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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 45  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 87-96

Depression, anxiety, and stress levels in pregnant women who do not have access to regular antenatal services due to existing COVID-19 community quarantine measures and their perception on telemedicine

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chong Hua Hospital, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines

Correspondence Address:
Nicole Marie M. Acriche
4038 Gardenville Subdivision Forest Hills Banawa Cebu City, Mandaue,
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/pjog.pjog_22_21

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BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about mental anguish to the general population. This pandemic has changed the way we deliver healthcare. The enhanced community quarantine measures have caused the institution to close the outpatient department, leading to apprehensions among patients. Shifting to telemedicine to reach out to the patients as an alternative to face-to-face prenatal services is the current practice. OBJECTIVES: This study was conducted to assess the level of depression, anxiety, and stress in pregnant women enrolled under obstetric (OB) service who now have no access to regular antenatal services, as well as to determine the acceptance of telemedicine as a satisfactory alternative to regular prenatal visits. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a descriptive study among patients currently enrolled under OB service in a tertiary hospital in Cebu City and Mandaue City. Respondents have been provided the social media page and given prenatal checks by phone calls from the OB resident doctors since March 2020. A data collection form was filled up online consisting of three parts: (1) the mother's sociodemographic and obstetrical information, (2) a validated tool, the depression, anxiety, and stress-21 scale to assess depression, anxiety, and stress, and (3) query on whether telemedicine has helped alleviate depression, anxiety, and stress. RESULTS: Among the 196 patients surveyed, 21.94% were found to be moderately to severely depressed, 35.2% were moderately to severely anxious, and 8.61% were moderately to severely stressed. About 96.43% of the patients felt that telemedicine alleviated depression, anxiety, and stress during this crucial time. CONCLUSION: The level of depression, anxiety, and stress among the patients was generally normal or low. However, 21.93%, 35.2%, and 8.61% were found to be moderately to severely depressed, anxious, and stressed, respectively. Telemedicine was found to be a satisfactory alternative to regular prenatal visits. Respondents accepted telemedicine for the following reasons: unwilling to go to the hospital for fear of contracting the virus, fear of certain lockdown measures such as no available public transportation and no crossing of borders were allowed.

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