Cleveland Shields, PhD

Research Interests

Dr. Shields studies physician-patient communication in cancer care, in pain management, and in adolescents. He is also interested in health disparities (including drug abuse) due to race, poverty, and geography such as rural or urban.


Dr. Shields has been supported by the National Institutes of Health to examine physician-patient communication and stage 4 cancer. He recently completed a NIDA grant to study physician-patient communication in opioid management and drug addiction in non-cancer chronic pain patients. He is also a faculty member of the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering (RCHE) and the Purdue Center for Cancer Research. He is currently part of a project funded by the U.S. Office of Minority Health to RCHE to empower rural communities to respond to the opioid crisis in which you will be training community members and providers in motivational interviewing.

In the News

How racial bias affects cancer pain control
Purdue News
Study:  Race could be a determinant in physician-patient interactions and pain treatment in cancer

Selected Publications

  • Johns, S. A., Beck-Coon, K., Stutz, P. V., Talib, T. L., Chinh, K., Cottingham, A. H., Schmidt, K., Shields, C., Stout, M. E., Stump, T. E., Monahan, P. O., Torke, A. M., & Helft, P. R. (2019). Mindfulness training supports quality of life and advance care planning in adults with metastatic cancer and their caregivers: Results of a pilot study. American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine, 36, 1-12. doi:10.1177/1049909119862254

  • Shields, C. G., Fuzzell, L. N., Christ, S. L., & Matthias, M. S. (2019). Patient and provider characteristics associated with communication about opioids: An observational study. Patient Education and Counseling, 102(5), 888–894. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2018.12.005

  • Shields, C. G., Griggs, J. J., Fiscella, K., Elias, C. M., Christ, S. L., Colbert, J., … Epstein, R. M. (2019). The influence of patient race and activation on pain management in advanced lung cancer: A randomized field experiment. JGIM: Journal of General Internal Medicine, 34(3), 435-442. doi:10.1007/s11606-018-4785-z

  • Cottingham, A. H., Beck-Coon, K., Bernat, J. K., Helft, P. R., Schmidt, K., Shields, C. G.,…Johns, S. A. (2018). Addressing personal barriers to advance care planning: Qualitative investigation of a mindfulness-based intervention for adults with cancer and their family caregivers. Palliative & Supportive Care, 1–10.

  • Venetis, M. K., Meyerson, B. E., Friley, L. B., Gillespie, A., Ohmit, A., & Shields, C. G. (2017). Characterizing sexual orientation disclosure to healthcare providers: Lesbian, gay, and bisexual perspectives. Health Communication, 32(5), 578-586.

  • Epstein, R. M., Duberstein, P. R., Fenton, J. J., Fiscella, K., Hoerger, M., Tancredi, D. J.,  Xing, G., Gramling, R., Mohile, S., Franks, P., Kaesberg, P., Plumb, S., Cipri, C. S., Street, Jr, R. L., Shields, C. G., Back, A. L., Butow, P., Walczak, A., Tattersall, M., Venuti, M., Sullivan, P., Robinson, M., Hoh, B., Lewis, L., & Kravitz, R. L. (2016). Effect of a patient-centered communication intervention on oncologist-patient communication, quality of life, and health care utilization in advanced cancer: The VOICE Randomized Clinical Trial.  JAMA Oncology. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.4373

  • Fuzzell, L., Fedesco, H. N., Alexander, S. C., Fortenberry, J. D., & Shields, C. G. (2016). “I just think that doctors need to ask more questions”: Sexual minority and majority adolescents’ experiences talking about sexuality with healthcare providers. Patient Education and Counseling.

  • Ostovari, M., Yu, D., Xie, S., Ye, Q., Katare, B., Adibuzzaman, M., Musselman, K. J., Nateghi, R., Shields, C. G., & Yih, Y. (2016). Bridging the gap between population needs and barriers into onsite clinic use. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 60(1), 1809-1812. doi: 10.1177/1541931213601413.

  • Adeola, M. T., Baird, C. L., Sands, L. P., *Longoria, N., *Henry, U., Nielsen, J., & Shields, C. G. (2015). Active despite pain: Patient experiences with guided imagery with relaxation compared to planned rest. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 19(6), 649-652. doi:10.1188/15.CJON.649-652

  • Alexander, S. C., Christ, S. L., Fortenberry, J. D., Pollak, K. I., Østbye, T., Bravender, T., & Shields, C. G. (2015). Identifying types of sex conversations in adolescent health maintenance visits. Sex Health. doi:10.1071/SH15080

  • Alexander, S. C., Fortenberry, J. D., Pollak, K. I., Bravender, T., Ostbye, T., Tulsky, J. A., Dolor, R., & Shields, C. G. (2015). Adolescent sexual behavior: Comparing verbal disclosure to physicians during visits with answers on self-report questionnaires. Clinical Pediatrics, 54,1-5. [ISI Impact: 1.26]

  • Alexander, S. C., Fortenberry, J. D., Pollak, K. I., Østbye, T., Bravender, T., Tulsky, J. A., … Shields, C. G. (2015). Disclosure of sexual intercourse by teenagers: Agreement between telephone survey responses and annual visit disclosures. Clinical Pediatrics, 54(6), 529-533.

  • *Adedokun, O. A., Parker, L. C., Childress, A., Burgess, W., Adams, R., Agnew, C. R., Leary, J., Knapp, D., Shields, C. G., Lelievre, S., & Teegarden, D. (2014). Effect of time on perceived gains from an undergraduate research program. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 13, 139-148. doi:10.1187/cbe.13-03-0045. [ISI Impact: 1.19]

  • Alexander, S. C., Fortenberry, J. D., Pollak, K. I., Bravender, T., Ostbye, T., & Shields, C. G. (2014). Physicians use of inclusive language during teenage annual visits. LGBT Health, 1, 283-291. doi:10.1089/lgbt.2014.0035. [ISI Impact: NA]

  • *Dong, S., Butow, P. N., Costa, D. S. J., Dhillon, H., & Shields, C. G. (2014). The influence of patient-centered communication during radiotherapy education sessions on post-consultation patient outcomes. Patient Education and Counseling, 95(3), 305-312. [ISI Impact: 2.93]

  • *Fang, S., *Shi, W., Kong, N., & Shields, C. G. (2014). A preliminary variable selection based regression analysis for predicting patient satisfaction on physician-patient cancer prognosis communication. In X. Zheng, D. Zeng, H. Chen, Y. Zhang, C. Xing, & D. B. Neil (Eds.), Smart Health (pp.171-180). Springer International Publishing.

  • *Alexander, S. C., Fortenberry, J. D., Pollak, K. I., Bravender, T., Davis, J. K., Ostbye, T., Tulsky, J. A., Dolor, R. J., & Shields, C. G. (2014). Sexuality talk during adolescent health maintenance visits. Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, 168(2), 163-169. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4338 . [ISI Impact: 4.28]

  • *Edwardsen, E. A., Reis, S., Morse, D. S., Gurnsey, M. G., Taupin, A., Shields, C. G., Griggs, J. J., & McDaniel, S. H. (2013). Physician dialogues with advanced cancer patients: Mostly patient-friendly but often physician-directed. European Journal of Person-Centred Medicine, 1, 138-148. [ISI Impact: NA]

  • *McDaniel, S. H., Morse, D. S., Edwardsen, E. A., Gurnsey, M. G., Taupin, A., Griggs, J. J., & Shields, C. G. (2013). Physicians criticizing physicians to patients. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 28, 1405-1409. doi:10.1007/s11606-013-2499-9. [ISI Impact: 3.65]

  • *Shields, C. G., †Finley, M. A., Elias, C. M., †Coker, C. J., Griggs, J. J., Fiscella, K., & Epstein, R. M. (2013). Pain assessment: The roles of physician certainty and curiosity. Health Communication, 3, 1-7. doi:10.1080/10410236.2012.715380. [ISI Impact: 1.763]

  • *Franks, M. M., †Sahin, Z. S., †Seidel, A. J., Shields, C. G., Oates, S. K., & Boushey, C. J. (2012). Table for two: Diabetes distress and diet-related interactions of married patients with diabetes and their spouses. Families, Systems, & Health, 30, 154-165. doi:10.1037/a0028614. [ISI Impact: 1.735]

  • *Franks, M. M., Shields, C. G., Sands, L., Lim, E., Mobley, S., & Boushey, C. J. (2012). I will if you will: Similarity in health behavior change of married partners. Health, Education, & Behavior. 39, 324-331. doi:10.1177/1090198111402824 [ISI Impact: 1.536]

  • *Shields, C. G., †Finley, M. A., & †Chawla, N. (2012). Couple and family interventions in health problems. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38, 265-280. doi:10.1111/j.1752-0606.2011.00269.x [ISI Impact: 1.116]

  • *Teegarden, D., Lee, J., Adedokun, O., Childress, A., Parker, L. C., Burgess, W., Nagel, J., Knapp, D. W., Lelievre, S., Agnew, C. R., Shields, C. G., Leary, J., Adams, R., & Jensen, J. D. (2011). Cancer prevention interdisciplinary education program at Purdue University: Overview and preliminary results. Journal of Cancer Education, 26, 626-632. doi:org/10.1007/s13187-011-0232-0 [ISI Impact: 0.762]

  • *Shields, C. G., Ziner, K. W., Bourff, S. A., Schilling, K., Zhao, Q., Monahan, P., Sledge, G., & Champion, V. (2010). An intervention to improve communication between breast cancer survivors and their physicians. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 28, 610-629. doi:10.1080/07347332.2010.516811 [ISI Impact: 1.03]

  • †Rosenberg, T., & Shields, C. G. (2009). The role of parental-adolescent attachment in the glycemic control of adolescents with type 1 diabetes: A pilot study. Families, Systems, & Health, 27, 237-248. doi:10.1037/a0017117 [ISI Impact: 1.05]

  • *Shields, C. G., †Coker, C. J., Poulsen, S. S., †Doyle, J. M., Fiscella, K., Epstein, R. M., & Griggs, J. J. (2009). Patient-centered communication and prognosis discussions with cancer patients. Patient Education and Counseling, 57, 437-442. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2009.09.006 [ISI Impact: 2.93]

  • *Duberstein, P., Meldrum, S., Fiscella, K., Shields, C. G., & Epstein, R. M. (2007). Influences on patients’ ratings of physicians: Physicians’ demographics and personality. Patient Education and Counseling, 65, 270-274. [ISI Impact: 2.305]

  • *Epstein, R. M., Hadee, T., Carroll, J., Meldrum, S. C., Lardner, J., & Shields, C. G. (2007). Could this be something serious? Reassurance, uncertainty and empathy in response to patients’ expressions of worry. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 22, 1731-1739. doi:10.1007/s11606-007-0416-9 [ISI Impact: 2.96]

  • *Epstein, R. M., Shields, C. G., Franks, P., Meldrum, S. C., Feldman, M., & Kravitz, R. L. (2007). Exploring and validating patient concerns: Relation to prescribing for depression. Annals of Family Medicine, 5, 21-28. doi:10.1370/afm.621 [ISI Impact: 3.80]

  • *Griggs, J. J., Sorbero, M. E. S., †Mallinger, J. B., Quinn, M., Waterman, M., Brooks, B., & Shields, C. G. (2007). Vitality, mental health, and satisfaction with information after breast cancer. Patient Education and Counseling, 66, 58-66. [ISI Impact: 1.78]

  • *Schultz, S. H., North, S. W., & Shields, C. G. (2007). Schizophrenia: a review. American Family Physician, 75, 1821-1829. doi:n/a [ISI Impact: 1.89]

  • *Bayer, W., †Mallinger, J. B., Krishnan, A., & Shields, C. G. (2006). Attitudes toward life-sustaining interventions among ambulatory black and white patients. Ethnicity and Disease, 16, 915-920. PMID:17061746 [ISI Impact: 1.59]

  • *Burwell, S. R., Brucker, P., & Shields, C. G. (2006). Attachment behaviors and proximity-seeking in cancer patients and their partners. Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, 5, 1-16. doi:10.1300/J398v05n03_01 [ISI Impact: 1.06]

  • *Epstein, R. M., Shields, C. G., Meldrum, S. C., Fiscella, K., Carroll, J., & Carney, P. A. (2006). Physicians’ responses to patients’ medically unexplained symptoms. Psychosomatic Medicine, 68, 269-276. doi:10.1097/01.psy.0000204652.27246.5b [ISI Impact: 3.86]

  • *Franks, P., Jerant, A. F., Fiscella, K., Shields, C. G., Tancredi, D. J., & Epstein, R. M. (2006). Studying physician effects on patient outcomes: Physician interactional style and performance on quality of care indicators. Social Science & Medicine, 62, 422-432. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2005.05.027 [ISI Impact: 3.69]

  • †Mallinger, J. B., Griggs, J. J., & Shields, C. G. (2006). Family communication and mental health after breast cancer. European Journal of Cancer Care, 15, 355-361. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2354.2006.00666.x [ISI Impact: 1.31]

  • †Mallinger, J. B., Shields, C. G., Griggs, J. J., Roscoe, J. A., Morrow, G. R., & Rosenbluth, R. J. (2006). Stability of decisional role preference over the course of cancer therapy. Psycho-Oncology, 15, 297-305. doi:10.1002/pon.954 [ISI Impact: 2.77]


  • Post Doctoral Training, 1987-90, Family Therapy Training Program, Division of Family Programs, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester

  • PhD, 1987, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Purdue University

  • MDiv, 1980, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC

  • BS, 1976, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA

Courses Recently Taught

  • HDFS 629: Interventions in Families and Health (Methodology)

  • HDFS 201: Family Processes

  • HDFS 331: Skills for Helping Professionals


  • 2005, 2006: Susan H. McDaniel Graduate Teaching Award, Awarded by Graduate Students in the Marriage & Family Therapy Masters Degree Program, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester

External Grants

  • 2011-2016, Co-PI, National Cancer Institute, Social and behavioral influences on clinical communication and pain management. $2,700,000.

  • 2015-2017, Co-PI, National Institute of Drug Abuse, Identifying communicative factors affecting opioid management for chronic pain. $270,000.

Professional Memberships

  • European Association for Communication in Healthcare (EACH)

  • American Academy on Communication in Healthcare (AACH)

Cleve Shields

Professor Emeritus

(PhD, Purdue University)


FEICS I (Original Version)
Here is a copy of the FEICS scale. I hereby grant permission to anyone to use this if they wish. Good luck with your research.

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