“I just wanted money for food”: a qualitative study of the experiences of Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic

Publication Name

Journal of Public Health (Germany)


Aim: The social and economic impacts that have occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic can disproportionally affect those already experiencing poverty or at risk of poverty. Therefore, this study sought to explore the relationship between well-being and social determinants of health among Australian adults during the pandemic. Subject and Methods: Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 20 participants, aged 21–65 years, from various socioeconomic areas. Results: Three main themes emerged from the analysis of the data: food security; housing outcomes; and psychological and emotional impact. Participants in low socioeconomic areas struggled with food security, having to access food banks, which was precipitated by employment loss during the pandemic. Some female participants experienced worsening inequalities and lack of financial and housing stability, affecting their overall well-being. Conclusion: This study identified that there was a clear social divide between adults living in low socioeconomic areas compared with those living in high socioeconomic areas, with participants in low socioeconomic areas faring worse in terms of exacerbated social determinants of health and consequent impacts on well-being.

Open Access Status

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