Survivors of the 2003 SARS epidemic were found to have higher rates of adverse mental conditions. This study aimed to assess cognitive function in women delivering during the COVID-19 pandemic, as compared to women who delivered before the COVID-19 pandemic. A cohort study was performed during the immediate postpartum period of women delivering singletons at term. Cognitive function was assessed using an objective neurocognitive test (Symbol Digit Modalities Test SDMT90, SDMT4) and a subjective self-estimation questionnaire (Attention Function Index AFI). The exposed group was recruited during the COVID-19 outbreak in Israel (May 2020), whereas the comparison group consisted of women delivering at the same medical center before the COVID-19 pandemic (2016-2017). Multivariable regression models were constructed to control potential confounders. There were 79 parturients recruited during the COVID-19 pandemic and compared with 123 women who delivered before the COVID-19 pandemic. Women delivering during the COVID-19 pandemic scored lower in the subjective AFI test compared to the unexposed group (70.0 ± 15.4 vs. 75.1 ± 14.7, p = 0.018). However, no significant difference was found in the objective SDMT tests scores. These results remained similar in the multivariable regression models when controlling for maternal age, ethnicity and time from admission to assessment, for AFI, SDMT90 and SDMT4 scores (p = 0.014; p = 0.734; p = 0.786; respectively). While no significant difference was found in objective tests, our findings propose that the exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic is independently associated with a significant decrease in subjective maternal cognitive function during the immediate postpartum period.
- Attention function index (AFI)
- Cognitive function
- Symbol digit modalities test (SDMT)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (all)