Effective Communication to Improve Decision Making About Health Care Plans

This study has been completed.
Sponsor:
Collaborator:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Washington University School of Medicine
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT01986790
First received: November 4, 2013
Last updated: June 23, 2014
Last verified: June 2014
  Purpose

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.

Condition Intervention
Health Literacy
Health Insurance
Health Services Accessibility
Behavioral: Plain Language
Behavioral: Plain Language + Visuals
Behavioral: Plain Language + Narratives

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Subject)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Effective Communication to Improve Decision Making About Health Care Plans

Resource links provided by NLM:


Further study details as provided by Washington University School of Medicine:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Knowledge [ Time Frame: 1 day (Immediately following showing the participant the assigned intervention (plain language table, plain language table + visuals, or plain language table + narratives) ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Knowledge measures the degree at which participants understand the details about health insurance plans.


Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Uncertainty [ Time Frame: 1 day (Immediately following showing the participant the assigned intervention (plain language table, plain language table + visuals, or plain language table + narratives) ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    A survey will be administered in order to measure participants' confidence in the features of health insurance plans that matter most to them and the insurance plan they chose of the ones presented.

  • Satisfaction [ Time Frame: 1 day (Immediately following showing the participant the assigned intervention (plain language table, plain language table + visuals, or plain language table + narratives) ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    A survey will be administered in order to measure the extent to which participants are satisfied with the information presented to them.

  • Choice [ Time Frame: 1 day (Immediately following showing the participant the assigned intervention (plain language table, plain language table + visuals, or plain language table + narratives) ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    A survey will be administered to identify the insurance plan participants chose of the ones presented.


Enrollment: 420
Study Start Date: April 2012
Study Completion Date: June 2014
Primary Completion Date: March 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Plain Language
This intervention group will receive a plain-language table describing the features and costs of health insurance plans, with definitions of health insurance terms incorporated into the table.
Behavioral: Plain Language
Experimental: Plain Language + Visuals
This intervention group will receive the plain-language table plus visuals that focus on specific features of the plans. Participants will be able to view the information about each health insurance feature one feature at a time, in the order they prefer.
Behavioral: Plain Language + Visuals
Experimental: Plain Language + Narratives
This intervention group will receive the plain language table plus narratives about how others might use and rate the insurance plans.
Behavioral: Plain Language + Narratives

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

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 64 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
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
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01986790

Locations
United States, Missouri
The Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
St. Louis, Missouri, United States, 63110
Sponsors and Collaborators
Washington University School of Medicine
Investigators
Principal Investigator: Mary Politi, PhD The Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
  More Information

Publications:

Responsible Party: Washington University School of Medicine
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01986790     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: HS020309
Study First Received: November 4, 2013
Last Updated: June 23, 2014
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

Keywords provided by Washington University School of Medicine:
Health insurance
Health services accessibility
Decision making
Health literacy

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on July 31, 2014