In a new study published in Psychiatry Research, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital surveyed pregnant women and those who had recently given birth, finding concerning rates of depression, generalized anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, which were found to be exacerbated by COVID-19-related grief and health worries. The researchers launched the Perinatal Experiences and COVID-19 Effects Study (PEACE) to better understand the mental health and well-being of pregnant and postpartum individuals within the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among 1,123 of these women surveyed between May 21 and August 17, 2020, the researchers found that more than 1-in-3 (36.4 percent) reported clinically significant levels of depression. Before the pandemic, rates of perinatal depression (depression occurring during or after pregnancy) were generally considered to be 15-20 percent. Furthermore, 1-in-5 (22.7 percent) reported clinically significant levels of generalized anxiety, and 1-in-10 (10.3 percent) reported symptoms above the clinical threshold for PTSD.
Release date: 01 December 2020
Source: Brigham and Women’s Hospital