Douglas W. Roblin, PhD

Senior Research Scientist


Professional Affiliations:

Member, AcademyHealth (formerly Association for Health Services
Member, Society for Occupational Health Psychology


PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1984
MA, The University of Chicago, 1976

Douglas W. Roblin joined MAPRI as senior research scientist in July 2017. His primary responsibility is to work with the other MAPRI research scientists and staff to maintain and enhance the research portfolio of health services, intervention, and epidemiology projects. His areas of interest include patient adherence to recommended care, psychosocial stress and cardiometabolic health, health informatics, and social determinants of health. He currently is working on a study to refine a predictive algorithm for acute exacerbations of COPD, a pilot web-based intervention to reduce risk of non-adherence to bisphosphonate therapy among osteoporosis patients, and a large multisite evaluating the effectiveness of individualized fracture risk information to post-DXA patients.

Prior to joining MAPRI, Dr. Roblin was professor of health management and policy in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. He previously worked for 25 years with Kaiser Permanente (KP), initially as a statistician and then as a health economist with KP’s national program offices in Oakland, California, and more recently as a senior research scientist with KP’s research program in Atlanta.

Research Interests:

Provider workforce, provider practice variation, patient-provider communication, insurance benefit design, access to care, patient adherence to recommended care, psychosocial stress and cardiometabolic health, health informatics, health services research methods, social determinants of health, and design, implementation, and evaluation of pragmatic clinical trials

For a full list of publications, please see Dr. Roblin’s Curriculum Vitae.

  1. Roblin DW, Khalid SI, Rouillard CJ. Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Social Needs: A Retrospective Observational Study of the Early-pandemic Period. JAMA Network Open. 2022;5(2):e2146700.
  2. Hatef E, Rouhizadeh M, Nau C, Xie F, Rouillard C, Abu-Nasser M, Padilla A, Lyons LJ, Kharrazi H, Weiner JP, Roblin D. Development and Assessment of a Natural Language Processing Model to Identify Residential Instability in Electronic Health Records’ Unstructured Data: A Comparison of 3 Integrated Healthcare Delivery Systems. JAMIA Open. 2022;5(1):ooac006.
  3. Roblin DW, Jones JW, Fuller CH. Pollen Exposure and Associated Healthcare Utilization: A Population-based Study Using Health Maintenance Organization Data in the Washington, DC, Area. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2021;18(10):1642-1649.
  4. Hashemi L, Zhang Q, Getahun D, Jasuja GK, McCracken C, Pisegna J, Roblin D, Silverberg MJ, Tangpricha V, Vupputuri S, Goodman M. Longitudinal Changes in Liver Enzyme Levels Among Transgender People Receiving Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy. J Sex Med. 2021;18(9):1662-1675.
  5. Wagner S, Panagiotakopoulos L, Nash R, Bradlyn A, Getahun D, Lash TL, Roblin D, Silverberg MJ, Tangpricha V, Vupputuri S, Goodman M. Progression of Gender Dysphoria in Children and Adolescents: A Longitudinal Study. Pediatrics. 2021;148(1):e2020027722.
  6. Roblin DW, Segel JE, McCarthy RJ, Mendiratta N. Comparative Effectiveness of a Complex Care Program for High-Cost/High-Need Patients: a Retrospective Cohort Study. J Gen Intern Med. 2021;36(7):2021-2029.
  7. Mapel DW, Roberts MH, Sama S, Bobbili PJ, Cheng WY, Duh MS, Nguyen C, Thompson-Leduc P, Van Dyke MK, Rothnie KJ, Sundaresan D, Certa JM, Whiting TS, Brown JL, Roblin DW. Development and Validation of a Healthcare Utilization-Based Algorithm to Identify Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2021 9;16:1687-1698.
  8. Roblin DW, Cram P, Lou Y, Edmonds SW, Hall SF, Jones MP, Saag KG, Wright NC, Cromwell LF, Robinson BE, Wolinsky FD; PAADRN Investigators. The Contribution of Patient, Primary Care Physician, and Primary Care Clinic Factors to Good Bone Health Care. Perm J. 2021 Jan;25:1-3.
  9. Zhang Q, Rechler W, Bradlyn A, Flanders WD, Getahun D, Lash TL, McCracken C, Nash R, Panagiotakopoulos L, Roblin D, Sandberg DE, Silverberg MJ, Tangpricha V, Vupputuri S, Goodman M. Changes in Size and Demographic Composition of Transgender and Gender Non-Binary Population Receiving Care at Integrated Health Systems. Endocr Pract. 2021;27(5):390-395.
  10. Xie F, Getahun D, Quinn VP, Im TM, Contreras R, Silverberg MJ, Baird TC, Nash R, Cromwell L, Roblin D, Hoffman T, Goodman M. An automated algorithm using free-text clinical notes to improve identification of transgender people. Inform Health Soc Care. 2021;46(1):18-28.
  11. Antun A, Zhang Q, Bhasin S, Bradlyn A, Flanders WD, Getahun D, Lash TL, Nash R, Roblin D, Silverberg MJ, Tangpricha V, Vupputuri S, Goodman M. Longitudinal Changes in Hematologic Parameters Among Transgender People Receiving Hormone Therapy. J Endocr Soc. 2020;4(11):bvaa119.
  12. To M, Zhang Q, Bradlyn A, Getahun D, Giammattei S, Nash R, Owen-Smith AA, Roblin D, Silverberg MJ, Tangpricha V, Vupputuri S, Goodman M. Visual Conformity With Affirmed Gender or “Passing”: Its Distribution and Association With Depression and Anxiety in a Cohort of Transgender People. J Sex Med. 2020 Oct;17(10):2084-2092.
  13. Fuller CH, Jones JW, Roblin DW. Evaluating changes in ambient ozone and respiratory-related healthcare utilization in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Environ Res. 2020;186:109603.
  14. Collin LJ, MacLehose RF, Ahern TP, Nash R, Getahun D, Roblin D, Silverberg MJ, Goodman M, Lash TL. Adaptive Validation Design: A Bayesian Approach to Validation Substudy Design With Prospective Data Collection. Epidemiology. 2020;31(4):509-516.
  15. Mak J, Shires DA, Zhang Q, Prieto LR, Ahmedani BK, Kattari L, Becerra-Culqui TA, Bradlyn A, Flanders WD, Getahun D, Giammattei SV, Hunkeler EM, Lash TL, Nash R, Quinn VP, Robinson B, Roblin D, Silverberg MJ, Slovis J, Tangpricha V, Vupputuri S, Goodman M. Suicide Attempts Among a Cohort of Transgender and Gender Diverse People. Am J Prev Med. 2020;59(4):570-577.
  16. Edmonds S, Lou Y, Robinson B, Cram P, Roblin DW, Wright NC, Saag K, Wolinsky FD. Characteristics of older adults using patient web portals to view their DXA results. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2019;19(1):187.
  17. Nau C, Adams JL, Roblin D, Schmittdiel J, Schroeder E, Steiner JF. Considerations for Identifying Social Needs in Health Care Systems: A Commentary on the Role of Predictive Models in Supporting a Comprehensive Social Needs Strategy. Med Care. 2019;57(9):661-666.
  18. Fuller CH, Roblin D, Jones J. Using Syndromic Surveillance to Evaluate the Respiratory Effects of Fine Particulate Matter. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2019;16(7):930-933.
  19. Solimeo SL, Nguyen VT, Edmonds SW, Lou Y, Roblin DW, Saag KG, Cram P, Wolinsky FD.  Sex differences in osteoporosis self-efficacy among community-residing older adults presenting for DXA.  Osteoporos Int. 2019;30(5):1033-1041.
  20. Fuller CH, Roblin D, Jones J.  Utilizing syndromic surveillance to evaluate the respiratory effects of fine particulate matter. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2019. EPub ahead of print.
  1. EHR-Based Detection of Frailty Risk to Improve Care Management Among Older Adults
    The goal of our proposed pilot study is to take stock of existing natural language processing (NLP) approaches to identification and extraction of frailty concepts and clinical criteria and use learnings from prior work and collaboration between JHU CPHIT staff and KPMAS MAPRI staff to develop and evaluate a “next generation” of an NLP algorithm to identify frail persons using digitized EHR provider notes. Our objective is to improve care management among older adults by reliably identifying – at a population-level – prevalence of frailty features to inform resource planning within healthcare systems and timely detection of incident or worsening frailty among individual patients or at risk patient subgroups for whom early intervention might mitigate adverse effects of frailty.
    Kaiser Permanente/Johns Hopkins University Collaboration
    Role: Site Principal Investigator
  2. Longitudinal investigations of psychosocial impact and lifestyle on biological response, symptom management, and functioning between Chinese and White breast cancer survivors
    Goal: The goal of this study is to investigate how patient symptoms and biologic factors mediate the relationships between sociocultural factors and quality of life outcomes among women with breast cancer, with a focus on a comparison of Chinese women and non-Hispanic white women.
    Funder: National Cancer Institute
    Role: Investigator
  3. Developing and Assessing the Validity of Claims-based Indicators of Frailty & Functional Disabilities and Testing their Use in Other Data (EHRs and linked EHR-claims)
    Goal: The overall goal is to evaluate how the Kim et al. frailty index, which is based on electronic health record data, might be sensitive to the extent of availability and sources of computerized data in different health care systems and in different patient subgroups (e.g., age, gender, race/ethnicity). KPMAS will also evaluate how the Kim et al. frailty index correlates with items and responses indicative of frailty in the Medicare Total Health Assessment.
    Funder: AHRQ
    Role: Site principal investigator, Investigator
  4. Kaiser Permanente Interregional Cancer Statistics Project
    Goal: The overall purpose of this study is to develop a new report to include incidence of 5-year relative survival metrics for breast, colorectal, and lung cancer in order to inform quality improvement. Work will include a review of current procedures and methods used by KP regional cancer committees to generate region-specific reports; generation of estimates of cancer-specific mortality and all-cause mortality; and assessment of interregional available death and cause of death data.
    Funder: Kaiser Permanente Research/Program Office
    Role: Site Principal Investigator
  1. Podium: Syndromic Surveillance Systems for Detection of Infectious Disease Outbreaks in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond. AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting, 2022. Washington, DC.
  2. Podium: A Pilot Study to Improve the Use of Electronic Health Records for Identification of Patients with Social Determinants of Health Challenges: A Collaboration of Johns Hopkins Health System and Kaiser Permanente. AcademyHealth, 2021. Virtual Meeting.
  3. Podium: Application of Natural Language Processing to Identify SDoH From Electronic Health Records. Health Care Systems Research Network, 2021. Virtual Meeting
  4. Podium: A Multi-Modal Intervention for Improving Osteoporosis Treatment Initiation and Adherence. Health Care Systems Research Network, 2019. Portland, OR.
  5. Poster: Evaluation of a Complex Care Program for High-Cost/High-Need Patients: Interim Analyses and Findings. AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting, 2019. Washington, DC.
  6. Poster: Usual Source of Care as a Moderator between Race / Ethnicity and Blood Pressure Control. AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting, 2019. Washington, DC. Poster.
  7. Poster: The Contribution of patient, primary care physician, and primary care clinic factors to good bone health.  AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting, 2018.  Seattle, WA.
  8. Poster: Multi-Modal intervention for improving osteoporosis treatment initiation and adherence.  AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting, 2018.  Seattle, WA.
  9. Paper: Association of sources and levels of psychosocial stress with incident hypertension among employed adults. Work, Stress, and Health Conference, 2017. Minneapolis, MN.
  10. Paper: Improved osteoporosis self-efficacy improves exercise and dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D. Gerontological Society of America, Annual Research Meeting, 2016. New Orleans, LA.
  11. Poster: Primary care workforce disruption and associated changes in patterns of treatment for common visits in primary care. AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting, 2016. Boston, MA.
  12. Poster: Orders for diagnostic services and prescribed medications for management of neck and back pain and acute respiratory infections in primary care: Does type of provider matter? AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting, 2016. Boston, MA.
  13. Poster: A Novel method for estimating transgender status using EMR data. AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting, 2015. Minneapolis, MN.