Objective: To investigate the prevalence of anxiety and depression of the pregnant women during the prenatal period, and provide information for further epidemiological study.
Methods: With ethics committee approval, a total of 527 recruited pregnant women from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tongji University Medical School were selected at four hospitals that affiliated to the University. By applying a self-designed questionnaire for hospital anxiety and depression (HAD) scale, we evaluated anxious and depressive symptoms in these women.
Results: The prevalence rates of anxiety and depression in these Chinese pregnant women during prenatal period were 6.8% and 4.8%, respectively, whereas the co-prevalence rate of both anxiety and depression was 3.4%, and anxiety and/or depression 15.0%. The relationship between the prevalence rate of anxiety/depression and the age distribution was proven negatively correlated (χ2 = 1.478, P = 0.016) by the trend chi-squared test. Among all three groups, the prevalence rate of anxiety and depression was highest in the group of below 20 years old, lowest in the group of over 30 years old, and in-between in the group of 20 to 30 years old. Logistic regression analysis showed that lower age was a risk factor (odds ratio (OR) = 10.094, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.418~71.838). Meanwhile, poor educational background (OR = 1.929, 95%CI: 1.101~3.379) was a relevant risk factor as well.
Conclusions: We suggest that introduction of psychological health instruction programs for pregnant women, especially the younger ones, should be strengthened. Besides, the essential intervention measures may be applied if necessary.