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Taubman–Ben-Ari, O., et al (2020). Distress and anxiety associated with COVID-19 among Jewish and Arab pregnant women in Israel

Bibliographic details:

Taubman–Ben-Ari, O., Chasson, M., Abu Sharkia, S., & Weiss, E. (2020). Distress and anxiety associated with COVID-19 among Jewish and Arab pregnant women in Israel. Journal of reproductive and infant psychology38(3), 340-348.



Introduction: The fact that little is yet known about the possible implications of COVID-19 for pregnancy, puts pregnant women at greater risk of heightened anxiety and psychological distress. In this study, we sought to explore the psychological distress and COVID-19-related anxiety of pregnant women during the crisis.

Methods: Israeli Jewish and Arab pregnant women (n = 336) aged 20–47 completed a set of questionnaires during the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Results: The levels of all COVID-19-related anxieties were quite high (much or very much), with the highest regarding public places and transportation (87.5%, 70%, respectively), followed by concerns over the possible infection of other family members and the health of the foetus (71.7%, 70%, respectively), going for pregnancy check-ups (68.7%,), being infected themselves, and the delivery (59.2%, 55.4%, respectively). Although COVID-19-related anxieties were shared by pregnant women characterised by diverse sociodemographic variables, with very small nuances, Arab women were more anxious about each of the issues than Jewish women.

Discussion: Our findings highlight the importance of assessing anxiety and distress in pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the need to be attentive to the double stress of pregnant women in times of crisis and to the potential vulnerability of subgroups, such as cultural minorities.