Academic Interests

Dr. Matthias’ research interests include relationship-centered care and its effect on healthcare processes and outcomes, patient-provider communication, patient activation, and shared decision-making. Much of her work has focused on communication surrounding the management of chronic pain, including treatment decision-making, opioid management and tapering, and the patient-provider relationship. Other areas of research include patient-provider communication through secure messaging, shared decision-making in mental health settings, and healthcare and health communication disparities. Methodologically, Dr. Matthias approaches research using a variety of methods, including qualitative interviews, clinical observation, and randomized controlled trials.


Health Communication, Qualitative Research Methods, Communication Theory, Interpersonal Communication


Service Award, Department of Veterans Affairs, 2018

Outstanding Service Award, Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 2012

Career Development Award, Department of Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development, 2011

Young Investigator Award, Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 2010

Top Four Paper Award, Health Communication Division, National Communication Association, 2009

Veterans Affairs Health Service Research and Development Post-Doctoral Award, 2007


Matthias, M.S., Donaldson, M.T., Jensen, A.T., & Krebs, E.E. (2018). “I was a little surprised”: Qualitative insights from patients enrolled in a 12-month trial comparing opioids to non-opioids for chronic musculoskeletal pain. Journal of Pain, 19(9), 1082-90, DOI:

Henry, S.G., & Matthias, M.S. (in press). Patient-clinician communication about pain: A narrative review and conceptual model. Pain Medicine. DOI: 10.1093/pm/pny003.

Lee, J.L., Matthias, M.S., Menachemi, N., Frankel, R.M., & Weiner, M. (2018). A critical appraisal of guidelines for electronic communication between patients and clinicians: The need to modernize current recommendations, Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 25(4), 413-18. DOI: 10.1093/jamia/ocx089.

Matthias, M.S., Johnson, N., Shields, C.G., Bair, M.J., MacKie, P., Huffman, M., & Alexander, S.C. (2017). “I’m not gonna pull the rug out from under you”: Patient-provider communication about opioid tapering. Journal of Pain, 18(11), 1365-73, DOI:

Matthias, M.S., Fukui, S., & Salyers, M.P. (2017). What factors are associated with consumer initiation of shared decision making in mental health visits? Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 44(1), 133-40. DOI: 10.1007/s10488-015-0688-z.

Matthias, M.S., Kukla, M., McGuire, A.B., & Bair, M.J. (2016). How do patients with chronic pain benefit from a peer-supported pain self-management intervention?  A qualitative study. Pain Medicine, 17(12), 2247-2255. DOI: 10.1093/pm/pnw138.

Matthias, M.S., Kukla, M., McGuire, A., Gill, N., Damush, T.M., & Bair, M.J. (2016). Facilitators and barriers to peer support for veterans with chronic pain. Clinical Journal of Pain, 32(6), 534-40.

Dr. Matthias has more than 60 peer-reviewed publications in communication and health services research journals.


Deputy Editor, Journal of General Internal Medicine

Section Co-Editor, Pain Medicine, Primary Care and Health Services Research Section

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