Protective Behaviour against COVID 19 and Telemedicine Use among the Pregnant Women during Pandemic Period: A Cross Sectional Study
International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health
Even though pregnant women are more prone to have severe COVID 19, few studies have been conducted on their protective behaviours against this disease in our country during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fear of getting COVID infection may prevent antenatal women from visiting hospitals for routine antenatal checkups and utilization of telemedicine may be an alternative to get connected with their health care providers during the pandemic. Aims: To evaluate the protective behaviour adopted by pregnant
... omen during the COVID pandemic and their utilization of teleconsultation for antenatal care. Methods: A cross- sectional study was conducted among pregnant women attending three selected hospitals in Trivandrum District in Kerala during May to August 2020. The data was collected from a random sample of 252 pregnant women registered in these hospitals using a self-administered semi-structured questionnaire. Results: Around 89% of pregnant women had adopted good practice to protect themselves against the COVID 19. About 94% wore a mask whenever they went outside. About 72% completely avoided crowded place. About 72% had rated themselves to have good or very good knowledge regarding protective measures of COVID 19. Among the pregnant women, 61(24.2%) missed their scheduled antenatal visit once, 32(12.7%) missed twice and 8(3.2% missed three or more times during the pandemic period. Half of the pregnant women utilized telemedicine facility during the pandemic to stay connected with their doctors. But 31% were not aware of telemedicine facility in hospitals, while 1.6% does not have an internet access. Higher age group, current employment status and area of residence was found to be associated with poor practice. Conclusions: Nearly 89% pregnant women adopted good protective measures against COVID19. Measures need to be taken to improve the availability of telemedicine facility in hospitals for antenatal women and to improve awareness about it among public which may help the antenatal women to stay connected with their health care providers during this pandemic.