Social Determinants of Health Discussed with Mothers During Personal Visits Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic




Rachel G. Tabak, Cynthia D. Schwarz, Allison Kemner, Shelly Johnston, Adriana Aramburu, and Debra Haire-Joshu

Type of Product

Journal Publication


  • Parents as Teachers (PAT)


Purpose: This report describes the social determinants of health (SDOH) discussed during personal visits at the time leading up to and during the first 4 months of the pandemic from families across the United States. Methods: This is a secondary analysis from a cluster randomized trial that embeds Healthy Eating and Active Living Taught at Home within Parents as Teachers (PAT). PAT is a national organization serving families prenatal through kindergarten, delivered by parent educators. After parent educators complete visits with mothers in the trial, they complete brief surveys including the question ‘‘Did issues with any of these come up during the visit?’’ with yes/no options for ‘‘Transportation,’’ ‘‘Housing,’’ ‘‘Food insecurity,’’ ‘‘Childcare,’’ ‘‘Financial constraint,’’ or ‘‘Other.’’ Results: Among the 60 mothers with visit records in the months before and during (March–July 2020) COVID-19, 55% identified as Hispanic or Latino and 52% reported food insecurity at baseline. During COVID-19, financial constraints and other SDOH were as common as they were before COVID-19; childcare issues were discussed less frequently and food security was discussed more frequently. When comparing the number of SDOH parent educators reported discussing with mothers in visits that took place before COVID-19 with the number of SDOH discussed in visits during COVID-19, the number of SDOH increased for 41% for mothers identifying as Hispanic or Latino and only 8% for non-Hispanic or Latino mothers. Conclusions: This study can help build an understanding of how COVID-19 is impacting families, and how these impacts may be inequitable. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Program administrative record reviews



For More Information

Tabak, R. G., Schwarz, C. D., Kemner, A., Johnston, S., Aramburu, A., & Haire-Joshu, D. (2021). Social determinants of health discussed with mothers during personal visits before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health Equity5(1), 536-544. https://doi.org/10.1089/heq.2020.0140
Author Contact Information:
Rachel G. Tabak


  • Participant Characteristics