Debora Paterniti

  • Debora PaternitiLecturer in Sociology
  • Ph.D., University of California, Davis
  • Policy Fellowship, Yale School of Medicine

Contact Information:

Voicemail: 707.664.2561
Fax: 707.664.3920
Office: Stevenson 2084

Areas of Expertise:

Research Methods, Medical Sociology, Social Psychology, Social Welfare, Health Inequities, Health Policy, Bioethics, Evaluation and Community-based Research.

Academic Interests:

Dr. Paterniti is a medical sociologist with extensive expertise in qualitative and mixed methods research, including research design, thematic and textual analyses, intervention development, and social psychological factors related to models of care and decision-making.  Her work has focused on physician-patient communication, patient decision making, and health care disparities and has emphasized examination of disparities due to age, race/ethnicity, and gender in care provision and access.  As an applied sociologist, she has worked with interdisciplinary teams in medicine to develop communication-based interventions for physicians and various communities to enhance information, increase health knowledge and self-efficacy, and prompt communication between patients and their care providers.  Her most current projects include (1) examining physician-patient discussions about dietary supplements; (2) understanding the impact of behavioral interventions on decisions about healthcare; and (3)developing strategies to incorporate mindfulness into research and clinical practices.  She is a Deputy Editor for the Journal of General Internal Medicine, and a member of the editorial board of Health.

Course Offerings:

  • SOCI 300: Sociological Research Methods

Selected Publications:

Tarn DM, Guzmán JR, Good JS, Wenger NS, Coulter ID, Paterniti DA.  2014. Provider and Patient Expectations for Dietary Supplement Discussions.  J Gen Intern Med. May 30 [Epub ahead of print].

Tong EK, Fung LC, Stewart SL, Paterniti DA, Dang JH, Chen MS Jr. 2014. Impact of a biospecimen collection seminar on willingness to donate biospecimens among Chinese Americans: results from a randomized, controlled community-based trial. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. Mar;23(3):392-401.

Tarn DM, Paterniti DA, Orosz DK, Tseng CH, Wenger NS. 2013. Intervention to enhance communication about newly prescribed medications.  Ann Fam Med. Jan-Feb;11(1):28-36. 

Kravitz RL, Paterniti DA, Epstein RM, Rochlen AB, Bell RA, Cipri CS, Fernandez y Garcia E, Feldman MD, Duberstein PR.  2011. Organizational and Relational Barriers to Depression Help-Seeking in Primary Care: A Qualitative Study. Patient Education and Counseling. Feb;82(2):207-13.

Li ST, Paterniti DA, Co JP, West DC. 2010. Successful self-directed lifelong learning in medicine: a conceptual model derived from qualitative analysis of a national survey of pediatric residents. Academic Medicine.  Jul;85(7):1229-36.

Paterniti DA, Fancher TL, Cipri CS, Timmermans S, Heritage J, Kravitz RL.  2010. Getting to “No”: Strategies

Physicians Use to Deny Patient Requests. Archives of Internal Medicine 22; 170(4):381-8. February.

Paterniti DA, Pan R J, Smith LF, Horan NM, West DC.  2006. From Physician-Centered to Community-Oriented Perspectives on Health Care: Assessing the Efficacy of Community-based Training. Academic Medicine 81:347-353. March.

Paterniti DA, Melnikow J, Nuovo J, Henderson S, DeGregorio M, Kuppermann M, Nease R. 2005. Tamoxifen for Breast Cancer Risk Reduction: Women’s Perspectives. Ethnicity and Disease 15(3) Summer.

Paterniti DA. 2004. A Second Opinion. Contexts: Understanding People in Their Social Worlds 3(3):56-7. Summer.

Paterniti DA.  2003. Claiming Identity in a Nursing Home. In J Gubrium and J Holstein. Ways of Aging. Blackwell Publishers, pp.58-74.

Charmaz K, Paterniti DA, eds. 1999. Health, Illness, and Healing: Society, Social Context, and Self. Los Angeles: Roxbury Publishing Company.