Analyzing medical dialogues: strength and weakness of Roter's interaction analysis system (RIAS)

Patient Educ Couns. 2002 Apr;46(4):235-41. doi: 10.1016/s0738-3991(02)00014-9.


Roter's interaction analysis system (RIAS) is analyzed in this article. Ground rules of linguistic interaction analysis, emphasizing meaning as a product of interaction and turn taking as a basic principle for the understanding of interaction are briefly introduced. Specific aspects of the application of RIAS are discussed and a number of adjustments and/or specifications suggested: (1) utterances should be defined in terms of content and turn taking criteria; (2) the recording system should allow for registering interruptions; (3) pauses or silences should be scored on the basis of functional criteria and not as demarcation in the communication; (4) clear distinctions should be made between the categories of "backchannel" and "agree"; (5) questions should be coded according to function rather than linguistic form; (6) some of the socioemotional categories may appear too narrow, others too wide; (7) crying should be included in the coding scheme as a separate category.

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Humans
  • Linguistics*
  • Professional-Patient Relations*