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Debra Roter, DrPH

  • Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Contact Information

624 N. Broadway
Hampton House 750
Baltimore, Maryland 21205

410 955 7241

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DrPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 1977
MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 1975


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 and Awards

University Distinguished Service Professor

Recognition by the Web of Science since 1989 as among the 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


  • Patient activation interventions Provider skill training Doctor-Patient Communication Roter Interaction Analysis System RIAS Race and Gender Disparities
  • Fogarty, L, Roter, DL, Larson, S, Burke, J, Gillespie J, Levy R. (2002). Patient Adherence to HIV Medication Regimens: A review of published and abstract reports. Patient Education and Counseling. 46:93-108.

  • Abdel-Tawab, N., Roter DL. (2002). The relevance of client-centered communication to family planning settings in developing countries: lessons from the Egyptian experience. Social Science & Medicine. 54;1347-1368.

  • Roter DL, Susan Larson. (2002). The Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS): Utility and Flexibility for Analysis of Medical Interactions. Patient Education and Counseling. 46;243-251.

  • Sala, F., Krupat, E., Roter, D. (2002). Satisfaction and the use of humor by physicians and patients. Psychology and Health, 17 (3), 269-280.

  • Roter D. (2002). Three blind men and an elephant: Reflections on meeting the challenges of patient diversity in primary care practice. Family Medicine, 34 (5): 390-394.

  • RICH LIFE Project