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Original Article

A cross-sectional study of the predisposition to anxiety during pregnancy in Saudi Arabia: magnitude and risk factors

Majed Saeed Alshahrani, Nasser Saeed Alqahtani.


Background and Aim: Under normal circumstances, pregnancy is a somewhat stressful condition, but for women who are prone to anxiety, it can be more complex. The objectives of this study were to identify the magnitude of anxiety among pregnant women attending the Najran Maternity & Children’s Hospital (Najran City, Saudi Arabia) and to examine the correlates that may play a role in the development of anxiety during pregnancy.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at Najran Maternity & Children’s Hospital. Data were collected from 410 women through questionnaire-based inter- views to gather psycho-sociodemographic, medical and gestational data. The screening of anxiety was scaled by the generalized anxiety disorder-7 (GAD- 7) scale.

Results: A total of 410 pregnant women participated in this study. In total, 11% of the participants suffered from anxiety during pregnancy. Multivariate regression analysis showed psychiatric illness and feeling of being stressed were significant correlates of anxiety during pregnancy.

Conclusions: The anxiety disorder during pregnancy is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Thus, the proper antenatal care to identify and manage anxiety among pregnant women might benefit the psychological and physical health of pregnant women, their children, and families. It is necessary to consider all possible various biopsychosocial factors that account for anxiety occurrence during pregnancy.

Key words: Anxiety, pregnancy, screening, antenatal care, prevalence

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