Aligning Forces for Quality Evaluation Publications (2007-2016)

Can personal health care narratives persuade people to use comparative quality information when choosing a physician?

(Posted October 2017)

Testing a Personal Narrative for Persuading People to Value and Use Comparative Physician Quality of Care Information: An Experimental Study
Authors: Jessica Greene, Judith H. Hibbard, Rebecca M. Sacks

The authors conducted an online experiment to test whether a first-person cartoon narrative that educated consumers about physician variation in quality performance could persuade consumers to value and use comparative information on physician quality performance. The cartoon narrative was developed by the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality as part of the Aligning Forces for Quality initiative. The participants were randomized to either view the cartoon character’s narrative, a brief text on physician quality variation, or a control group with no additional information. All participants were shown a display of four physicians, one of whom had the highest quality performance but was more expensive and less convenient. While there was no overall relationship between viewing the narrative or reading text and choosing the top-quality physician, higher numerate participants who viewed the narrative had 2.7 times the odds of selecting the top-quality physician. The results indicate that personal narratives can persuade people with high numeracy skills to consider quality when choosing a physician, and suggest that future research is needed to identify strategies to support those with lower numeracy skills in selecting high-quality health providers.


Journal Articles (full list)

To date, the AF4Q Evaluation team has published over 40 articles expanding the knowledge base around health care reform at the local level and providing formative evaluation findings regarding the AF4Q program design, implementation, and effectiveness of early program efforts.

Research Summaries

The AF4Q Evaluation team produces summaries of important aspects of our research and the experiences of AF4Q alliances including the implementation of patient-centered medical homes, the challenges of consumer engagement, and more.

AF4Q Community Snapshots

Community Snapshots were created early in the evaluation (2009) to provide overviews of each community where AF4Q was implemented, as well as the health improvement activities undertaken as part of the AF4Q effort at that point in time.

Survey Reports

The AF4Q Evaluation team has produced a series of survey reports to provide community specific results to each AF4Q allaince for the AF4Q Alliance Survey, the AF4Q Evaluation Consumer Survey, and the AF4Q Evaluation Physician Survey. These reports contain information on change over time for a number of variables, as well as comparisons between AF4Q communities. For more information or copies of specific community reports, please contact the AF4Q Evaluation project manager, Dora Hunter (