Jeffrey D. Robinson, PhD

  Professor and Department Chair 
  Affiliate Professor of Radiation Medicine at OHSU 
  Office phone: 503.725.3599
  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 4/538: 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. In addition to his appointment at Portland State, he is an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Radiation Medicine at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU).  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. He has published over 60 journal articles and book chapters in both national and international outlets, and his research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

External Funding For Research

2018-2023: Evaluation of the Presumptively Initiating Vaccines and Optimizing Talk with Motivational Interviewing (PIVOT with MI) Intervention (NIH; Co-I) (Grant total: 3,109,321; PI: Sean T. O'Leary & Douglas)

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)



Robinson, J.D., & Raymond, C. (under contract; due Summer 2020). Repair in interaction. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Raymond, C., & Robinson, J.D. (under contract; due Summer 2020). Turn Taking in interaction. Cambridge England: Cambridge University Press.

Robinson, J.D. (Ed.) (2016). Accountability in social interaction. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

In Press:

Robinson, J. D., Venetis, M. K., Street, R. L., & Kearney, T. (in press). Breast cancer patients’ information seeking during surgical consultations: A qualitative, videotape-based analysis of patients’ questions. Journal of Surgical Oncology 


 Robinson, J.D., Dieckmann, N., Withers, E., Hassouneh, D., &Thomas, C. (2018). Does racial bias affect NCI funded PI's willingness to mentor prospective graduate students? Cancer Research, 78, OF1-3.

Montiegal, K., & Robinson, J.D. (2018). "First" Matters: A qualitative examination of a strategy for controlling the agenda when answering questions in the 2016 U.S republican primary elcetion debates. Communication Monographs.

Venetis, M.K., Staple, S., Robinson, J.D., & Kearney, T. (2018). Provider information provision and breast cancer patient well-being. Health Communication. Opel, D., Zhou, C., Robinson, J.D., Henrikson, N., Lepere, K., Mangione-Smith, R., & Taylor, J. (2018). Impact of the childhood vaccine discussion format over time on immunization status. Academic Pediatrics, 18, 430-436.


Mikesell, L., Bolden, G., Mandelbaum, J., Robinson, J.D., & Romaniuk, T., Bolaños-Carpio, A., Searles, D., Wei, W., DiDomenico, S., & Angell, B. (2017). At the intersection of epistemics and agreement: reponding with I know. Research on Langauge and Social Interaction, 50, 268-285.

Hofstetter, A.M., Robinson, J.D., Lepere, K., Cunningham, M., Etsekson, N., & Opel, D.J. (2017). Clinician-parent discussions about influenza vaccination of children and their association with vaccine acceptance.Vaccine, 35, 2709-2715.


Robinson, J. D. (Ed.) (2016). Accountability in social interaction. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Robinson, J. D., & Jagsi, R. (2016). Physician-patient communication: An actionable target for reducing overly           aggressive care near the end of life. JAMA Oncology. Pre-published online July 14th.

Robinson, J. D. (2016). Accountability in social interaction. In J. D. Robinson (Ed.), Accountability in social                 interaction (pp. 1-46). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Robinson, J. D., & Kevoe-Feldman, H. (2016). The accountability of proposing (vs. soliciting proposals of)                 arrangements. In J. D. Robinson (Ed.), Accountability in social interaction (pp. 264-293). Oxford, England:  Oxford     University Press.

Nazione, S., Silk, K., & Robinson, J. D. (2016). Verbal social support for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients         during surgical decision-making visits. Journal of Communication in Healthcare. Pre-published online June  21st.

Zama, A., & Robinson, J. D. (2016). A relevance rule organizing responsive behavior during one type of                     institutional extended telling. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 49, 220-237.

Robinson, J. D., Tate, A., & Heritage, J. (2016). Agenda-setting revisited: When and how do primary-care                   physicians solicit patients’ additional concerns? Patient Education and Counseling, 99, 718-723.

Robinson, J. D., & Heritage, J. (2016). How patients understand physicians’ solicitations of additional concerns:         Implications for up-front agenda setting in primary care. Health Communication, 31, 434-444.


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. [Download PDF]

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[Download PDF] 

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. [Download PDF]

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


 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. [Download PDF]

 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. [Download PDF]

RobinsonJ. D. (2014). What “What?” tells us about how conversationalists manage intersubjectivity. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 47, 109-129. [Download PDF]

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

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. [Download PDF]


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. [Download PDF]

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. [Download PDF]

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[Download PDF]

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. [Download PDF]


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

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. [Download PDF]

Kevoe-Feldman, H., & Robinson, J. D. (2012). Exploring essentially three-turn courses of action: An institutional case study with implications for ordinary talk. Discourse Studies14, 217-241. [Download PDF]

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. Vaccine30, 1269-1275. [Download PDF]


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. [Download PDF]

Bolden, G., & Robinson, J. D. (2011). Soliciting accounts with why-interrogatives in naturally occurring English conversation. Journal of Communication61, 94-119. [Download PDF]

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. [Download PDF]

Kevoe-Feldman, H., Robinson, J. D., & Mandelbaum (2011). Extending the notion of pragmatic completion: The case of the responsive compound action unit. Journal of Pragmatics43, 3844-3859. [Download PDF]

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. [Download PDF]


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

Robinson, J. D., & Kevoe-Feldman, H. (2010). Using full repeats to initiate repair on others’ questions. Research on Language and Social Interaction43, 232-259. [Download PDF]

Dillard, J., Shen, L., & Robinson, J. D., (2010). Parental information seeking following a positive newborn screening for cystic fibrosis. Journal of Health Communication15, 880-894. [Download PDF]


Robinson, J. D. (2009). Managing counterinformings: An interactional practice for soliciting information that facilitates reconciliation of speakers’ incompatible positions. Human Communication Research35, 561-587. [Download PDF]

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. [Download PDF]

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 & Counseling77, 379-383. [Download PDF]


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

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 Reports25, 1-9. [Download PDF]


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. [Download PDF]

Robinson, J. D. (2007). The role of numbers and statistics within conversation analysis. Communication Methods and Measures1, 65-75. [Download PDF]

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. [Download PDF]


Robinson, J. D. (2006). Managing trouble responsibility and relationships during conversational repair. Communication Monographs73, 137-161. [Download PDF]

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. [Download PDF]

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. [Download PDF].

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

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. [Download PDF]

Heritage, J., & Robinson, J. D. (2006b). The structure of patients’ presenting concerns 1:  Physicians’ opening questions. Health Communication19, 89-102. [Download PDF]

Stivers, T. & Robinson, J. D. (2006).  A preference for progressivity in interaction. Language in Society35, 367-392. [Download PDF]


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. [Download PDF]


Robinson, J. D. (2004).  The sequential organization of ‘explicit’ apologies in naturally occurring English. Research on Language and Social Interaction37, 291-330. [Download PDF]

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 Communication16, 63-85. [Download PDF]

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 Medicine38, 251-257. [Download PDF]

Roberts, F., & Robinson, J. D. (2004).  Inter-observer agreement regarding ‘first-stage’ conversation-analytic transcripts. Human Communication Research30, 376-410. [Download PDF]


Robinson, J. D.  (2003). An interactional structure of medical activities during acute visits and its implications for patients’ participation. Health Communication15, 27-59. [Download PDF]

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 Communication15, 393-413. [Download PDF]


Robinson, J. D. (2001a). Asymmetry in Action: Sequential Resources in the Negotiation of a Prescription Request. Text21, 19-54. [Download PDF]

Robinson, J. D. (2001b).  Closing medical encounters:  Two physician practices and their implications for the expression of patients’ unstated concerns. Social Science & Medicine53, 639-56. [Download PDF]

Robinson, J. D., & Stivers, T. (2001).  Achieving activity transitions in primary-care consultations:  From history taking to physical examination. Human Communication Research27, 253-298. [Download PDF]


Robinson, J. D. (1998).  Getting Down to Business: Talk, Gaze, and Body Orientation During Openings of Doctor-Patient Consultations. Human Communication Research25, 97-123. [Download PDF]


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. [Download PDF]


Coupland J., Robinson, J. D., & Coupland, N. (1994).  Frame negotiation in doctor-elderly patient consultations. Discourse and Society5, 89-124. [Download PDF]


Coupland, J., Coupland, N., & Robinson, J. D. (1992). “How are you?”:  Negotiating phatic communion. Language in Society21, 207-230. [Download PDF]