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University Distinguished Service Professor
- Emeritus

Debra Roter, DrPH '77, MPH '75, is an expert on patient-provider communication and author of the widely used Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS).

Contact Info

624 N. Broadway, Hampton House 750
410 955 7241

Research Interests

Patient activation interventions; Provider skill training; Doctor-Patient Communication; Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS); Race and Gender Disparities
Experiences & Accomplishments
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Dr. Roter's primary research focus is patient-provider communication. She is the author of the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS) developed as method of process analysis applied to audio or video recordings of medical encounters which 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 and medical care outcomes.
Honors & Awards
University Distinguished Service Professor
Recognition by the Web of Science as among most highly cited authors in the social sciences
Delta Omega Honor Society in Public Health
Johns Hopkins Golden Apple Award
Johns Hopkins Advising, Mentoring & Teaching Recognition Award
American Academy on Physician and Patient Award for outstanding research contribution to the theory, practice and teaching of effective health care communication and related skills.
Society of Public Health Education Beryl Roberts Memorial Award for Significant Contribution to the Theory and Practice of Health Education,  
Hume Award for significance of doctoral research.
Kellogg Fellow in Health Care Administration
Select Publications
My primary area of contribution relates to quantification and analysis of medical visit communication. I have studied the nature and consequences of medical visit communication for the past four decades and am the author of the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS), the most widely used system for coding medical interaction worldwide. The coding system has been used in over 300 studies, translated into 12 languages and used in a broad array of medical contexts. The following highly cited papers all use or build upon this method of interaction analysis.
  • Roter, DL, Stewart, M, Putnam, S, Lipkin, M, Stiles W, and Inui, T. (1997). Communication patterns of primary care physicians. JAMA, 270,350-355.
  • Levinson, W., Roter, DL, Mullooly, J., Dull, V, and Frankel, R. (1997). Doctor-patient communication: A critical link to malpractice in surgeons and primary care physicians. JAMA, 277, 553-559.
  • Cooper LA, Roter DL, Carson KA, Beach MC, Sabin JA, Greenwald AG, Inui TS. Clinicians' Implicit Attitudes about Race Influence Medical Visit Communication and Patient Ratings of Interpersonal Care. (2012). American Journal of Public Health, 102(5):979-987
  • Roter DL, Hall JA, Aoki Y Physician gender effects in medical communication: a meta-analytic review. JAMA 2002; 288: 756-764
  • Patient and family empowerment as agents of ambulatory care safety and quality. Roter DL, Wolff J, Wu A, Hannawa AF. BMJ quality & safety. 2017; 26(6):508-512