New Pub! Qualitative Story Deck Methodology for Research

Susan PassmoreCCHE Assistant Director Susan Passmore, PhD, and colleagues have a new publication to start the year off strong!

Use of a Qualitative Story Deck to Create Scenarios and Uncover Factors Associated with African American Participation in Genomics Research” is published in Field Methods.  The story deck methodology is also the basis of new research in Wisconsin in collaboration with CCHE Director Dorothy Farrar-Edwards. These projects include Dr. Passmore’s R21 award from NHGRI and a supplement award from NIA with the UW Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Each are designed to test the feasibility of using the story deck to explore other types of research with larger samples in Wisconsin, including a mobile-based application. More on the findings of the work can be found in Public Health Genomics.


To explore the willingness to participate in genomics research among African Americans, we developed a technique specifically suited to a relaxed social setting. The “Qualitative Story Deck,” (QSD) is a gamified, structured elicitation technique that allows for the spontaneous creation of scenarios with variable attributes. We used the QSD to create research scenarios that varied on four details (race/ethnicity of the researcher, research goal, biospecimen requested, and institutional affiliation). Participants created scenarios by randomly choosing cards from these categories and provided: (1) a judgment about their willingness to participate in the research project represented; and (2) their thought process in reaching a decision. The QSD has applicability to topics involving decision making or in cases where it would be beneficial to provide vignettes with alternate attributes. Additional benefits include rapid rapport building, applicability to little known or sensitive topics, and suitability for both qualitative and quantitative analyses.

Download the full article here.

Dr. Passmore’s co-authors include Amelia M. Jamison, Moaz Abdelwadoud, Taylor B. Rogers, Morgan Wiggan, Daniel C. Mullins, and Stephen B. Thomas.