Debora Paterniti

  • Debora PaternitiAssistant Professor
  • Ph.D., University of California, Davis
  • Policy Fellowship, Yale School of Medicine

Contact Information:

Voicemail: 707.664.3033
Fax: 707.664.3920
Office: Stevenson 2084-I

Areas of Expertise:

Research Methods, Medical Sociology, Health Inequities, Social Welfare and Policy, Social Psychology, Ethics, 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 social research and teaching.  She is a member of the editorial board of Health and a former Deputy Editor for the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Course Offerings:

  • SOCI 300: Sociological Research Methods
  • SOCI 461: Social Welfare and Social Work

Selected Publications:

Tarn DM, Karlamangla A, Coulter ID, Paterniti DA, et al. A cross-sectional study of provider and patient characteristics associated with outpatient disclosures of dietary supplement use. Patient Educ Couns, 2015;98:830-36.

Tarn DM, Guzmán JR, Good JS, Wenger NS, Coulter ID, Paterniti DA. Provider and patient expectations for dietary supplement discussions. J Gen Intern Med, 2014; 29(9):1242-9.

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 Educ Couns, 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. Acad Med,  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. Arch Intern Med, February; 170(4):381-8.

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. Acad Med, March; 81:347-353.

Tarn DT, Heritage J, Paterniti DA, Hays RD, Kravitz RL, Wenger NS. Physician Communication When Prescribing New Medications. Arch Intern Med, 2006;166:1855-82.

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, Summer; 15(3).

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

Ashton CM, Haidet PM, Paterniti DA, et al.  Racial and Ethnic Disparities In Health Care: Doctors’ Biases, Patients’ Preferences, or Poor Communication? J Gen Intern Med, 2003;18(2):146-152.

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.