Article Text

Download PDFPDF
529 Risk perception and communication for pregnant women at the beginning of the pandemic—lessons learned for future actions
  1. Fatjona Kamberi
  1. Scientific Research Centre for Public Health, University of Vlore, Vlore, Albania


Introduction/Background Pregnant women were at an increased risk of severe illness and poor newborn outcomes during the pandemic. However, at the start of the pandemic, there was no evidence-based information on risk communication and the impact of COVID-19 on their health. The aim was to assess the knowledge, risk perception, and communication of pregnant women about COVID-19.

Methodology An online survey of pregnant women in Vlora, Albania, was conducted for about 4 weeks in April 2020. A data questionnaire compiled with questions based on the World Health Organization's (WHO) ’Q&A on COVID-19 and pregnancy and childbirth’ (WHO 2020) was used for data collection. The participants were informed by email, and their participation was voluntary. Women could complete the questionnaire only once.

Results 75 pregnant women participated in the survey, for an estimated response rate of 21%. 47 women belonged to the age range of 18–30. For 39 women, this was their first pregnancy. 49% reported that pregnant women have not higher risk of contracting COVID-19 compared to other people. Frequent hand washing with water and soap or alcohol, maintaining distance from others, avoiding overcrowded places, avoiding touching the nose, eyes, and mouth with hands, and practicing respiratory hygiene were the best protections for pregnant women from viruses, as reported by 60% of the participants. Treatment with respect and dignity, good communication with health care staff, and appropriate strategies for pain management were some of the types of care mentioned to be offered to pregnant women suspected or confirmed with COVID-19. There were ambiguities about breastfeeding if the mother was infected with COVID-19. Furthermore, all pregnant women expressed low-risk perceptions.

Conclusion Pregnant women during health emergencies are more exposed to risk. The design of preparedness and resilience tools tailored to this target population is recommended to improve their engagement and communication of related risks.

Disclosures None.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.