Social determinants of health

Current Projects

  • Assessing Geographic Variability in Key Indicators of Water Quality and Air Quality: A Comparison of Urban vs. Rural Communities
    The purpose of this project is to compare air and water quality indicators across U.S. Census tracts specifically focusing on rural vs. urban differences.
    Research center: Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    Topics: Environmental and agricultural health, Health disparities and health equity, Public health, Social determinants of health
  • Improving Racial Equity for Rural Mothers and Infants
    The purpose of this project is to assess differences in maternal and infant health outcomes and access to perinatal care, among urban and rural counties. We will also compare health outcomes and availability of services, including evidence-based services and supports, between rural counties that are majority Black, Indigenous, and People of Color with those that are majority white.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: American Indians and Alaska Natives, Critical Access Hospitals, Health disparities and health equity, Healthcare access, Hospitals and clinics, Maternal health, Minority health, Rural statistics and demographics, Social determinants of health, Women
  • Living Alone: Rural-Urban Differences in Prevalence, Socio-Demographic Correlates, and Health Needs Across the Lifespan
    This project's purpose is to document rural-urban differences in the prevalence of living alone across different age groups, describe rural-urban differences in the socio-demographic correlates and health needs of individuals living alone, and identify rural-relevant policies and programs to support rural residents living alone across the lifespan.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Social determinants of health
  • Rural Family Physicians' Ability to Address Patients' Social Determinants of Health Needs
    This project examines how practice-level and community-level characteristics are associated with a family physician's assessment of their practice's ability to address patients' social needs.
    Research center: Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Physicians, Poverty, Social determinants of health
  • Rural Health Access: Affordability and Barriers to Care
    Rural-urban comparisons of healthcare access and affordability predate many policy reform efforts aimed at increasing access and decreasing costs—ongoing concerns of rural families. This study will use national health survey data to examine rural-urban differences in access to medical care, access to insurance, and affordability of care.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Health reform, Health services, Healthcare access, Healthcare financing, Private health insurance, Public health, Social determinants of health
  • Rural-Urban Differences in Adverse and Positive Childhood Experiences: Results from the National Survey of Children's Health
    Using the 2016-2018 National Survey of Children's Health, the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and positive childhood experiences (PCEs) exposure in all 50 states and the District of Columbia will be examined and whether ACE and PCE exposure differs between rural and urban residents, by type, by count, and by racial/ethnic group.
    Research center: Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    Topics: American Indians and Alaska Natives, Children and adolescents, Hispanics, Minority health, Social determinants of health
  • Rural/Urban Differences in Health and Health Care Access for LGBT Adults
    The purpose of this project is to identify rural/urban differences in health and health care access for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adults. We will also identify within-rural differences among LGBT adults by race, ethnicity, age, disability status, and socio-economic status. Finally, we will identify examples of best practices supporting LGBT health and wellness in rural areas.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Aging, Cancer, Disabilities, Health disparities and health equity, Healthcare access, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+), Mental and behavioral health, Minority health, Poverty, Rural statistics and demographics, Social determinants of health
  • Specialist Physicians in the Rural and Urban U.S.: Supply, Distribution, and Access
    This project will describe the geographic distribution (rural/urban, regional, and intra-rural) of specialist physicians who care for patients experiencing conditions that account for the top four leading causes of rural mortality. It will also explore how patients in rural communities that lack these specialists obtain needed care.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Cancer, Care management, Chronic diseases and conditions, Frontier health, Health disparities and health equity, Health services, Healthcare access, Physicians, Social determinants of health, Telehealth, Workforce
  • The Direct Care Workforce in Rural Areas
    In this study, we will measure the supply of long-term care services and supports (LTSS) direct care workers relative to older adult populations in rural and urban areas and measure employer and industry turnover among LTSS direct care workers. We will also explore how compensation levels – including wages and employer-based health insurance – are related to and predict worker turnover in the LTSS direct care workforce in rural and urban areas.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Aging, Allied health professionals, Health services, Home health, Long-term care, Post-acute care, Poverty, Rural statistics and demographics, Social determinants of health, Workforce