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Psychooncology. 1998 Sep-Oct;7(5):387-401.

The Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS) in oncological consultations: psychometric properties.

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Academic Medical Center, Department of Medical Psychology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


One of the most frequently used systems to analyse doctor-patient communication is the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS). However, it has mostly been applied and evaluated in primary care settings. Two studies are presented in which the psychometric properties of the RIAS are investigated in an oncological setting. In the first study (N = 25) the feasibility, inter-rater reliability and content validity of the RIAS was investigated. In the second study, we evaluated the discriminant validity of the RIAS. Results of the first study showed that coding of tapes was more time consuming than indicated by the Roter manual. The inter-rater reliability proved to be high for both physician communication (0.68-1) and patient communication (0.60-1). The content validity proved to be acceptable: all utterances could be classified. However, coding dilemmas regarding affective communication occurred. The RIAS provided no option to classify communication of a third person present. Some communication categories were never or rarely used. Results of the second study indicate that the RIAS was able to discriminate between communicative behaviors in oncological consultations (N = 60) and three different GP-samples (random-GP sample N = 329, hypertension sample N = 103, gynaecology sample N = 65). To conclude, the psychometric properties of the RIAS are satisfactory in an oncological setting.

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