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Voice of the Patient

A Civis Analytics Research Initiative

A full picture of patients’ health is critical to innovation in healthcare. Our new research initiative, Voice of the Patient, leverages our expertise in surveying and message testing to provide needed insight into attitudes and motivators of healthcare consumers.



Research: The State of Health Insurance in COVID-19 America

A series of national surveys of more than 13,000 people fielded across each season of 2020 (February, June, September) reveals a stark picture of the future health of the nation and the widening divide between white and Black Americans’ health during a global pandemic. The survey was conducted by Civis Analytics and released with support from Finn Partners.


Key Findings         Key Charts         Infographic         on demand webinar


  • People are changing their purchasing plans: Among the uninsured, 46% said in September that they don’t plan to purchase health insurance this year, up from 33% in February 2020. Among the insured, more people (17% in September vs. 12% in February) will be shopping for dependents’ health insurance for 2021. For the majority of them (59%), it’ll be their first time shopping for dependents.
  • Disparities in “Insurance Deprivation:” Nearly 2 in 10 (17%) of Black Americans were uninsured in February; by September, this had jumped to more than one in four (26%). During the same time period, all other racial groups had either bounced back to pre-pandemic uninsured levels or remained within 2% of their pre-pandemic levels. People under 26 report the highest rate of being uninsured by age group, at 24.7% without insurance.
  • Most people aren’t aware of their coverage options as a result of losing their job: In June, the percent of people who said they’re not sure if they qualify for specific coverage options were: COBRA: 41.3%; ACA: 39.6%; Join Parents Plan: 26.3%; Join Spouses/Partners Plan: 29.6%; Medicaid: 33.3%; CHIP: 33.7%


Vaccine Message Testing

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Research: How to talk about the COVID-19 Vaccine

Leveraging a randomized controlled trial framework (the gold standard approach for clinical trials) and statistical modeling, our Creative Focus tool tested the effectiveness of five different messages at driving intent to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

  • Overall, using a tragic personal story was the most effective approach at driving intent to get vaccinated:
    The Personal Story message resulted in a 5% increase in likelihood to get vaccinated and had no chance of negative backlash (i.e. people responding that they’d be less likely to get vaccinated after seeing a message)
  • The findings were consistent across age, gender, education, income, race, and urbanicity, although the degree to which each message was effective or not varied slightly by some subgroups:
    Across all demographic and geographic categories, the Personal Story message was most effective, and Economic Recovery, Safety and Community messages were least effective. But for some subgroups, the magnitude of effect was higher or lower. For example, for people who make less than $75K, Personal Story resulted in a 7% increase in intent (right), higher than the 5% for the overall sample


Whitepaper: Meeting Demand for Telehealth

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Whitepaper: Meeting Demand for Telehealth

In June 2019, Civis surveyed 2,840 U.S. adults, weighted to be representative of the American public. Relevant findings include: 

  • There is significant interest in telehealth services, but few patients have actually used them:
    Only 9% have used telehealth services, and they are more likely to be young, male, and from a rural community. However, 68% of those who have not used telehealth services are interested in doing so in the future.
  • Patients are particularly interested in virtual care for mental health services, prescription refills and sexual health consultations:
    57% of those that plan to use mental health services expressed interest in virtual consultations. There is also a high interest in telehealth for prescription refills (46%) and sexual health consultations (40%)
  • The biggest motivating factors for switching from a traditional provider:
    75% said they would switch doctors to receive virtual sexual health consultations; 66% said the same about mental health services; 56% said they would switch for prescription refills


Whitepaper: Improving Support for HPV Vaccination through Persuasive Messaging

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Whitepaper: Improving Support for HPV Vaccination Through Persuasive Messaging

In April 2019, Civis Analytics surveyed 2,491 U.S. parents of children under 18 (weighted to be representative of the American public). Relevant findings include: 

  • 83% of all respondents have heard of HPV, few are well-informed about the virus:
    After asking a series of true/false questions to parents, only 6% correctly answered all statements, while 20% did not answer any of the questions correctly.
  • This test found that informing parents about the negative health outcomes associated with HPV (the “HPV Causes Cancer” message) is the message most likely to increase support for vaccinations:
    Although concern about side effects was the most common reason given for not vaccinating, the “HPV Vaccine is Safe” message was not effective at increasing support for vaccination, and in fact could cause backlash (a net decrease in support).



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