Assessing levels of anxiety and Psychological Distress among Pregnant Women in a South-west State of Nigeria: A descriptive Cross-sectional, Exploratory Study


Mental health problems affect nearly one-fifth of pregnant women during prenatal and postpartum periods; being particularly vulnerable to psychological distress and anxiety because of immense physiologic and psychosocial changes associated with pregnancy. Screening pregnant women for psychological wellbeing remains ignored. This study assessed the levels of anxiety and psychological distress among pregnant women Attending Antenatal Clinic (ANC) at a General Hospital in Oyo State, southwest Nigeria. Adopting the quantitative descriptive survey method, data were collected from a consecutive sample of 102 pregnant women using modified versions of the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K-10) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) Scale. The data collected were analyzed descriptively using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23.0. Results reveal that over 40% of the women reported moderate to severe psychological distress (21.6% “moderate disorder” and 20.6% “severe disorder.”) with another 36.3% reporting “mild disorder;” Only 21.6% of them were “likely to be well.” On the anxiety scale, a large majority (87.3%) of the women reported low level of anxiety, and the remaining 12.7% moderate anxiety; none reported any worrying level of anxiety. Further descriptive analysis suggests varying anxiety and psychological distress levels could be related to participants’ socio-demographic variables. The study shows levels of psychological distress and anxiety are being experienced by many pregnant women, portending possible high risks of developing mental health disorders during and after pregnancy. The antenatal clinics and periods should be the most suitable places and times for routine and periodic assessment of psychological distress and anxiety in all pregnant women for early interventions. More expanded and intervention-focused studies are however necessary as next steps, as this study is essentially exploratory.



: Antenatal care; Anxiety; Expectant mother; Psychological distress; Maternal mental health; Pregnant women


Citation Anyebe EE, Olubiyi SK, Jibril UN, Aluko JO, Ibraheem MA, et al. (2023) Assessing Levels of Anxiety and Psychological Distress among Pregnant Women in a South-west State of Nigeria: A Descriptive Cross-Sectional, Exploratory Study. Adv Appl Sci Res. 14:106.