Publication date: Jul 10, 2023
Studies have reported an increase in mental health disorders during the perinatal period as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the quarantine restrictions imposed. The effects of untreated maternal mental health have an adverse impact on the mother, the development of the baby, and the family system. Determinants of health, recent natural disasters, and disparities in perinatal care that impact perinatal women in Puerto Rico place them at a higher risk of mental health difficulties. It is therefore, of extreme importance, to evaluate the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on this vulnerable population. This is a cross-sectional observational study that interviewed 100 women in the perinatal period during the COVID-19 lockdown measures in Puerto Rico. Participants completed the Spanish version of the COVID-19 Perinatal Experiences (COPE-IS) questionnaire and assessments of clinical depression (PHQ-9) and anxiety (GAD-7). The prevalence of moderate to severe risk of depression in this sample is 14%, while 17% showed clinical signs of anxiety. Concerns about social impact and the quarantine mandate were the most common stressors reported. Additionally, our sample reported concerns about the impact the pandemic would have on future employment and finances. Perinatal women showed significantly higher prevalence of depression and anxiety during the COVID -19 pandemic when compared to the mental health prevalence of the general population pre-pandemic in Puerto Rico. The concerns identified during the pandemic provide information on the importance of a biopsychosocial approach to perinatal mental health care.
|Mother||perinatal mental health|