Americans' Health Priorities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

26 April 2022
Dr. Melissa Pittaoulis, Dr. Molly Sapia

Dr. Melissa Pittaoulis and Dr. Molly Sapia have published "Americans' Health Priorities During the COVID-19 Pandemic" in Value in Health, a peer-reviewed, international journal publishing original research in the field of health economics. In their article, Dr. Pittaoulis, Dr. Sapia, and their co-authours use survey data to examine the various health-related problems that Americans consider to be most serious, and how those opinions have changed over time. In 2001 and 2013, surveys were conducted in which respondents rated the seriousness of different health-related problems and selected the health issues that they believed most needed research funding. In September 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Drs. Pittaoulis and Sapia conducted an online survey containing the same set of health-related problems, with the only new addition to the survey being COVID-19. Respondents varied in age, sex, and race to replicate the overall American demographic.

Results demonstrated that Americans found cancer, violence, and COVID-19 to be the three most serious issues in 2020, with cancer the dominant problem across all respondent groups and a high priority for research funding. Although COVID-19 quickly became a health threat to Americans, public opinion was divided on the importance of funding to research the virus. In addition, Americans displayed a growing recognition of the powerful impact that mental health and social determinants of health, such as low income and racial discrimination, can have on a person’s well-being. Dr. Pittaoulis and Dr. Sapia’s survey results can offer guidance into the areas the public would value further research in treatment innovations in the future. 

The full text of the article is available here