Table 6.

Categories of Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS)

Functional GroupingCommunication BehaviorExample
Data-gathering skillsQuestion (open ended) medical condition, therapeutic regimen, lifestyle and self-care, psychosocial topicsWhat can you tell me about the pain? How are meds working? What are you doing to keep yourself healthy? What’s happening with his father?
Question (closed ended) medical condition, therapeutic regimen, lifestyle and self-care, psychosocial topicsDoes it hurt now? Do you take your meds? Are you still smoking? Is your wife back?
Patient education and counseling skillsBiomedical information about medical condition, therapeutic regimen, biomedical counselingThe medication may make you drowsy. I’m prescribing an antibiotic for the infection. It’s very important for you to take the antibiotic every day and take it all.
Lifestyle and self-care informationGetting plenty of exercise is always a good idea. I can give you some tips on quitting.
Psychosocial exchange about problems of daily living, issues about social relations, feelings, emotionsIt’s important to get out and do something daily. The community center is good for company.
Relationship skillsPositive talk (agreements, jokes, approvals, laughter)You look fantastic. You’re doing great.
Negative talk (disagreements, disapproval, criticisms, corrections)I think you are wrong, you weren’t being careful. No, I wouldn’t want that.
Social talk (nonmedical, chit-chat)How about those Red Sox last night?
Emotional talk, concerns, reassurance, empathy, partnership legitimationI’m worried about your leg. I’m sure it will get better. It sounds like you are angry about it. We’ll get through this together. Anyone going through this would feel that way.
Partnering skillsFacilitation: asking for patient opinion, asking for understanding, paraphrase and interpretation, back-channelWhat do you think it is? Do you follow me? I heard you say you didn’t like that. Let me make sure I’ve got it right…. Uh-huh, right, go on, hmm.
Orientation directions, instructionsI’d like to do a physical now and talk later. Get up on the table. Now we’ll check your back.