Zeitschrift für Depression und Angst

Zeitschrift für Depression und Angst
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ISSN: 2167-1044


Emotional Changes of Postpartum Women in Greece - A Preliminary Study during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Antigoni Sarantaki*, Eleni Tsoukala, Kleanthi Gourounti, Dimitra Varnakioti, Aikaterini Lykeridou Avramioti

Background: Pregnancy is one of the most essential experiences in a woman’s life, with unprecedented and crucial biological and emotional changes; 13% of all women’s psychiatric clinic admissions take place during this period. The risk for suicide is increased by 70 times.

Objective: To investigate the psychological changes observed in multiparas, during the postnatal period, that coincided with the pandemic of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Research Methodology: Our sample constituted 219 low risk multiparous women, who went through the early postnatal period (1st - 3rd day following birth) and used maternity services at central maternity hospitals in Athens, Greece. After 40–60 days, the same questionnaires were redistributed electronically or by post, to investigate the postnatal psychological changes. We used the STAI, EPDS, and a demographic questionnaire. Statistical analysis was performed using the SPSS software.

Results: The mean value of the STAI scale and in particular the S dimension of anxiety state, was estimated at 36.09, with a standard deviation of 8.36. The range of values of the STAI scale, is smaller. The average values of the EPDS scale, for different ages, range between 5 and 8.33, with little variation for ages under 25 years. There is a statistically significant correlation, between the two scales with a Pearson index value of R = 0.700. Finally, there was no statistically significant effect at 95% of any of the demographic characteristics, in both the STAI and EPDS scales.

Conclusion and Recommendations: Our sample’s emotions, are not adversely affected during the postpartum period and rarely experienced, or manifested, self-destructive thoughts or actions, respectively, even when facing a nationwide, COVID-19-related lockdown. For future research, it is recommended to use a larger sample of women, who gave birth during a crisis, for a safer generalization of the findings