Paul R. Duberstein, Ph.D.

Paul R. Duberstein, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box PSYCH
Rochester, NY 14642

Office: (585) 275-6742
Fax: (585) 273-1082

Research Bio

My research aims to improve clinical care by deepening understanding of how each patient's developmental history, personality, beliefs, and attitudes can influence their
• susceptibility to disease
• experience of illness
• willingness to report symptoms
• interactions with clinicians and the healthcare system
• ability to recruit help from family or friends for their health needs

I have addressed these issues in clinical research conducted at the URMC and other academic health centers as well as in secondary analyses of public datasets. The clinical studies have been conducted in an array of health care settings, including primary care and specialty care (psychiatry, oncology, neurology). My current research focuses on the development of customized interventions to overcome barriers to effective communication and decision-making about emotion-laden topics (e.g., end-of-life decisions, cancer treatment decisions, mental health treatment) in medical care. Another area of current interest is the impact of clinician characteristics (e.g., personality, personal experiences) on clinical care and patient outcomes.

In 2009, along with colleagues in the Departments of Public Health Sciences and Family Medicine, I formed the Rochester Health Care Decision Making Group. The mission of the HCDMG is to create knowledge that helps patients, family caregivers, and clinicians make effective decisions about health and health care while minimizing the emotional and cognitive burdens of decision-making.

I have served as Associate Editor (2007-2009; 2013-present) and Interim Editor (2010-2012) of the American Psychological Association's flagship aging journal, Psychology and Aging. At URMC I have served as the Director of the Laboratory of Personality and Development (2000-2012), as well as Co-Director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide (2002-2008) and the Rochester Center for Mind Body Research (2004-2008). I have worked closely with local physicians, scientists and community partners as well as with a network of national collaborators. I have also collaborated with scientists in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Iceland, Spain, and Sweden, where I have a longstanding affiliation with Göteborg University's Neuroepidemiology Program.

Awards & Honors (National)

American Psychological Foundation Theodore Millon Award for Advancing the Science of Personality Psychology | Division 12 (Clinical) of the American Psychological Association 2005
American Association of Suicidology Shneidman Award for Early Career Contributions to Suicide Research | American Association of Suicidology 2000

Awards & Honors (Local)

Junior Faculty Mentoring Award | University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry 2005

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 205 available »

2016 Feb
Fässberg MM, Cheung G, Canetto SS, Erlangsen A, Lapierre S, Lindner R, Draper B, Gallo JJ, Wong C, Wu J, Duberstein P, Wærn M. "A systematic review of physical illness, functional disability, and suicidal behaviour among older adults." Aging & mental health. 2016 Feb; 20(2):166-94. Epub 2015 Sep 18.
2016 Jan 22
Nsamenang SA, Hirsch JK, Topciu R, Goodman AD, Duberstein PR. "The interrelations between spiritual well-being, pain interference and depressive symptoms in patients with multiple sclerosis." Journal of behavioral medicine. 2016 Jan 22; Epub 2016 Jan 22.
2016 Jan
Canada B, Stephan Y, Jaconelli A, Duberstein PR. "The Moderating Effect of Chronological Age on the Relation Between Neuroticism and Physical Functioning: Cross-Sectional Evidence From Two French Samples." The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences. 2016 Jan; 71(1):35-40. Epub 2014 Jul 08.
2016 Jan
Gerhart J, Asvat Y, Lattie E, O'Mahony S, Duberstein P, Hoerger M. "Distress, delay of gratification and preference for palliative care in men with prostate cancer." Psycho-oncology. 2016 Jan; 25(1):91-6. Epub 2015 Apr 21.
2016 Jan
Lattie EG, Asvat Y, Shivpuri S, Gerhart J, O'Mahony S, Duberstein P, Hoerger M. "Associations Between Personality and End-of-Life Care Preferences Among Men With Prostate Cancer: A Clustering Approach." Journal of pain and symptom management. 2016 Jan; 51(1):52-9. Epub 2015 Sep 05.

Current Appointments

Professor - Department of Psychiatry, Psychology (SMD) - Primary
Professor - Department of Family Medicine (SMD)


PhD | Clinical and Community Psychology | SUNY Buffalo1990
BA | Psychology | Univ of Pennsylvania1982

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (URSMD), National Research Service Award, Department of Psychiatry 1993