About Us: RIAS Background & Coding Manual

The RIAS was devised by Debra Roter in the late 1970s. She and Susan Larson have collaborated for more than 30 years in modifications and adaptations of the system and development of rigorous methods of training of coders in the use of the system to assure high standards of reliability and validity. The RIAS is the most widely used method of coding medical interaction across the spectrum of medical and health contexts around the world.

RIAS Manual
RIAS Coding Categories

Personal remarks, social conversation
Laughs, tells jokes
Shows concern or worry
Reassures, encourages or show optimism
Shows approval - direct
Gives compliment - general
Shows disapproval - direct
Shows criticism - general
Shows agreement or understanding
Back-channel responses (physician only)
Empathy statements
Legitimizing statements
Partnership statements (physician only)
Self-disclosure statements (physician only)
Asks for reassurance
Transition words
Gives orientation, instructions
Paraphrase/checks for understanding
Asks for understanding
Bid for repetition
Asks for opinion (physician only)
Asks for permission (physician only)
Asks closed-ended questions - medical condition
Asks closed-ended questions - therapeutic regimen
Asks closed-ended questions - lifestyle
Asks closed-ended questions - psychosocial
Asks closed-ended questions - other
Asks open-ended questions - medical condition
Asks open-ended questions - therapeutic regimen
Asks open-ended questions - lifestyle
Asks open-ended questions - psychosocial
Asks open-ended questions - other
Gives information - medical condition
Gives information - therapeutic regimen
Gives information - lifestyle
Gives information - psychosocial
Gives information - other
Counsels-medical condition/therapeutic regimen (physician only)
Counsels-lifestyle/psychosocial (physician only)
Requests for services (patient only)
Unintelligible utterances

Global Affect Ratings
In addition to utterance by utterance categorization, coders are asked to rate the affect or emotional context of the dialogue. These ratings are based on overall affective impressions of the speakers on such dimensions as dominance, assertiveness, friendliness, warmth, attentiveness, and respectfulness.

We encourage use of the RIAS system and wish to ensure that its use is standard, reliable, and compatible with prior applications. If interested in training in the RIAS, please contact us for the RIAS Manual, which includes complete definitions of all RIAS categories and further details.

RIAS Software Applications
RIAS software is used for RIAS coding, as well as for RIAS playback and review functions. This software is available to investigators who have completed RIAS training. Please contact us for further details.