Transitioning to virtual interaction during the COVID-19 pandemic: Impact on the family connects postpartum home visiting program activity.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

In this paper, we analyze program activity for Family Connects (FC), an evidence-based postpartum home-visiting intervention, during the COVID-19 pandemic. When the pandemic began, FC transitioned to a virtual protocol which maintains key psychosocial components of the in-person protocol and adjusts health assessments to address the lack of in-person contact. Program performance is contrasted for periods before the pandemic onset (April 2019-March 2020) and after the onset (April 2020-March 2021), involving 10,280 scheduled visits and 6696 visited families (46% non-Hispanic white; 20% non-Hispanic Black; 23% Hispanic; and 10% other race). Post-pandemic onset, FC program participation rates were at 89.8% of pre-pandemic levels. Home visitors observed post-onset increases in families' concerns about home safety but declines in families' needs related to infant care. Community connections were facilitated for 42.9% of visited families post-pandemic onset compared to 51.1% pre-pandemic onset. We conclude that post-pandemic onset virtual delivery rates of FC declined but are high enough to merit continued implementation during a period when some families will decline in-person visits. When in-person visits are deemed safe per public health guidelines, the findings suggest a hybrid approach that could maximize program outreach by prioritizing in-person contact and offering virtual delivery as a second choice.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • RybiƄska, A; Best, DL; Goodman, WB; Bai, Y; Dodge, KA

Published Date

  • January 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 43 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 159 - 172

PubMed ID

  • 34997622

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8852842

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-0355

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/imhj.21953


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States