Table_7_Actual Causes of Death in Relation to Media, Policy, and Funding Attention: Examining Public Health Priorities.DOCX (15.16 kB)

Table_7_Actual Causes of Death in Relation to Media, Policy, and Funding Attention: Examining Public Health Priorities.DOCX

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posted on 07.07.2020, 04:14 by Meagan R. Pilar, Amy A. Eyler, Sarah Moreland-Russell, Ross C. Brownson

Despite numerous public health advancements over the last century, we continue to under-invest in prevention and public health efforts. As a result, one of the most challenging aspects of public health is prioritizing the use of limited resources. Building on the foundation of previous researchers, the goal of this exploratory study was to provide current estimates for the actual causes of death, media attention, policy focus, and research funding in the United States. In addition, we sought to calculate and compare media attention, policy attention, and research funding trends to better assess the nation's prioritization of health issues. Using a systematic approach, we searched available databases, including Media Cloud, Nexis Uni, Congress.gov, and the Department of Health and Human Services Tracking Accountability in Government Grants System from January 1, 2010-December 31, 2019 and compared how the actual causes of death in the United States align with health-related media attention, policy attention, and federal spending. Overall, our findings suggest that our priorities are not well-aligned with the actual causes of death. Certain actual causes appear to be consistently misaligned across media, legislative, and financial sectors (e.g., tobacco). This work highlights the importance of multiple strategies—media coverage, national legislation, and government spending—as indicators of public health attention and priorities. These results may inform discussions about how to best allocate U.S. public health resources to better align with the actual causes of death.

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