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Robert S. Dittus, M.D., M.P.H.

Albert & Bernard Werthan Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine and Public Health)
Associate Vice-Chancellor for Public Health and Health Care
Senior Associate Dean for Population Health Sciences
Director, Institute for Medicine and Public Health

Contact Information:

Vanderbilt University Medical Center
1215 21st Ave S. Suite 6000, MCE
Nashville, TN 37232-8300

  • M.P.H. - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1984
  • M.D. - Indiana University, 1978
  • Residency - Indiana University Medical Center, 1982
  • Internship - Indiana University Medical Center, 1979
  • Peterson NB, Murff HJ, Ness RM, Dittus RS. Colorectal cancer screening among men and women in the United States. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2007 Jan; 16(1): 57-65. PMID: 17324097, DOI: 10.1089/jwh.2006.0131, ISSN: 1540-9996.
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  • Girard TD, Shintani AK, Jackson JC, Gordon SM, Pun BT, Henderson MS, Dittus RS, Bernard GR, Ely EW. Risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms following critical illness requiring mechanical ventilation: a prospective cohort study. Crit Care. 2007; 11(1): R28. PMID: 17316452, PMCID: PMC2151865, PII: cc5708, DOI: 10.1186/cc5708, ISSN: 1466-609X.
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  • Roumie CL, Elasy TA, Greevy R, Griffin MR, Liu X, Stone WJ, Wallston KA, Dittus RS, Alvarez V, Cobb J, Speroff T. Improving blood pressure control through provider education, provider alerts, and patient education: a cluster randomized trial. Ann. Intern. Med. 2006 Aug 8/1/2006; 145(3): 165-75. PMID: 16880458, PII: 145/3/165, ISSN: 1539-3704.
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  • Murff HJ, Dittus RS. Near misses and research subjects. Qual Saf Health Care. 2006 Aug; 15(4): 228-9. PMID: 16885243, PMCID: PMC2564016, PII: 15/4/228, DOI: 10.1136/qshc.2006.018176, ISSN: 1475-3901.
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  • Rothman RL, So SA, Shin J, Malone RM, Bryant B, Dewalt DA, Pignone MP, Dittus RS. Labor characteristics and program costs of a successful diabetes disease management program. Am J Manag Care. 2006 May; 12(5): 277-83. PMID: 16686585, PII: 3131, ISSN: 1088-0224.
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  • Peterson JF, Pun BT, Dittus RS, Thomason JW, Jackson JC, Shintani AK, Ely EW. Delirium and its motoric subtypes: a study of 614 critically ill patients. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2006 Mar; 54(3): 479-84. PMID: 16551316, PII: JGS621, DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2005.00621.x, ISSN: 0002-8614.
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  • Pandharipande P, Shintani A, Peterson J, Pun BT, Wilkinson GR, Dittus RS, Bernard GR, Ely EW. Lorazepam is an independent risk factor for transitioning to delirium in intensive care unit patients. Anesthesiology. 2006 Jan; 104(1): 21-6. PMID: 16394685, PII: 00000542-200601000-00005, ISSN: 0003-3022.
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  • Roumie CL, Halasa NB, Grijalva CG, Edwards KM, Zhu Y, Dittus RS, Griffin MR. Trends in antibiotic prescribing for adults in the United States--1995 to 2002. J Gen Intern Med. 2005 Aug; 20(8): 697-702. PMID: 16050877, PMCID: PMC1490171, PII: JGI05620, DOI: 10.1111/j.1525-1497.2005.0148.x, ISSN: 1525-1497.
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  • Spindler KP, Kuhn JE, Dunn W, Matthews CE, Harrell FE, Dittus RS. Reading and reviewing the orthopaedic literature: a systematic, evidence-based medicine approach. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2005 Jul; 13(4): 220-9. PMID: 16112979, PII: 13/4/220, ISSN: 1067-151X.
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  • Kallianpur AR, Hall LD, Yadav M, Byrne DW, Speroff T, Dittus RS, Haines JL, Christman BW, Summar ML. The hemochromatosis C282Y allele: a risk factor for hepatic veno-occlusive disease after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2005 Jun; 35(12): 1155-64. PMID: 15834437, PII: 1704943, DOI: 10.1038/sj.bmt.1704943, ISSN: 0268-3369.
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  • Pun BT, Gordon SM, Peterson JF, Shintani AK, Jackson JC, Foss J, Harding SD, Bernard GR, Dittus RS, Ely EW. Large-scale implementation of sedation and delirium monitoring in the intensive care unit: a report from two medical centers. Crit. Care Med. 2005 Jun; 33(6): 1199-205. PMID: 15942331, PII: 00003246-200506000-00002, ISSN: 0090-3493.
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  • Roumie CL, Halasa NB, Edwards KM, Zhu Y, Dittus RS, Griffin MR. Differences in antibiotic prescribing among physicians, residents, and nonphysician clinicians. Am. J. Med. 2005 Jun; 118(6): 641-8. PMID: 15922696, PII: S0002-9343(05)00099-9, DOI: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2005.02.013, ISSN: 0002-9343.
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  • Rothman RL, Malone R, Bryant B, Shintani AK, Crigler B, Dewalt DA, Dittus RS, Weinberger M, Pignone MP. A randomized trial of a primary care-based disease management program to improve cardiovascular risk factors and glycated hemoglobin levels in patients with diabetes. Am. J. Med. 2005 Mar; 118(3): 276-84. PMID: 15745726, PII: S0002-9343(04)00717-X, DOI: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2004.09.017, ISSN: 0002-9343.
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  • Grogan EL, Morris JA, Dittus RS, Moore DE, Poulose BK, Diaz JJ, Speroff T. Cervical spine evaluation in urban trauma centers: lowering institutional costs and complications through helical CT scan. J. Am. Coll. Surg. 2005 Feb; 200(2): 160-5. PMID: 15664088, PII: S1072-7515(04)01357-2, DOI: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2004.10.019, ISSN: 1072-7515.
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  • Grogan EL, Norris PR, Speroff T, Ozdas A, France DJ, Harris PA, Jenkins JM, Stiles R, Dittus RS, Morris JA. Volatility: a new vital sign identified using a novel bedside monitoring strategy. J Trauma. 2005 Jan; 58(1): 7-12; discussion 12. PMID: 15674143, PII: 00005373-200501000-00002, ISSN: 0022-5282.
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  • Spindler KP, Kuhn JE, Freedman KB, Matthews CE, Dittus RS, Harrell FE. Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction autograft choice: bone-tendon-bone versus hamstring: does it really matter? A systematic review. Am J Sports Med. 2004 Dec; 32(8): 1986-95. PMID: 15572332, ISSN: 0363-5465.
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  • Grogan EL, Speroff T, Deppen SA, Roumie CL, Elasy TA, Dittus RS, Rosenbloom ST, Holzman MD. Improving documentation of patient acuity level using a progress note template. J. Am. Coll. Surg. 2004 Sep; 199(3): 468-75. PMID: 15325618, PII: S1072-7515(04)00702-1, DOI: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2004.05.254, ISSN: 1072-7515.
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  • Roumie CL, Grogan EL, Falbe W, Awad J, Speroff T, Dittus RS, Elasy TA. A three-part intervention to change the use of hormone replacement therapy in response to new evidence. Ann. Intern. Med. 2004 Jul 7/20/2004; 141(2): 118-25. PMID: 15262667, PII: 141/2/118, ISSN: 1539-3704.
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  • Kallianpur AR, Hall LD, Yadav M, Christman BW, Dittus RS, Haines JL, Parl FF, Summar ML. Increased prevalence of the HFE C282Y hemochromatosis allele in women with breast cancer. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 2004 Feb; 13(2): 205-12. PMID: 14973098, ISSN: 1055-9965.
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  • Ely EW, Stephens RK, Jackson JC, Thomason JW, Truman B, Gordon S, Dittus RS, Bernard GR. Current opinions regarding the importance, diagnosis, and management of delirium in the intensive care unit: a survey of 912 healthcare professionals. Crit. Care Med. 2004 Jan; 32(1): 106-12. PMID: 14707567, DOI: 10.1097/01.CCM.0000098033.94737.84, ISSN: 0090-3493.
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  • Hartert TV, Neuzil KM, Shintani AK, Mitchel EF, Snowden MS, Wood LB, Dittus RS, Griffin MR. Maternal morbidity and perinatal outcomes among pregnant women with respiratory hospitalizations during influenza season. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 2003 Dec; 189(6): 1705-12. PMID: 14710102, PII: S0002937803008573, ISSN: 0002-9378.
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  • Tarquinio GT, Dittus RS, Byrne DW, Kaiser A, Neilson EG. Effects of performance-based compensation and faculty track on the clinical activity, research portfolio, and teaching mission of a large academic department of medicine. Acad Med. 2003 Jul; 78(7): 690-701. PMID: 12857687, ISSN: 1040-2446.
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  • Ely EW, Truman B, Shintani A, Thomason JW, Wheeler AP, Gordon S, Francis J, Speroff T, Gautam S, Margolin R, Sessler CN, Dittus RS, Bernard GR. Monitoring sedation status over time in ICU patients: reliability and validity of the Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale (RASS). JAMA. 2003 Jun 6/11/2003; 289(22): 2983-91. PMID: 12799407, PII: 289/22/2983, DOI: 10.1001/jama.289.22.2983, ISSN: 1538-3598.
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  • Butler J, Khadim G, Belue R, Chomsky D, Dittus RS, Griffin M, Wilson JR. Tolerability to beta-blocker therapy among heart failure patients in clinical practice. J. Card. Fail. 2003 Jun; 9(3): 203-9. PMID: 12815570, PII: S1071916403000459, DOI: 10.1054/jcaf.2003.34, ISSN: 1071-9164.
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  • Ellis SE, Coffey CS, Mitchel EF, Dittus RS, Griffin MR. Influenza- and respiratory syncytial virus-associated morbidity and mortality in the nursing home population. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2003 Jun; 51(6): 761-7. PMID: 12757561, ISSN: 0002-8614.
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  • Hartert TV, Speroff T, Togias A, Mitchel EF, Snowden MS, Dittus RS, Griffin MR. Risk factors for recurrent asthma hospital visits and death among a population of indigent older adults with asthma. Ann. Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2002 Nov; 89(5): 467-73. PMID: 12452204, PII: S1081-1206(10)62083-2, DOI: 10.1016/S1081-1206(10)62083-2, ISSN: 1081-1206.
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  • Poehling KA, Griffin MR, Dittus RS, Tang YW, Holland K, Li H, Edwards KM. Bedside diagnosis of influenzavirus infections in hospitalized children. Pediatrics. 2002 Jul; 110(1 Pt 1): 83-8. PMID: 12093950, ISSN: 1098-4275.
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  • Poehling KA, Speroff T, Dittus RS, Griffin MR, Hickson GB, Edwards KM. Predictors of influenza virus vaccination status in hospitalized children. Pediatrics. 2001 Dec; 108(6): E99. PMID: 11731626, PII: 108/6/e99, ISSN: 1098-4275.
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  • Wall RJ, Dittus RS, Ely EW. Protocol-driven care in the intensive care unit: a tool for quality. Crit Care [print-electronic]. 2001 Dec; 5(6): 283-5. PMID: 11737905, PMCID: PMC137367, ISSN: 1364-8535.
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  • Kallianpur AR, Poehling KA, Dittus RS. Clinical problem-solving. High time for action. N. Engl. J. Med. 2001 Jan 1/4/2001; 344(1): 48-51. PMID: 11136960, DOI: 10.1056/NEJM200101043440108, ISSN: 0028-4793.
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  • Kallianpur AR, Poehling KA, Dittus RS. High Time for Action. N Engl J Med. 2001; 344: 48-51.
  • Weeks WB, Mills PD, Dittus RS, Aron DC, Batalden PB. Using an Improvement Model to Reduce Adverse Drug Events in VA Facilities. Journal on Quality Improvement. 2001; 27: 243-54.
  • Ness RM, Holmes A, Klein R, Green J, Dittus RS. Cost-Utility of One-Time Colonoscopic Screening for Colorectal Cancer at Various Ages. Am J Gastroenterol. 2000; 95: 1800-11.
  • Scholer SJ, Pituch K, Orr DP, Dittus RS. Test ordering on children with acute abdominal pain. Clin Pediatr. 1999; 38: 493-7.
  • Wright JG, Hawker GA, Bombardier C, Croxford R, Dittus RS, Freund DA, Coyte PC. Physician Enthusiasm as an Explanation for Area Variation in the Utilization of Knee Replacement Surgery. Medical Care. 1999; 37: 946-56.
  • Hawker G, Freund D, Heck D, Bombardier C, Katz B, Croxford R, Dittus RS, Paul J, Coyte P, Wright J. Health-related Quality of Life After Knee Replacement. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1998; 80((2)): 163-73.
  • Heck DA, Freund DA, Dittus RS, Arthur DS, Katz BP, Mamlin LA, Melfi CA. Revision Rates After Knee Replacement in the United States. Med Care. 1998; 36((5)): 661-9.
  • Mamlin LA, Melfi CA, Parchman ML, Gutierrez B, Allen DI, Katz BP, Dittus RS, Heck DA, Freund DA. Management of osterarthritis of the knee by primary care physicians. Arch Fam Med. 1998; 7: 563-7.
  • Ness RM, Holmes A, Klein R, Dittus R. An assessment of patient utilities for outcome states of colorectal cancer. Am J Gastroenterology. 1998; 84: 165-7.
  • Ness RM, Holmes A, Klein R, Green J, Dittus RS. Outcomes States of Colorectal Cancer: Identification and description using Patient Focus Groups. Am J Gastroenterol. 1998; 93: 1491-7.
  • Norton EC, Garfinkel SA, McQuay LJ, Heck D, Wright J, Dittus RS, Lubitz R. The Effect of Hospital volume on the Complication Rate in Knee Replacement Patients. Health Service Research. 1998; 33: 1191-210.
  • Scholer SJ, Dittus RS, Orr DP, Pituch K. Use of the Rectal Examination on Children with Acute Abdominal Pain. Clin Pediatr. 1998; 37((5)): 311-6.
  • Mazzuca SA, Brandt KD, Katz BP, Dittus RS, Freund DA, Lubitz R, Eckert G. Comparison of General Internists, Family Physicians, and Rheumatologists Managing Patients with Symptoms of Osteoarthritis of the Knee. Arthritis Care Res. 1997; 10((5)): 289-99.
  • Callahan CM, Tierney WM, Dittus RS. Primary Care Physicians Medical Decision Making for Late-Life Depression. J Gen Intern Med. 1996; 11((4)): 218-25.
  • Dittus RS, Klein RL, DeBrota DJ, Dame M, Fitzgerald JF. Medical resident work schedules: design and evaluation by simulation modeling. Management Science. 1996; 42: 891-906.
  • Katz BP, Heck DA, Fitzgerald JF, Dittus RS, Paul JE, Joyce DZ, Young WW, Coyte PC, Freund DA. Demographic variation in counts and the rate of knee replacement in the US: A multi-year analysis. Health Services Research. 1996; 31: 126-40.
  • Scholer SJ, Dittus RS, Orr DP, Pituch K. Clinical Outcomes of Children with Acute Abdominal Pain. Pediatrics. 1996; 98: 680-5.
  • Zhou XH, Katz B, Holleman E, Melfi C, Dittus RS. An empirical bayes method for studying variation in knee replacement rates. Statistics in Medicine. 1996; 15: 1875-84.
  • Callahan CM, Drake B, Heck DA, Dittus RS. Patient Outcomes Following Uni-Compartmental or Bi-Compartmental Knee Replacement. J Arthroplasty. 1995; 10: 141-50.
  • Lubitz RM, Litzelman DK, Dittus RS, Tierney WM. Is Obesity a Barrier to Physician Screening for Cervical Cancer. Am J Med. 1995; 98: 491-6.
  • Sullivan LM, Kaplan SH, Greenfield S, Dittus RS, Harris L, Dukes KA. A comparison of various methods of collecting self-reported health outcomes data among low-income and minority patients. Med Care. 1995; 33((5)).
  • Wright J, Heck D, Hawker G, Dittus RS, Freund D, Joyce D, Paul J, Young W, Coyte P. Rates of tibial osteotomy in Canada and the United States. Clinical Orthopaedics. 1995; 319: 266-75.
  • Wright JG, Coyte PC, Hawker G, Bombardier C, Cooke D, Heck D, Dittus RS, Freund D. Variation in orthopaedic surgeons? perceptions of the indications for and outcomes of knee replacement. Can Med Assoc J. 1995; 152: 687-97.
  • Bates AS, Fitzgerald JF, Dittus RS, Wolinsky FD. Risk factors for under-immunization in poor urban children. JAMA. 1994; 272: 1105-10.
  • Callahan CM, Dittus RS, Hendrie HC, Brater DC, Hui SL, Tierney WM. Depression in late life: The use of clinical characteristics to focus screeing efforts. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. 1994; 49: M9-M14.
  • Callahan CM, Drake B, Heck DA, Dittus RS. Patient outcomes following total knee arthroplasty: a meta-analysis. JAMA. 1994; 271: 1349-57.
  • Callahan CM, Hendrie HC, Dittus RS, Brater DC, Hui SL, Tierney WM. Improving treatment of late life depression in primary care: a randomized controlled clinical trial. J Am Geriatric Soc. 1994; 42: 839-46.
  • Coyte PC, Wright JG, Ho E, Hawker G, Paul J, Dittus RS, Freund DA. Duration, acceptability, and determination of waiting times for orthopaedic consultations and knee replacement surgery in the United States and Ontario, Canada. N Engl J Med. 1994; 331: 1068-71.
  • Drake B, Callahan C, Dittus RS. Measurement of patient outcomes following total knee replacement: assessment of the literature and guidelines for future studies. J Arthroplasty. 1994; 9: 402-17.
  • Litzelman DK, Dittus RS, Miller ME, Tierney WM. Requiring physicians to respond to computerized reminders improves their compliance with preventive care protocals. J Gen Intern Med. 1993; 8: 311-7.
  • Freund D, Evans D, Henry D, Dittus RS. The Australian guidelines: how they came about and implications for the United States. Health Affairs, Winter. 1992; 202-6.
  • Freund DA, Dittus, RS. Principles of pharmacoeconomic analysis of drug therapy. PharmacoEconomics. 1992; 1((1)): 20-32.
  • Callahan CM, Dittus RS, Katz BP. Oral corticosteroid therapy for patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; a meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med. 1991; 114: 216-23.
  • Eisenhut RD, Dittus RS, Roberts SD, Wilson JR. Comparing averaged-out utilities of probability trees with random parameters. SJAM, Journal of Scientific and Statistical Computing. 1991; 12: 1140-61.
  • Fitzgerald JF, Dittus RS. Institutionalized Patients with Hip Fractures: Characteristics of Returning to Community Dwelling Since Implementation of the Prospective Payment System. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 1990; 5: 298-303.
  • Dittus RS, Fitzgerald JF. The Missing Link: Person-based Quality Assessment. J Gen Intern Med. 1989; 4: 459-60.
  • Dittus RS, Knoebel SB, eds. Quality and cost-conscious cardiovascular care: role of decision modeling. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1989; 14: 1A-76A.
  • Dittus RS, Roberts SD, Wilson JR. Quantifying uncertainty in medical decisions. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1989; 14: 23A-28A.
  • Dittus RS. Navigating through the Uncertainty in Health Care. Medical Decision Making. 1989; 9: 155-6.
  • Fitzgerald JF, Moore PS, Dittus RS. The care of elderly patients with hip fracture changes since implementation of the prospective payment system. N Engl J Med. 1988; 319: 1392-7.
  • Fitzgerald JR, Fagan LF, Tierney WM, Dittus RS. Changing patterns of hip fracture care before and after implementation of the prospective payment system. JAMA. 1987; 253: 218-21.