Community Health Needs Assessment Data and Community Recovery From COVID-19

Robin G. Molella, Angela L. Murad, Meaghan Sherden, Derrick J. Fritz, Emily N. Sadecki, Graham Briggs, Zhen Wang, M. Hassan Murad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact beyond physical morbidity and mortality. A mid-cycle Community Health Needs Assessment survey was administered in 1 community to generate data to evaluate change in community well-being since the beginning of the pandemic. Methods: Surveys were mailed to 2,000 randomly selected residents in Olmsetd County, Minnesota. The surveys included the WHO Well-being Index (previously included in the 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment) and new subjective questions regarding behavior change. Changes in well-being were calculated using a propensity-matched cohort, and behavior change was reported as proportions of the whole. Data analysis was completed in 2021. Results: Total survey respondents were 569 people in 2018 and 723 people in 2021. Well-being scores from the WHO Well-being Index showed a statistically significant decrease (score reduction of −8.44) from 2018 to 2021. All the 5 questions from the WHO Well-being Index also had an individual significant decrease; with the question regarding interest in life showing the greatest decrease. Individuals reported decreased subjective physical and mental well-being and increased substance use (alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco). Households also reported decreased household incomes and worse household finances since the start of the pandemic. Conclusions: Using the Community Health Needs Assessment infrastructure, 1 community was able to compare prepandemic with postpandemic data, which showed decreased well-being and increased substance use and financial stress. Other public health planners can similarly conduct interval surveys on the basis of their Community Health Needs Assessment questionnaires to tailor ongoing Community Health Improvement Plan programming to postpandemic needs and track community mental health and well-being recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-276
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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