Maternal fear of COVID-19 and prevalence of postnatal depression symptoms, risk and protective factors

H. Gluska, N. Shiffman, Y. Mayer, L. Elyasyan, N. Elia, R. Daher, M. Sharon Weiner, H. Miremberg, M. Kovo, T. Biron-Shental, R. Gabbay-Benziv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This is a multicenter prospective observational study, aimed to evaluate the relations between Fear of COVID-19 and postpartum depression (PPD) symptom, that included a cohort of women who delivered during COVID-19 lockdown between 03 and 05/2020. Participants were approached after delivery and asked to complete an online questionnaire. Data was verified with each center's perinatal database. The validated Fear of COVID-19 Scale was in use. PPD was evaluated using the EPDS questionnaire as a categorical (≥13) and as a continuous scale. Pre-existing maternal disability was defined as any prior physiological/psychological chronic health condition. Continuous medical supervision or stress contributing complications at birth included pregnancy and labor related complications. Regression analysis and ROC statistics were utilized to evaluate associations and control for confounders. Overall, 421 women completed the questionnaires. Of them, 53(12.6%) had a high EPDS score. Fear of COVID-19 was positively correlated with PPD symptoms (r = 0.35,p = 0.000), ROC-AUC 0.73, 95% CI 0.65–0.81, p = 0.000. Following adjustment to confounders (maternal age, nulliparity, ethnicity, marital status, financial difficulties, maternal disability, accessibility to medical services, and continuous medical supervision (, the most important factor that correlated with depression symptoms was maternal disability (aOR 4.61,95% CI 1.96–10.82) followed by Fear of COVID-19 (aOR 1.11,95% CI 1.05–1.17). High accessibility to medical services during pregnancy (aOR 0.62, 95%CI 0.45–0.84) was protective for PPD symptoms. To conclude, during the COVID-19 pandemic, maternal disability and Fear of COVID-19 are positively associated with a high EPDS score. High medical accessibility during pregnancy was found as a protective factor for PPD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-219
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
StatePublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • COVID-19
  • Delivery
  • Edinburgh postnatal depression scale (EPDS)
  • Postnatal depression (PPD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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