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Prog Community Health Partnersh. 2018;12(3):307-319. doi: 10.1353/cpr.2018.0055.

Use of Storytelling to Increase Navigation Capacity Around the Affordable Care Act in Communities of Color.



Improving health insurance coverage and retention in communities of color is a national priority and new approaches are needed.


To describe 1) the formation of Insure Detroit, a community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnership aimed at addressing health insurance and Affordable Care Act (ACA) literacy challenges in economically disadvantaged areas, 2) the development of Insuring Good Health, a novel, multimedia, health information technology-focused intervention to address the health aims of the partnership, and 3) the evaluation plan for the intervention.


Insure Detroit, a partnership between researchers and community-based organizations, was established. Principles of CBPR were followed closely in the conduct of this project. The Insure Detroit partnership developed the intervention and evaluation plan through an iterative process. The Insuring Good Health intervention is multilingual and composed of a responsive website. It includes nine short, animated videos informed by storytelling techniques that communicate key learning points pertaining to health insurance navigation and use.


Lessons learned included narrowing learning points for the intervention, balancing the volume of work to comply with the study timeline, and balancing the political climate with the development of the intervention.


The Insure Detroit partnership demonstrates that a CBPR approach can develop media-based health communications to address health insurance literacy. Our experiences highlight that CBPR principles that encourage shared decision making and co-learning can result in high-quality, innovative interventions that have the potential to resonate well with communities of color.

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