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Dr. Jeffrey D. Robinson, PhD

  Professor and Department Chair
  Affiliate Professor of Radiation Medicine at OHSU 
  Office phone: 503.725.3599
  Fall Office Hours:  By Appointment
  University Center Building 440
  Office: 440A







PhD | University of California at Los Angeles (1999)
MA | University of Southern California (1992)
BA | University of California at Santa Barbara (1990)

Focus Areas

Language and Social Interaction
Health Communication

Research Interests

Conversation Analysis
Doctor-Patient Communication

Courses Taught

Comm 100: Introduction to Communication
Comm 326: Communication, Society and Culture
Comm 438/538: Everyday Talk
Comm 531: Qualitative Methods in Communication Research


Prior to arriving at Portland State University, Dr. Jeffrey D. Robinson taught in the Departments of Communication at The Pennsylvania State University and Rutgers University. He has published over 40 journal articles and book chapters in both national and international outlets. He specializes in two subfields within the discipline of Communication. First, he specializes in Language and Social Interaction, which examines the rules that guide interactants’ use and interpretation of language, and the role of talk-in-interaction in the construction and negotiation of social meanings, identities, and relationships. Second, he specializes in Health Communication, which examines how and why face-to-face communication (e.g., doctor-patient communication) affects aspects of healthcare and health promotion, including individuals’ physical, emotional, mental, and/or spiritual health. Dr. Robinson’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

External Funding Received

2015-2019: Dialogue Around Respiratory Illness Treatment (D.A.R.T.) (NIH; Co-I) (Grant total:$3,098,118; PI: Rita Mangione-Smith)

2010-2013: Communication-Participation Behavior during the Delivery of Breast-Cancer Care (NIH; PI; $339,085)

2010-2012: Understanding Parent-Provider Communication About Immunizations at Well-Child Visits (NIH; Co-I) (Grant total: $131,247; PI: Douglas Opel)

2007-2009: Improving Communication during Pediatric Visits for Acute Respiratory Illness (NIH; Co-I) (Grant total: $456,391; PI: Rita Mangione-Smith)

2002-2004: Addressing Patients' Multiple Concerns in Primary Care (AHRQ; Co-PI; $303,627)


In Press:


•  Opel, D. J, Mangione-Smith, R., Robinson, J. D., Heritage, J., DeVere, V., Salas, H. S., Zhou, C., & Taylor, J. A (2015). The influence of provider communication behaviors on parental vaccine acceptance and visit experience. American Journal of Public Health.

•  Robinson, J. D., & Heritage, J. (2015). How patients understand physicians’ solicitations of additional concerns: Implications for up-front agenda setting in primary care. Health Communication.

•  Mangione-Smith, R., Zhou, C., Robinson, J. D., Taylor, J. A., Elliott, M. N., & Heritage, J. (2015). Communication practices and antibiotic use for acute respiratory tract infections in children. Annals of Family Medicine, 13, 221-227.

•  Venetis, M. K., Robinson, J. D., & Kearney, T. (2015). Breast-cancer patients’ participation behavior and copingduring pre-surgical consultations: A pilot study. Health Communication, 30, 19-25. 


 •  LaPlant-Turkiewicz, K., Allen, M., Venetis, M. K., & Robinson, J. D. (2014). Observed communication between oncologists and patients: A causal model of communication competence. World Journal of Meta-Analysis, 2, 186-193. 

 •  Koenig, C. & Robinson, J. D. (2014). Conversation analysis: Understanding the structure of health talk. In B. Whaley (Ed.), Research methods in health communication: Principles and application (pp. 119-140). New York: Routledge.

•  Robinson, J. D. (2014). What “What?” tells us about how conversationalists manage intersubjectivity. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 47, 109-129.

•  Robinson, J. D., & Heritage, J. (2014). Intervening with conversation analysis: The case of medicine. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 47, 201-218.

•  Venetis, M. K., Robinson, J. D., & Kearney, T. (2014). Breast-cancer patients’ participation behavior and coping during pre-surgical consultations: A pilot study. Health Communication.


•  Robinson, J. D. (2013). Epistemics, action formation, and other-initiation of repair: The case of partial questioning repeats. In J. Sidnell, M. Hayashi, & G. Raymond (Eds.), Conversational repair and human understanding (pp. 261-292). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

•  Robinson, J. D., Hoover, D. R., Venetis, M. K., Kearney, T. J., & Street, R. L. (2013). Consultations between breast-cancer patients and surgeons: A pathway from patient-centered communication to reduced hopelessness. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 31, 351-358.

•  Opel, D., Heritage, J., Taylor, J., Mangione-Smith, R., Salas, H., Nguyen, V., Zhou, C., & Robinson, J. D. (2013). The architecture of provider-parent vaccine discussions at health supervision visits. Pediatrics.

•  Venetis, M., & Robinson, J. D., & Kearney, T. (2013). Consulting with a surgeon prior to breast-cancer surgery: Patient question asking and satisfaction. Journal of Health Communication, 1-17.


•  Robinson, J. D. (2012). Introducing conversation analysis. In J. Nussbaum (Ed.), Readings in communication research methods (pp. 95-109). San Diego, CA: Cognella

•  Robinson, J. D. (2012). Overall structural organization. In T. Stivers, & J. Sidnell (Eds.), Handbook of Conversation Analysis (pp. 257-280). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

•  Kevoe-Feldman, H., & Robinson, J. D. (2012). Exploring essentially three-turn courses of action: An institutional case study with implications for ordinary talk. Discourse Studies, 14, 217-241.

•  Opel, D. J., Robinson, J. D., Heritage, J., Korfiatis, C., Taylor, J. A., & Mangione-Smith, R. (2012). Characterizing providers’ immunization communication practices during health supervision visits with vaccine-hesitant parents: A pilot study. Vaccine, 30, 1269-1275.


•  Robinson, J. D. (2011). Conversation analysis and health communication. In T. Thompson, A. Dorsey, K. Miller, & R. Parrott (Eds.), Handbook of Health Communication (2nd Ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

•  Bolden, G., & Robinson, J. D. (2011). Soliciting accounts with why-interrogatives in naturally occurring English conversation. Journal of Communication, 61, 94-119.

•  Heritage, J., & Robinson, J. D. (2011). Applying conversation analysis to the primary-care visit: Reflections on a study of unmet patient concerns. In C. Antaki (Ed.), Applied conversation analysis: Changing institutional practices. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

•  Kevoe-Feldman, H., Robinson, J. D., & Mandelbaum (2011). Extending the notion of pragmatic completion: The case of the responsive compound action unit. Journal of Pragmatics, 43, 3844-3859.

•  Thompson, T., Robinson, J. D., & Brashers, D. (2011). Interpersonal communication and health care. In M. L. Knapp, & J. A. Daly (Eds.), Handbook of Interpersonal Communication (4th Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


•  Robinson, J. D., & Bolden, G. (2010). Preference organization of sequence-initiating actions: The case of explicit account solicitations. Discourse Studies, 12, 501-533.

•  Robinson, J. D., & Kevoe-Feldman, H. (2010). Using full repeats to initiate repair on others’ questions. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 43, 232-259.

•  Dillard, J., Shen, L., & Robinson, J. D., (2010). Parental information seeking following a positive newborn screening for cystic fibrosis. Journal of Health Communication, 15, 880-894.


•  Robinson, J. D. (2009). Managing counterinformings: An interactional practice for soliciting information that facilitates reconciliation of speakers’ incompatible positions. Human Communication Research, 35, 561-587.

•  Egbert, M., Golato, A., & Robinson, J. D. (2009). Repairing reference. In J. Sidnell (Ed.), Conversation Analysis: Comparative Perspectives (pp. 104-132). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

•  Venetis, M. K., Robinson, J. D., Turkiewicz, K. L., & Allen, M. (2009). An evidence base for patient-centered cancer care: A meta-analysis of studies of observed communication between cancer specialists and their patients. Patient Education & Counseling, 77, 379-383.


•  Robinson, J. D. (2008). Physician-Patient Interaction. In W. Donsbach (Ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Communication (pp. 1396-1400). Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

•  Robinson, J. D., Krieger, J., Burke, G., Weber, V., & Oesterling, B. (2008). The relative influence of patients’ pre-visit global satisfaction with medical care on patients’ post visit satisfaction with physicians’ verbal communication. Communication Research Reports, 25, 1-9.


•  Robinson, J. D. (2007). Nonverbal communication in doctor-patient relationships. In L. K. Guerrero & M. Hecht (Eds.), The nonverbal communication reader: Classic and contemporary Readings (3rd Ed.) (pp. 384-394). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.

•  Robinson, J. D. (2007). The role of numbers and statistics within conversation analysis. Communication Methods and Measures, 1, 65-75.

•  Heritage, J., Robinson, J. D., Elliot, M. N., Beckett, M., & Wilkes, M. (2007). Reducing patients’ unmet concerns in primary care: The difference one word can make. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 22, 1429-1433.


•  Robinson, J. D. (2006). Managing trouble responsibility and relationships during conversational repair. Communication Monographs, 73, 137-161.

•  Robinson, J. D. (2006). Nonverbal communication and physician-patient interaction: Review and new directions. In V. Manusov & M. L. Patterson (Eds.), The Sage handbook of nonverbal communication (pp. 437-459). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

•  Robinson, J. D. (2006). Soliciting patients’ presenting concerns. In J. Heritage & D. Maynard (Eds.), Communication in medical care:  Interaction between primary care physicians and patients (pp. 22-47). Cambridge, England:  Cambridge University Press.

•  Robinson, J. D., & Heritage, J. (2006). Physicians’ opening questions and patients’ satisfaction. Patient Education and Counseling, 60, 279-285.

•  Heritage, J., & Robinson, J. D. (2006a). Accounting for the visit:  Giving reasons for seeking medical care.  In J. Heritage & D. Maynard (Eds.), Communication in medical care:  Interaction between primary care physicians and patients (pp. 48-85). Cambridge, England:  Cambridge University Press.

•  Heritage, J., & Robinson, J. D. (2006b). The structure of patients’ presenting concerns 1:  Physicians’ opening questions. Health Communication, 19, 89-102.

•  Stivers, T. & Robinson, J. D. (2006).  A preference for progressivity in interaction. Language in Society, 35, 367-392.


•  Robinson, J. D., & Heritage, J. (2005). The structure of patients’ presenting concerns: The completion relevance of current symptoms. Social Science and Medicine, 61, 481-493.


•  Robinson, J. D. (2004).  The sequential organization of ‘explicit’ apologies in naturally occurring English. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 37, 291-330.

•  Robinson, J. D., & Nussbaum, J. F. (2004). Grounding research and medical education about religion in actual physician-patient interaction: Church attendance, social support, and older adults. Health Communication, 16, 63-85.

•  Robinson, J. D., Silk, K. J., Parrott, R. J., Steiner, C., Morris, S. M., & Honeycutt, C. (2004).  Healthcare providers’ sun-protection promotion and at-risk clients’ skin-cancer-prevention outcomes. Preventive Medicine, 38, 251-257.

•  Roberts, F., & Robinson, J. D. (2004).  Inter-observer agreement regarding ‘first-stage’ conversation-analytic transcripts. Human Communication Research, 30, 376-410.


•  Robinson, J. D.  (2003). An interactional structure of medical activities during acute visits and its implications for patients’ participation. Health Communication, 15, 27-59.

•  DiMatteo, M. R., Robinson, J. D., Heritage, J., Tabbarah, M., & Fox, S. A.  (2003).  Patients’ Self-Reports of Instrumental and Affective Communication in Physician-Patient Encounters:  Correlations with Medical Records and Audio- and Videotapes. Health Communication, 15, 393-413.


•  Robinson, J. D. (2001a). Asymmetry in Action: Sequential Resources in the Negotiation of a Prescription Request. Text, 21, 19-54.

•  Robinson, J. D. (2001b).  Closing medical encounters:  Two physician practices and their implications for the expression of patients’ unstated concerns. Social Science & Medicine, 53, 639-56.

•  Robinson, J. D., & Stivers, T. (2001).  Achieving activity transitions in primary-care consultations:  From history taking to physical examination. Human Communication Research, 27, 253-298.


•  Robinson, J. D. (1998).  Getting Down to Business: Talk, Gaze, and Body Orientation During Openings of Doctor-Patient Consultations. Human Communication Research, 25, 97-123.


•  Rogers, E. M., Chandran, A. S., Hirata, T. M., & Robinson, J. D. (1995).  Television promotion of gender-equality in society.  In P. Kalbfleisch and M. Cody (Eds.), Gender, Power, and Communication in Human Relationships (pp. 277-304). Hillsdale, NJ:  Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.


•  Coupland J., Robinson, J. D., & Coupland, N. (1994).  Frame negotiation in doctor-elderly patient consultations. Discourse and Society, 5, 89-124.


•  Coupland, J., Coupland, N., & Robinson, J. D. (1992). “How are you?”:  Negotiating phatic communion. Language in Society, 21, 207-230.