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Effective Communication to Improve Decision Making About Health Care Plans

Information source: Washington University School of Medicine
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Health Literacy; Health Insurance; Health Services Accessibility

Intervention: Plain Language (Behavioral); Plain Language + Visuals (Behavioral); Plain Language + Narratives (Behavioral)

Phase: N/A

Status: Completed

Sponsored by: Washington University School of Medicine

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Mary Politi, PhD, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: The Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine

Summary

The overall goal of the study is to better understand how communication strategies can help people make decisions about health insurance plans. This study aims to:

- (Aim 1) Examine currently uninsured individuals' understanding of terminology and

details of health insurance plans;

- (Aim 2) Apply three recommended strategies for communicating information about health

insurance plans;

- (Aim 3) Test the effects of these strategies in a randomized experiment.

Clinical Details

Official title: Effective Communication to Improve Decision Making About Health Care Plans

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Subject), Primary Purpose: Prevention

Primary outcome: Knowledge

Secondary outcome:

Uncertainty

Satisfaction

Choice

Detailed description: First, this study will examine people's understanding of health insurance plan terminology and details through qualitative interviews with 50 uninsured individuals. These responses will then lead to the development of three communication strategies to improve understanding of health insurance plans: 1) plain language, 2) plain language plus visual displays and 3) plain language plus narratives. The strategies will the be pilot tested with 30 individuals to assess readability, clarity of language, and layout. The revised communication strategies will be tested with 280 individuals in a randomized experiment. Individuals will be randomly assigned to either a plain language condition alone, a plain language + visual displays condition, and a plain language + narrative condition.

Eligibility

Minimum age: 18 Years. Maximum age: 64 Years. Gender(s): Both.

Criteria:

Inclusion Criteria:

- Must be without health insurance currently

- Must have been without health insurance at some point in the past 12 months

- Must speak English

Exclusion Criteria:

- Currently has health insurance and has not had any lapses in coverage in the past 12

months

- Does not speak English

Locations and Contacts

The Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, United States
Additional Information

Related publications:

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Hibbard JH, Jewett JJ, Engelmann S, Tusler M. Can Medicare beneficiaries make informed choices? Health Aff (Millwood). 1998 Nov-Dec;17(6):181-93.

Peters E, Dieckmann N, Dixon A, Hibbard JH, Mertz CK. Less is more in presenting quality information to consumers. Med Care Res Rev. 2007 Apr;64(2):169-90.

Hibbard JH, Slovic P, Jewett JJ. Informing consumer decisions in health care: implications from decision-making research. Milbank Q. 1997;75(3):395-414. Review.

Knutson DJ, Kind EA, Fowles JB, Adlis S. Impact of report cards on employees: a natural experiment. Health Care Financ Rev. 1998 Fall;20(1):5-27.

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McCormack LA, Uhrig JD. How does beneficiary knowledge of the Medicare program vary by type of insurance? Med Care. 2003 Aug;41(8):972-8.

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Lubalin JS, Harris-Kojetin LD. What do consumers want and need to know in making health care choices? Med Care Res Rev. 1999;56 Suppl 1:67-102; discussion 103-12. Review.

Kolstad JT, Chernew ME. Quality and consumer decision making in the market for health insurance and health care services. Med Care Res Rev. 2009 Feb;66(1 Suppl):28S-52S. doi: 10.1177/1077558708325887. Epub 2008 Nov 24. Review.

Hibbard JH, Jewett JJ. Will quality report cards help consumers? Health Aff (Millwood). 1997 May-Jun;16(3):218-28.

Uhrig JD, Harris-Kojetin L, Bann C, Kuo TM. Do content and format affect older consumers' use of comparative information in a Medicare health plan choice? Results from a controlled experiment. Med Care Res Rev. 2006 Dec;63(6):701-18.

Kreuter MW, Wray RJ. Tailored and targeted health communication: strategies for enhancing information relevance. Am J Health Behav. 2003 Nov-Dec;27 Suppl 3:S227-32. Review.

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Hibbard JH, Peters E. Supporting informed consumer health care decisions: data presentation approaches that facilitate the use of information in choice. Annu Rev Public Health. 2003;24:413-33. Epub 2001 Nov 6. Review.

Politi MC, Kaphingst KA, Kreuter M, Shacham E, Lovell MC, McBride T. Knowledge of health insurance terminology and details among the uninsured. Med Care Res Rev. 2014 Feb;71(1):85-98. doi: 10.1177/1077558713505327. Epub 2013 Oct 24.

Starting date: April 2012
Last updated: June 23, 2014

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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