risk perception index on PAI is partially mediated by STAI Form Y-2 score. Conclusions: Findings from this study showed that state anxiety related to COVID-19 outbreak in pregnant women may affect the prenatal attachment process of the expectant mother negatively. However, an adequate and functional perception of COVID-19 could enhance prenatal attachment. These results underline the importance of monitoring the prenatal attachment process and the mother's mental health during pandemics, to safeguard maternal and infant mental health.
COVID-19 risk perception
Maternal–fetal attachment
Prenatal attachment
Psychological distress
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/324182
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