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Dr. Debra Roter


Professor, Health Policy and Management, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Research Summary

Dr. Roter's primary research focus is physician-patient communication. She has developed a method of process analysis applied to audiotapes of medical encounters that has been widely adopted by researchers both nationally and internationally. Her studies include basic social psychology research regarding communication dynamics and interpersonal influence, as well as health education and health services research. Her research includes clinical investigation of patient and physician interventions to improve the quality of communication and enhance its positive effects on patient health outcomes, and educational applications in the training and evaluation of teaching strategies to enhance physicians' communication skills. Recent work has investigated the association between patients' and physicians' ethnicity and gender and their communication style.

Journal Citations

Beach, M. C., Roter, D. L., Wang, N. Y., Duggan, P. S. & Cooper, L. A. (2006). Are physicians' attitudes of respect accurately perceived by patients and associated with more positive communication behaviors? Patient Educ Couns 62, 347-54.

Ellington, L., A. Maxwel, B. J. Baty, D. Roter, W. N. Dudley, and A. Y. Kinney. 2007. Genetic counseling communication with an African American BRCA1 kindred. Soc Sci Med 64:724-34.

Erby, L. H., D. Roter, S. Larson, and J. Cho. 2008. The rapid estimate of adult literacy in genetics (REAL-G): a means to assess literacy deficits in the context of genetics. Am J Med Genet A 146:174-81.

Ghods, B.K., Roter, D.L., Ford, D.E., Larson, S., Arbelaez, J.J., and Cooper, L.A. (2008). Patient-physician communication in the primary care visits of African Americans and whites with depression. J Gen Intern Med 23, 600-606.

Juon, H. S., Choi, S., Klassen, A. & Roter, D. (2006). Impact of breast cancer screening intervention on Korean-American women in Maryland. Cancer Detect Prev 30, 297-305.

Ratanawongsa, N., Roter, D., Beach, M.C., Laird, S.L., Larson, S.M., Carson, K.A., and Cooper, L.A. (2008). Physician burnout and patient-physician communication during primary care encounters. J Gen Intern Med 23, 1581-1588.

Roter, D. L., Frankel, R. M., Hall, J. A. & Sluyter, D. (2006). The expression of emotion through nonverbal behavior in medical visits. Mechanisms and outcomes. J Gen Intern Med 21 Suppl 1, S28-34.

Roter, D. L., L. H. Erby, S. Larson, and L. Ellington. 2007. Assessing oral literacy demand in genetic counseling dialogue: preliminary test of a conceptual framework. Soc Sci Med 65:1442-57.

Roter, D. L., S. M. Larson, M. C. Beach, and L. A. Cooper. 2007. Interactive and evaluative correlates of dialogue sequence: A simulation study applying the RIAS to turn taking structures. Patient Educ Couns.

Roter, D.L., Larson, S., Sands, D.Z., Ford, D.E., and Houston, T. (2008). Can e-mail messages between patients and physicians be patient-centered? Health Commun 23, 80-86.

Roter, D.L., Larson, S.M., Beach, M.C., and Cooper, L.A. (2008). Interactive and evaluative correlates of dialogue sequence: a simulation study applying the RIAS to turn taking structures. Patient Educ Couns 71, 26-33.

Schmid Mast, M., J. A. Hall, and D. L. Roter. 2007. Disentangling physician sex and physician communication style: their effects on patient satisfaction in a virtual medical visit. Patient Educ Couns 68:16-22.

Beach, M. C., Roter, D. L., Larson, S., Levinson, W., Ford, D. E., & Frankel, R. 2004. What do physicians tell patients about themselves? A qualitative analysis of physician self- disclosure. J. Gen. Intern. Med. 19:911-916.

Beach, M. C., Roter, D. L., Rubin, H., Frankel, R., Levinson, W., & Ford, D. E. 2004. Is physician self- disclosure related to patient evaluation of office visits? J. Gen. Intern. Med. 19:905-910.

Bernhardt, B. A., Haunstetter, C. M., Roter, D. L., & Geller G. 2005. How do obstetric providers discuss referrals for prenatal genetic counseling? J. Genet. Couns. 14:109-117.

Clayman, M. L., Roter, D. L., Wissow, L. S., & Bandeen-Roche, K. 2005. Autonomy-related behaviors of patient companions and their effect on decision-making activity in geriatric primary care visits. Soc. Sci. Med. 60:1583-1591.

Johnson, R. L., Roter, D. L., Powe, N. R., & Cooper, L. A. 2004. Patient race/ethnicity and quality of patient-physician communication during medical visits. Am. J. Public Health. 94:2084-2090.

Newes-Adeyi, G., Helitzer, D. L., Roter, D. L., & Caulfield, L. E. 2004. Improving client-provider communication: evaluation of a training program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) professionals in New York state. Patient Educ. Couns. 55:210-217.

Peck, B. M., Ubel, P. A., Roter, D. L., Goold, S. D., Asch, D. A., Jeffreys, A. S., et al. 2004. Do unmet expectations for specific tests, referrals, and new medications reduce patients' satisfaction? J. Gen. Intern. Med. 19:1080-1087.

Roter, D. L. 2004. Patient centered communication: more than a string of words. BMJ USA. 4:279-280.

Roter, D. L., & Hall, J. A. 2004. Physician gender and patient-centered communication: a critical review of empirical research. Annu. Rev. Publ. Health. 25:497-519.

Roter, D. L., Larson, S., Shinitzky, H., Chernoff, R., Serwint, J. R., Adamo, G., et al. 2004. Use of an innovative video feedback technique to enhance communication skills training. Med. Educ. 38:145-157.

Shaw, J. R., Adams, C. L., Bonnett, B. N., Larson, S., & Roter, D. L. A comparison of veterinarian-client-patient communication in wellness appointments and problem appointments using the Roter Method of Interaction Analysis (RIAS). J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc.Shaw, J. R., Adams, C. L., Bonnett, B. N., Larson, S., & Roter, D. L. 2004. Use of the Roter method of interaction analysis system to analyze veterinarian-client-patient communication in companion animal practice. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 225:222-229.Shaw, J. R., Bonnet, B. N., Adams, C. L., & Roter, D. L. Patterns within veterinarian-client-patient communication. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc.


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