Roberta E. Goldman Clinical Professor of Family Medicine

PhD, Sociocultural Anthropology, University of Florida, 1989

MA, Anthropology and Master's Certificate in Latin American Studies, UF, 1983

Cl. Prof. of Family Medicine, Alpert Medical School, Brown University, 2008-present
Adj. Professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 2009-present

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work

1.     Oliver-Smith A, Goldman R.  Planning goals and urban realities: post-disaster reconstruction in a third world city.  City & Society 1988;  2:105-126.


2.    Goldman R, Dubé C, Monroe A.  A conceptual framework for the teaching of a culturally responsive approach in addressing alcohol and other drug problems in the primary care setting.  Ann Behav Sci Med Educ 1994;  1:16.


3.    Goldman R, Monroe A, Dubé C.  Cultural self-awareness: a component of culturally responsive patient care.  Ann Behav Sci Med Educ 1996;  3:37-46.


4.    Beeker C, Kraft J, Goldman R.  Community-based strategies to promote colorectal cancer screening in African Americans: Lessons learned from other health problems.  J Psychsoc Onc 2001;  19:113-132.


5.    Goldman R.  Communication across contextual fields: A framework for culturally responsive care.  Ann Behav Sci Med Educ 2002;  8:55-56.


6.    Sorensen G, Emmons K, Hunt MK, Barbeau E, Goldman R, Peterson K, Kuntz K, Stoddard A, Berkman L.  Model for incorporating the social context in health behavior interventions:  Applications for cancer prevention for working-class, multi-ethnic populations.  Prev Med 2003;  37:188-197.


7.     Goldman R, Hunt MK, Dacey-Allen J, Hauser S, Emmons K, Maeda M, Sorensen G.  The Life History Interview Method: Applications to Intervention Development.  Health Educ Behav 2003;  30;564-581.


8.     Gans K, Kumanyika S, Lovell J, Risica P, Goldman R, et al.  The development of SisterTalk: A cable-TV delivered weight control program for black women.  Prev Med 2003;  37:654-667.


9.     Hunt MK, Stoddard A, Barbeau E, Goldman R, Wallace L, Gutheil C, Sorensen G.  Cancer prevention in working class, multiethnic populations through small businesses: The Healthy Directions Study.  Cancer Causes Control 2003;  14:749-60.


10.  Goldman R.  Promoting a culturally engaged approach to maternal/child health care. Ann Behav Sci Med Educ 2003;  9:101-105.


11.   David S, Taylor J, Monroe A, Goldman R, et al.  Evaluation of an educational intervention to promote competency in social and community determinants of health for medical students.   Ann Behav Sci Med Educ 2004;  10:68-73.


12.   Goldman R, Risica P.  Perceptions of breast and cervical cancer risk and screening among Dominicans and Puerto Ricans in Rhode Island.  Ethn Dis 2004;  14:32-42.


13.  Borkan JM, Zarcadoolas C, Pleasant A, Goldman R, Thomas M, Bell J, Scott HD.  The view from the trenches: Primary care practitioners’ views of family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics.  RI Med J 2004;  87:347-349.


14.   Barbeau E, Goldman R, Roelofs C, Sorensen G.  A New Channel for Health Promotion: Building Trades Unions.  Am J Health Promot 2005;  19:297-303.


15.  Goldman RG, Parker D, Eaton C, Borkan J, Cover R, Ahern D. Patients’ perceptions of cholesterol and cardiovascular disease risk.  Ann Fam Med 2006;  4:205-212.


16. David SP, Eaton CB, Culpepper L, Goldman RE, Lavallee LK, Simmons EM.  Building a successful research enterprise in family medicine: the Brown experience. RI Med J 2006 Aug;  89:281-4.


17.  Hunt MK, Barbeau E, Lederman R, Stoddard A, Chetkovitch C, Goldman R, Wallace L, Sorensen G.  Process evaluation results from the Healthy Directions-Small Business Study.  Health Educ Behav 2007;  34:90-108.


18. Sorensen G, Barbeau E, Stoddard A, Hunt MK, Goldman R, Smith A, Brennan A.  Tools for Health: The efficacy of a tailored intervention targeted for construction laborers.  Cancer Causes Control 2007;  18:51-59.


19. Smith S, Goldman R, Dollase R.  Assessing medical students in nontraditional competencies.  Med Teach 2007;  29:711-6.


20. Parker DR, Gramling R., Goldman RE, Eaton CB, Ahern D, Cover RT, M.A., Borkan J. Physicians’ perceptions of barriers and facilitators regarding adoption of the National Cholesterol Education Program Guidelines. Prev Cardiol 2008;  11:29-35.


21. Goldman R, Sanchez-Hernandez M, Ross-Degnan D, Piette JD, Trinacty CM, Simon S.  Developing an automated telephone diabetes intervention for health plan members.  Int J Qual Health Care 2008;  20:264-70.


22. Goldman RG, Barbeau E, Hunt MK, Acevedo-Garcia D, Gagne J, Emmons K, Sorensen G.  Perceptions of Health Promotion and Cancer Prevention among Working-Class Adults.  Health Educ Behav 2008;  35:777-90.


23. Diaz JA, Roberts MB, Goldman RE, Weitzen S, Eaton CB.  Effect of language on colorectal cancer screening among Latinos and non-Latinos.  Cancer Epidemiol  Biomarkers Prev 2008;  17:2169-73.


24. Goldman R, Kingdon C, Wasser J, Clark M, Goldberg R, Papandonatos G, Hawrot E, Koren G.  Rhode Islanders’ attitudes toward the development of a state-wide genetic biobank.  Personalized Med 2008;  5:339-359.


25. Allen JD, Shelton R, Harden E, Goldman R.  Follow-up of abnormal screening mammograms among low-income, ethnically diverse women: Findings from a qualitative study.  Patient Educ Couns 2008; 72:283-292.


26. Borkan J, Culhane-Pera K, Goldman R.  Integrating culture and ethnicity into a framework for quality healthcare: Towards culturally competent healthcare in culturally diverse Rhode Island.  RI Med J, Special Issue on Anthropological Perspectives on Medicine 2008;  91:361-364.


27. Parker D, Goldman, R, Eaton C.  A Qualitative study of individuals at-risk or who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: What do they understand about their disease?  Lung 2008;  186:313-6. 


28. Eaton C, Parker D, Goldman R, Ahern D. Using eHealth to improve cholesterol management in primary care practice.  J Med Pract Manage 2009;  24:224-230. 


29. Goldman R, Sullivan A, Back A, Alexander S, Matsuyama R, Lee S.  Patients’ reflections on communication in the second-opinion hematology-oncology consultation.  Patient Educ Couns 2009;  76:44-50.


30. Shelton RC, Puleo E, Bennett GG, McNeill LH, Goldman R, Emmons KM. Racial Discrimination and Physical Activity among Low-income Housing Residents.  Am J Prev Med 2009;  37:541-45.


31. Goldman RE, Diaz JA, Ivone K.  Perspectives of colorectal cancer risk and screening among Dominicans and Puerto Ricans: Stigma and misperceptions.  Qual Health Res 2009;  19:1559-1568.


32. Goldman RE, Soran CS, Hayward GL, Simon SR. Physicians’ perceptions of laboratory monitoring in clinical practice.  J Eval Clin Pract 2010;  16:1136-1141.


33. Goldman RE, Dube C, Lapane KL.  Beyond the basics: Refills by electronic prescribing. Int J Med Inform 2010;  79:507-14.


34. Shield RR, Goldman RE, Anthony DA, Wang N, Doyle RJ, Borkan J.  Gradual Electronic Health Record Implementation: New Insights on Physician and Patient Adaptation.  Ann Fam Med 2010;  8:316-326.


35. Nothnagle M, Goldman R, Quirk M, Reis S.  Promoting Self-Directed Learning Skills in Residency: A Case Study in Program Development.  Acad Med  2010;  85:1874-9.


36. McDonald J, Goldman R, O'Brien A, Ayash C, Mitchell K, Marshall R, Simon S, Taveras E. Health Information Technology to Guide Pediatric Obesity Management. Clin Pediatr (Phila) 2011;  50: 543.


37. Hume A, Quilliam B, Goldman RE, Eaton C, Lapane K.  Alternatives to Potentially Inappropriate Medications For Use in e-Prescribing Software: Triggers and Treatment Algorithms. BMJ Qual Saf  2011;  20:875-84.


38. Diaz J, Goldman R, Arellano N, Borkan J, Eaton C. Brief Report: Exploration of colorectal cancer risk perceptions among Latinos.  J Immigr Minor Health 2011;  13:188-92.


39. Loberiza Jr FR, Swore-Flecther BA, Block SD, Back AL , Goldman RE, Tulsky JA, Lee SJ.  Coping Styles, Health Status and Advance Care Planning in Patients with Hematologic Malignancies.  Leuk Lymphoma 2011;  52:2342-8.


40. Eaton C, Parker D, Borkan J, McMurray J, Roberts M, Lu B, Goldman R, Ahern D.  Translating cholesterol guidelines into primary care practice: A multimodal clustered randomized trial. Ann Fam Med 2011;  9:528-537.


41. Nothnagle M. Anandarajah G, Goldman R, Reis S.  Struggling to be self-directed: Residents’ paradoxical beliefs about learning.  Acad Med 2011;86:1539-1544.


42. Shelton RC, Goldman RE, Emmons KM, Sorensen G, Allen JD.  An investigation into the social context of low-income, urban Black and Latina women: implications for adherence to recommended health behaviors.  Health Educ Behav 2011;  38:471-81.


43.  McDonald J, Goldman RE, O'Brien A, Ayash C, Mitchell K, Marshall R, Simon SR, Taveras EM.  Health information technology to guide pediatric obesity management.  Clin Pediatr (Phila) 2011;  50:543-9. 


44.  Goldman RE, Simon S.  Treating hypertension and hyperlipidemia in an emerging accountable care organization: Understanding physicians’ perspectives.  Int J Pers Cent Med 2012;  3:352-360.


45. Alexander SC, Sullivan AM, Back AL, Tulsky JA, Goldman RE, Block SD, Stewart SK, Wilson-Genderson M, Lee SJ. Information giving and receiving in hematological malignancy consultations. Psyhcooncology 2012;  21:297-306. 


46.  Goldman RE, Quilliam B, Lapane K.  Talking about medicines: Older adults’ perceptions of communication with their physicians.  Int J Pers Cent Med 2012;  2:352-360.


47.  Doyle R, Wang N, Anthony D, Borkan J, Shield RR, Goldman RE.  Computers in the examination room and the electronic health record: physicians’ perceived impact on clinical encounters before and after full installation and implementation.  Fam Pract 2012;  29:601-608.


48. Quilliam B, Goldman RE, Lapane K.  Medication management beliefs and practices of low income older adults from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds.  Int J Pers Cent Med 2012;  2:799-804.


49. Alexander SC, Sullivan AM, Back AL, Tulsky JA, Goldman RE, Block SD, Stewart SK, Wilson-Genderson M, Lee SJ.  Information giving and receiving in hematological malignancy consultations.  Psychooncology 2012;  21:297-306.


50. Lapane K, Goldman RE, Quilliam B, Hume A, Eaton C, Zayas-Cabán T.  Tailored DVDs:  A novel strategy for educating racially and ethnically diverse older adults about their medicines.  Int J Med Inform 2012;  81:852-860.


51. Haines J, O’Brien A, McDonald J, Goldman RE, Evans-Schmidt M, Price S, King S, Sherry B, Taveras E.  Television viewing and televisions in bedrooms:  Perceptions of racial/ethnic minority parents of young children.  J Child Fam Stud  2013;  22:749-756. 


52. Diaz JA, Roberts MB, Clarke JG, Simmons EM, Goldman RE, Rakowski W. Colorectal Cancer Screening: Language is a Greater Barrier for Latino Men than Latino Women.  J Immigr Minor Health. 2013;  15:472-5.


53. Block JP, Gillman MW, Linakis SK, Goldman RE. "If it tastes good, I'm drinking it": Qualitative Study of Beverage Consumption among College Students.  J Adolesc Health  2013; 52:702-706.


54. Sharifi M, Marshall G, Marshall R, Bottino C, Goldman R, Sequist T, Taveras EM. Accelerating Progress in Reducing Childhood Obesity Disparities: Exploring Best Practices of Positive Outliers.  J Health Care Poor Underserved 2013;  24(2 Suppl):193-199.


55. Parker DR, Eaton CB, Ahern DK, Roberts MB, Rafferty C, Goldman RE, McCool FD, Wroblewski J.  The study design and rationale of the randomized controlled trial: Translating COPD guidelines into primary care practice.  BMC Fam Pract 2013;  14:56+.


56. Nothnagle M, Reis S, Goldman R, Anandarajah G.  Fostering Professional Development in Residency:  Development and Evaluation of “The Forum” Workshop Series.  Teach Learn Med 2014;26(3):230-8. PMID:25010233


57. Kroshus E, Kubzansky LD, Goldman RE, Austin SB. Exploring the experience of concussion reporting and recovery for male collegiate ice hockey players.  JSSI 2013.  In Press.


58. Chhabra KR, Pollak KI, Lee SJ, Back AL, Goldman RE, Tulsky JA. Physician communication styles in initial consultations for hematological cancer. Patient Educ Couns 2013;93(3):573-8.


59. Kroshus E, Goldman RE, Kubzansky LD, Austin SB. Team-level approaches to addressing disordered eating: A qualitative study of two female collegiate cross country running teams. Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention. 2014;22(2):136-51. Epub 2014 Jan 6. PMID:24392949


60. Sharifi M, Marshall G, Goldman R, Rifas-Shiman SL, Horan CM, Koziol R, Marshall R, Sequist T, Taveras EM. Exploring Innovative Approaches and Patient-Centered Outcomes from Positive Outliers in Childhood Obesity. Acad Pediatr. 2014.  In press.


61. White J, Heney J, Esquibel AY, Dimock C, Goldman R, Anthony D.  Teaching and addressing Health disparities through the family medicine social and community context of care project.  Rhode Island Medical Journal 2014; 97(9):26-30.


62. Kroshus E, Kubzansky LD, Goldman RE, Austin SB. Norms, Athletic Identity, and Concussion Symptom Under-Reporting Among Male Collegiate Ice Hockey Players: A Prospective Cohort Study. Ann Behav Med. 2014 Sep 19. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:25236670


63. Woo Baidal JA, Criss S, Goldman RE, Perkins M, Cunningham C, Taveras EM. Reducing Hispanic Children’s Obesity Risk Factors in the First 1000 Days of Life: A Qualitative Analysis. Journal of Obesity. 2014, in press.

64. Goldman RE, Parker D, Brown J, Eaton C, Walker J, Borkan J.  Recommendations for a Mixed-Methods Approach to Evaluating the Patient-Centered Medical Home.  Accepted for publication in Annals of Family Medicine, 2014.


65. Rini C, Porter LS, Somers TJ, McKee DC, DeVellis RF, Smith M, Winkel G, Ahern DK, Goldman R, Stiller JL, Mariani C, Patterson C, Jordan JJ, Caldwell DS, Keefe FJ.  Automated, Internet-based Pain Coping Skills Training to Manage Osteoarthritis Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial.  Pain.  2014, in press.


66. Parker DR, Goldman RE, Brown J, Hewitt S, Frazzano A, Shield R, Eaton CB, Adewale V, Borkan JM. The Brown Primary Care Initiative Design for Strategies Towards Patient-Centered Medical Home Practice Transformation. Accepted for publication in Primary Health Care: Open Access, 2014.


67. Kroshus E, Kubzansky L, Goldman R, Austin SB. Anti-Dieting Advice From Teammates: A Pilot Study of the Experience of Female Collegiate Cross Country Runners. Eat Disord. 2014 Oct 8:1-14. [Epub ahead of print]

research overview

The focus of Roberta Goldman's work is to apply issues of social context to community¬ó and primary care-based studies and health behavior interventions. Her expertise is in multi-method qualitative research with immigrants and minority populations, low income, low literacy, and older adults in the areas of women's health and aging, physician-patient communication, medication safety, cancer, cardiovascular (CVD) prevention, other chronic disease, and health information technology. A recent focus of her research is evaluation of medical practice transformation for Patient-Centered Medical Homes.

research statement

Roberta Goldman, anthropologist, is a core faculty member and researcher in the Brown Center for Primary Care and Prevention at Memorial Hospital of RI. She has worked collaboratively on multidisciplinary research teams for over 2 decades with MD and PhD investigators from a wide variety of academic backgrounds, and with minority and immigrant community groups. An important focus of her work concerns applying issues of social context to research design, community- and primary care-based health behavior interventions, clinical teaching, and curriculum development. She has consulted broadly on the use of qualitative methods in health care research and cultural issues in patient care, and has led qualitative components of numerous federally funded studies. She teaches a yearly graduate course at the Harvard School of Public Health, "Qualitative Research Methods for Public Health". She speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and has done qualitative research in Peru, Mexico, Alaska, and Portugal, and in Cape Verdean, Portuguese, Hispanic, African American, West Indian, and European-American communities in New England.

Currently, much of Dr. Goldman's research at Brown revolves around health services delivery. She directs the Evaluation Unit for the Brown Primary Care Transformation Initiative, a HRSA-funded study of practice transformation along the Patient-Centered Medical Home model.

She has participated in numerous multidisciplinary team collaborations for federally-funded health IT projects where she has provided research design planning and oversight for all aspects of qualitative research and application of qualitative findings to design of the electronic programs. She was co-PI for an AHRQ-funded intervention to develop low-literacy educational DVDs to enhance medication safety among older adults. She was PI of a study exploring the combination of qualitative research methods and internet-based disease prevention interventions among Spanish-speaking Latina women in midlife; PI of a longitudinal study investigating the impact of full electronic medical record implementation in a family medicine residency clinic; PI of a study of cancer screening among Latinos, and PI of a community-engaged research study of substance use among Latino and Black youth. She has been a co-investigator for a great variety of other federally-funded studies aimed at disease prevention through behavior change, and improving patient safety, disease management, patient-physician communication and patient self-management.

funded research

1R18HL093090-01A1 (Parker-PI) 07/01/09-06/30/14
Translating COPD Guidelines into Primary Care Practice
Co-I: Evaluation of the translation of the Gold (the Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) COPD guidelines into primary care practice. Dr. Goldman is conducting focus groups and responsible for qualitative data analysis and translation into use for tool development.

1R21CA152833-01A1 (PI-Diaz) 04/01/11-03/31/2013
Development of Tailored Intervention to Promote CRC Screening Among Latino Men
Colorectal cancer screening rates are low, especially among Latinos with limited English proficiency. "Positive deviants" or "successful peers" are those individuals in a community who practice a healthy behavior (e.g. colorectal cancer screening) when the majority do not. This project will use a "positive deviance" approach to create a culturally and linguistically appropriate innovative personalized video intervention to promote colorectal cancer screening among Spanish-speaking Latino men.

1D54HP20675-01-00 (PI-Borkan) 08/01/10-07/31/2015
Academic Administrative Unit Grant to Expand Leadership in Patient-Centered Medical Home Transformation
Co-I: The purpose of this grant is to significantly expand the Department of Family Medicine at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University as an Academic Administrative Unit by substantially building upon our current position as leaders in primary care practice transformation using the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model of care. Dr. Goldman is leading the Evaluation Unit for this PCMH transformation initiative.

1D58HP20805 (Anandarajah-PI) 09/01/10-06/30/15
Family Medicine Residency Training in Primary Care
Co-I: This project builds on the robust foundation of our long-standing, successful residency program, faculty expertise, and institutional support to train the next generation of family doctors to play key roles in addressing health disparities, increasing the primary care workforce and improving the overall health of our nation.

1D56HP20688-01-00 (Taylor-PI; Anthony-Co-I) 09/01/10-6/30/15
Pre-Doctoral Training in Primary Care
Co-I: The overall purpose of this grant is to train medical students at Alpert Medical School of Brown University to provide outstanding primary care for underserved populations. The project has three overarching goals: 1) to increase the number of m=graduation medical students who intend to practice primary care in underserved communities. 2) to prepare 100% of AMS graduates to care for underserved patients regardless of their specialty of choice, and 3) to comprehensively evaluate the impact of the first two goals.

1 R18 HS017150-01 (Lapane-PI) 10/01/07-09/30/10
Optimizing Medication History Value in Clinical Encounters with Elderly Patients
Co-I: This study uses triggers and training in a clinical trial in physicians' offices to enhance the use of electronic medication history at the point of e-prescribing to promote partnerships with patients and empower caregivers to participate in treatment decisions. Dr. Goldman is leading the qualitative components of the study, as well as contributing to development of intervention modules for physicians.

1 R18 HS016281-01 (Lapane-PI) 10/01/07-09/30/10
Tailored DVD to Improve Medication Management for Low Literate Elderly Patients
Co-I/PI on subcontract: Developing and testing interventions to improve the patient experience of care through health IT, improved shared decision making and patient-clinician communication, as well as self-management of chronic conditions. Dr. Goldman is leading the qualitative components of the study and intervention materials.

RI-DHHS (Goldman-Site PI) 10/01/07-09/30/09
Issues Contributing to Substance Abuse among Minority Youth in Providence, RI
PI for subcontract with the Center for Hispanic Policy and Advocacy (CHisPA): This qualitative study consists of focus groups with Latino and African American youth in Providence, RI, to explore the social, economic, cultural, and political issues that contribute to substance abuse.

1 R01 CA111310-01A1 (Sorensen-PI) 07/01/05-06/30/09
Determinants of Cancer Risk in Low-Income Housing
Co-I: This study assessed behavioral and environmental cancer risks among residents of low-income housing in the Boston area. Dr. Goldman was responsible for oversight of all qualitative research design, implementation, and data analysis as well as translation of qualitative findings for application to survey development.

1 R01 CA098486-01A1 (Lee-PI) 08/04/03-07/31/07
Enhancing Doctor-Patient Communication in Hematology/Oncology Consultations
Co-I: The study worked towards the overall goal of enhancing communication, improving patient understanding and decision-making, and facilitating psychosocial adaptation to life-threatening illness. Dr. Goldman led the qualitative component of the study involving in-depth patient interviews.