Clinical and Translational Research
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Psychiatr. Jul 19, 2021; 11(7): 365-374
Published online Jul 19, 2021. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v11.i7.365
Role of perceived family support in psychological distress for pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic
Yan-Ni Wang, Zhao-Jing Yuan, Wan-Chun Leng, Lu-Yao Xia, Ruo-Xi Wang, Ze-Zhi Li, Yong-Jie Zhou, Xiang-Yang Zhang
Yan-Ni Wang, Department of Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health, School of Public Health, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, Gansu Province, China
Zhao-Jing Yuan, Wan-Chun Leng, Qingdao Mental Health Center, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266000, Shandong Province, China
Lu-Yao Xia, CAS Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 10000, China
Ruo-Xi Wang, School of Medicine and Health Management, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430070, Hubei Province, China
Ze-Zhi Li, Department of Neurology, Ren Ji Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200127, China
Yong-Jie Zhou, Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Shenzhen Kangning Hospital, Shenzhen 510810, Guangdong Province, China
Xiang-Yang Zhang, CAS Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Author contributions: Zhang XY and Zhou YJ designed the study, and jointly directed this work; Yuan ZJ, Leng WC, Xia LY and Wang RX were responsible for collecting the data; Zhou YJ and Wang YN collected literatures, cleaned data and did statistical analysis; Wang YN wrote the manuscript; Zhang XY and Li ZZ reviewed and revised the manuscript.
Supported by Lanzhou Science and Technology Project, No. 2020-XG-71.
Institutional review board statement: The protocol of the study was approved by the ethics committee of the Institutional Review Board of the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Informed consent statement: All participants provided the informed consent before participating in the study.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Xiang-Yang Zhang, MD, Professor, CAS Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 16 Lincui Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China.
Received: February 10, 2021
Peer-review started: February 10, 2021
First decision: May 5, 2021
Revised: May 8, 2021
Accepted: June 17, 2021
Article in press: June 17, 2021
Published online: July 19, 2021
Research background

Pregnant women may be more vulnerable to psychological distress during major life-threatening public health events. The spread of the corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is likely to cause greater psychological stress, which may cause extra psychological problems for pregnant women.

Research motivation

The spread of the COVID-19 may cause extra psychological problems for pregnant women. Women who have better supportive networks of family may experience less psychological stress. However, the literatures on the role of family support in maternal psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic was limited.

Research objectives

This study aimed to clarify the potential role of family support on psychological distress for women during pregnancy stages at the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic.

Research methods

The authors retrospectively collected socio-demographic variables, information of pregnancy, and information of psychological distress and the perceived family support of pregnant women in China.

Research results

Among 2232 pregnant women, 45.4% women reported having at least one psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic. The women who reported having inadequate family support were more likely to suffer from multiple psychological distress than women received adequate family support. Perceived family support was negatively correlated with depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and PTSD symptoms.

Research conclusions

Family support was significantly negatively correlated with psychological distress. Adequate family support has a positive impact on the mental health of pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research perspectives

Adequate family support is important for maternal mental health. Further research is needed to understand the role and mechanism of this factor in order to utilize family support to help pregnant women in major life-threatening public health events.