Angela Fagerlin, PhD

Chair, Department of Population Health Sciences

Research Interests

  • Factors that Affect People’s Perception of Risks
  • Testing Methods for Improving Risk Communication
  • Developing and Testing of Decision Aids in Clinical Contexts, Particularly their Impact on Patient Decision Making and Patient-Physician Communication
  • Investigating the Effect of Numeracy Skills on Medical Decision Making
  • Examining the Role of Living Wills and Surrogate Decision-Making at the End of Life


  • English

Academic Information

  • Departments: Population Health Sciences - Professor

Academic Office Information

  • 801-587-2100
  • Williams Building
    Department of Population Health Sciences
    295 Chipeta Way, Room: Room 1S105
    Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Academic Bio

Angie’s training is in experimental psychology, primarily in the areas of cognitive and social psychology. Her research focuses on testing methods for communicating medical data to patients and providers (e.g., the risks and benefits of cancer treatment) and the development and testing of decision support interventions. Her recent work is testing the impact of patient decision aids on patient-physician communication. Additionally, she is testing multiple methods for communicating about genetic testing and infectious diseases (e.g., the Zika virus, Ebola, influenza). Her research has been funded by VA, NCI, NIH, and the European Union.

Education History

Type School Degree
Doctoral Training Kent State University
Experimental Psychology
Graduate Training Kent State University
Experimental Psychology
Undergraduate Hope College

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Scherer AM, Knaus M, Das E, Fagerlin A (2017). Discussion of Average versus Extreme Case Severity in Pandemic Risk Communications. Emerg Infect Dis, 23(4), 706-708.
  2. Kullgren JT, Youles B, Shetty S, Richardson C, Fagerlin A, Heisler M (2017). ForgIng New paths in DIabetes PrevenTion (FINDIT): Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. Trials, 18(1), 167.
  3. Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Scherer AM, Witteman HO, Solomon JB, Exe NL, Tarini BA, Fagerlin A (2017). Graphics help patients distinguish between urgent and non-urgent deviations in laboratory test results. J Am Med Inform Assoc, 24(3), 520-528.
  4. Dugas M, Trottier ME, Chipenda Dansokho S, Vaisson G, Provencher T, Colquhoun H, Dogba MJ, Dupere S, Fagerlin A, Giguere AM, Haslett L, Hoffman AS, Ivers NM, Legare F, Legare J, Levin CA, Menear M, Renaud JS, Stacey D, Volk RJ, Witteman HO (2017). Involving members of vulnerable populations in the development of patient decision aids: a mixed methods sequential explanatory study. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak, 17(1), 12.
  5. Shuman AG, Larkin K, Thomas D, Palmer FL, Fins JJ, Baxi SS, Lee N, Shah JP, Fagerlin A, Patel SG (2017). Patient Reflections on Decision Making for Laryngeal Cancer Treatment. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 156(2), 299-304.
  6. Oddone EZ, Damschroder LJ, Gierisch J, Olsen M, Fagerlin A, Sanders L, Sparks J, Turner M, May C, McCant F, Curry D, White-Clark C, Juntilla K (2017). A Coaching by Telephone Intervention for Veterans and Care Team Engagement (ACTIVATE): A study protocol for a Hybrid Type I effectiveness-implementation randomized controlled trial. Contemp Clin Trials, 55, 1-9.
  7. Meka AP, Porath JD, Iyengar R, Morrow C, Fagerlin A, Meurer WJ (2017). Risk, Benefit, and Cost Thresholds for Emergency Department Testing: A Cross-sectional, Scenario-based Study. Acad Emerg Med, 24(6), 686-690.
  8. Dillard AJ, Scherer LD, Ubel PA, Alexander S, Fagerlin A (2017). Anxiety symptoms prior to a prostate cancer diagnosis: Associations with knowledge and openness to treatment. Br J Health Psychol, 22(1), 151-168.
  9. Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Kullgren JT, Fagerlin A, Klamerus ML, Bernstein SJ, Kerr EA (2017). Perceived Barriers to Implementing Individual Choosing Wisely(R) Recommendations in Two National Surveys of Primary Care Providers. J Gen Intern Med, 32(2), 210-217.
  10. Loeb S, Curnyn C, Fagerlin A, Braithwaite RS, Schwartz MD, Lepor H, Carter HB, Sedlander E (2017). Qualitative study on decision-making by prostate cancer physicians during active surveillance. BJU Int, 120(1), 32-39.
  11. Scherr KA, Fagerlin A, Hofer T, Scherer LD, Holmes-Rovner M, Williamson LD, Kahn VC, Montgomery JS, Greene KL, Zhang B, Ubel PA (2017). Physician Recommendations Trump Patient Preferences in Prostate Cancer Treatment Decisions. Med Decis Making, 37(1), 56-69.
  12. Hofer R, Choi H, Mase R, Fagerlin A, Spencer M, Heisler M (2017). Mediators and Moderators of Improvements in Medication Adherence. Health Educ Behav, 44(2), 285-296.
  13. Scherr KA, Fagerlin A, Williamson LD, Davis JK, Fridman I, Atyeo N, Ubel PA (2017). The Physician Recommendation Coding System (PhyReCS): A Reliable and Valid Method to Quantify the Strength of Physician Recommendations During Clinical Encounters. Med Decis Making, 37(1), 46-55.
  14. Scherr KA, Fagerlin A, Wei JT, Williamson LD, Ubel PA (2017). Treatment Availability Influences Physicians' Portrayal of Robotic Surgery During Clinical Appointments. Health Commun, 32(1), 119-125.
  15. Sears ED, Caverly TJ, Kullgren JT, Fagerlin A, Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Prenovost K, Kerr EA (2016). Clinicians' Perceptions of Barriers to Avoiding Inappropriate Imaging for Low Back Pain-Knowing Is Not Enough. JAMA Intern Med, 176(12), 1866-1868.
  16. Scherer LD, Caverly TJ, Burke J, Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Kullgren JT, Steinley D, McCarthy DM, Roney M, Fagerlin A (2016). Development of the Medical Maximizer-Minimizer Scale. Health Psychol, 35(11), 1276-1287.
  17. Wright Nunes J, Roney M, Kerr E, Ojo A, Fagerlin A (2016). A diagnosis of chronic kidney disease: despite fears patients want to know early. Clin Nephrol, 86(2), 78-86.
  18. Determann D, Korfage IJ, Fagerlin A, Steyerberg EW, Bliemer MC, Voeten HA, Richardus JH, Lambooij MS, de Bekker-Grob EW (2016). Public preferences for vaccination programmes during pandemics caused by pathogens transmitted through respiratory droplets - a discrete choice experiment in four European countries, 2013.LID - 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2016.21.22.30247 [doi]. Euro Surveill, 21(22).
  19. Sah S, Fagerlin A, Ubel P (2016). Effect of physician disclosure of specialty bias on patient trust and treatment choice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 113(27), 7465-9.
  20. Barnes GD, Izzo B, Conte ML, Chopra V, Holbrook A, Fagerlin A (2016). Use of decision aids for shared decision making in venous thromboembolism: A systematic review. Thromb Res, 143, 71-5.
  21. Zahuranec DB, Fagerlin A, Sanchez BN, Roney ME, Thompson BB, Fuhrel-Forbis A, Morgenstern LB (2016). Variability in physician prognosis and recommendations after intracerebral hemorrhage. Neurology, 86(20), 1864-71.
  22. Liang PS, Wheat CL, Abhat A, Brenner AT, Fagerlin A, Hayward RA, Thomas JP, Vijan S, Inadomi JM (2016). Adherence to Competing Strategies for Colorectal Cancer Screening Over 3 Years. Am J Gastroenterol, 111(1), 105-14.
  23. Hoerger M, Scherer LD, Fagerlin A (2016). Affective forecasting and medication decision making in breast-cancer prevention. Health Psychol, 35(6), 594-603.
  24. Valley TS, Fagerlin A (2016). Disruptive Technology. Can Electronic Portals Promote Communication in the Intensive Care Unit? Ann Am Thorac Soc, 13(3), 309-10.
  25. Witteman HO, Fagerlin A, Exe N, Trottier ME, Zikmund-Fisher BJ (2016). One-Sided Social Media Comments Influenced Opinions And Intentions About Home Birth: An Experimental Study. Health Aff (Millwood), 35(4), 726-33.
  26. Martinez KA, Fagerlin A, Witteman HO, Holmberg C, Hawley ST (2016). What Matters to Women When Making Decisions About Breast Cancer Chemoprevention? Patient, 9(2), 149-59.
  27. Vijan S, Fagerlin A (2015). Diabetes Risk Assessment and Glycemic Control. JAMA, 314(17), 1861-2.
  28. Kang SK, Fagerlin A, Braithwaite RS (2015). A Roadmap for Personalized Care in Radiology. Radiology, 277(3), 638-43.
  29. Henry SG, Czarnecki D, Kahn VC, Chou WY, Fagerlin A, Ubel PA, Rovner DR, Alexander SC, Knight SJ, Holmes-Rovner M (2015). Patient-physician communication about early stage prostate cancer: analysis of overall visit structure. Health Expect, 18(5), 1757-68.
  30. Scherer AM, Scherer LD, Fagerlin A (2015). Getting ahead of illness: using metaphors to influence medical decision making. Med Decis Making, 35(1), 37-45.
  31. Hamstra DA, Johnson SB, Daignault S, Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Taylor JM, Larkin K, Wood A, Fagerlin A (2015). The impact of numeracy on verbatim knowledge of the longitudinal risk for prostate cancer recurrence following radiation therapy. Med Decis Making, 35(1), 27-36.
  32. Caverly TJ, Prochazka AV, Combs BP, Lucas BP, Mueller SR, Kutner JS, Binswanger I, Fagerlin A, McCormick J, Pfister S, Matlock DD (2015). Doctors and numbers: an assessment of the critical risk interpretation test. Med Decis Making, 35(4), 512-24.
  33. Kachalia A, Berg A, Fagerlin A, Fowler KE, Hofer TP, Flanders SA, Saint S (2015). Overuse of testing in preoperative evaluation and syncope: a survey of hospitalists. Ann Intern Med, 162(2), 100-8.
  34. Hesse BW, Beckjord E, Rutten LJ, Fagerlin A, Cameron LD (2015). Cancer communication and informatics research across the cancer continuum. Am Psychol, 70(2), 198-210.
  35. Scherer LD, de Vries M, Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Witteman HO, Fagerlin A (2015). Trust in deliberation: The consequences of deliberative decision strategies for medical decisions. Health Psychol, 34(11), 1090-9.
  36. Shorten A, Fagerlin A, Illuzzi J, Kennedy HP, Lakehomer H, Pettker CM, Saran A, Witteman H, Whittemore R (2015). Developing an Internet-Based Decision Aid for Women Choosing Between Vaginal Birth After Cesarean and Planned Repeat Cesarean. J Midwifery Womens Health, 60(4), 390-400.
  37. Krishnan N, Fagerlin A, Skolarus TA (2015). Rethinking Patient-Physician Communication of Biopsy Results--The Waiting Game. JAMA Oncol, 1(8), 1025-6.
  38. Holmes-Rovner M, Montgomery JS, Rovner DR, Scherer LD, Whitfield J, Kahn VC, Merkle EC, Ubel PA, Fagerlin A (2015). Informed Decision Making: Assessment of the Quality of Physician Communication about Prostate Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment. Med Decis Making, 35(8), 999-1009.
  39. Caverly TJ, Fagerlin A, Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Kirsh S, Kullgren JT, Prenovost K, Kerr EA (2015). Appropriate Prescribing for Patients With Diabetes at High Risk for Hypoglycemia: National Survey of Veterans Affairs Health Care Professionals. JAMA Intern Med, 175(12), 1994-6.
  40. Applegate M, Taksler GB, Hajizadeh N, Milavsky KI, Ekeleme C, Fagerlin A, Uhler L, Braithwaite RS (2014). Pilot-Testing a New Program for Providing Personalized and Patient-Centered Preventive Care [Epub ahead of print]. Am J Manag Care.
  41. Singer E, Couper MP, Fagerlin A, Fowler FJ, Levin CA, Ubel PA, Van Hoewyk J, Zikmund-Fisher BJ (2014). The role of perceived benefits and costs in patients' medical decisions. Health Expect, 17(1), 4-14.
  42. Levy H, Ubel PA, Dillard AJ, Weir DR, Fagerlin A (2014). Health numeracy: the importance of domain in assessing numeracy. Med Decis Making, 34(1), 107-15.
  43. Darwish-Yassine M, Berenji M, Wing D, Copeland G, Demers RY, Garlinghouse C, Fagerlin A, Newth GE, Northouse L, Holmes-Rovner M, Rovner D, Sims J, Wei JT (2014). Evaluating long-term patient-centered outcomes following prostate cancer treatment: findings from the Michigan Prostate Cancer Survivor study. J Cancer Surviv, 8(1), 121-30.
  44. Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Witteman HO, Dickson M, Fuhrel-Forbis A, Kahn VC, Exe NL, Valerio M, Holtzman LG, Scherer LD, Fagerlin A (2014). Blocks, ovals, or people? Icon type affects risk perceptions and recall of pictographs. Med Decis Making, 34(4), 443-53.
  45. Schonberg MA, Kistler CE, Nekhlyudov L, Fagerlin A, Davis RB, Wee CC, Marcantonio ER, Lewis CL, Stanley WA, Crutchfield TM, Hamel MB (2014). Evaluation of a Mammography Screening Decision Aid for Women Aged 75 and Older: Protocol for a Cluster-randomized Controlled Trial. J Clin Trials, 4, 191.
  46. Schonberg MA, Hamel MB, Davis RB, Griggs MC, Wee CC, Fagerlin A, Marcantonio ER (2014). Development and evaluation of a decision aid on mammography screening for women 75 years and older. JAMA Intern Med, 174(3), 417-24.
  47. Volk ML, Roney M, Fagerlin A (2014). Pilot test of a patient decision aid about liver transplant organ quality. Liver Transpl, 20(7), 850-5.
  48. Weinstein AL, Marascalchi BJ, Spiegel MA, Saunders JK, Fagerlin A, Parikh M (2014). Patient preferences and bariatric surgery procedure selection; the need for shared decision-making. Obes Surg, 24(11), 1933-9.
  49. Heisler M, Choi H, Palmisano G, Mase R, Richardson C, Fagerlin A, Montori VM, Spencer M, An LC (2014). Comparison of community health worker-led diabetes medication decision-making support for low-income Latino and African American adults with diabetes using e-health tools versus print materials: a randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med, 161(10 Suppl), S13-22.
  50. Resnicow K, Abrahamse P, Tocco RS, Hawley S, Griggs J, Janz N, Fagerlin A, Wilson A, Ward KC, Gabram SG, Katz S (2014). Development and psychometric properties of a brief measure of subjective decision quality for breast cancer treatment. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak, 14, 110.
  51. Hoerger M, Chapman BP, Prigerson HG, Fagerlin A, Mohile SG, Epstein RM, Lyness JM, Duberstein PR (2014). Personality Change Pre- to Post- Loss in Spousal Caregivers of Patients with Terminal Lung Cancer. Soc Psychol Personal Sci, 5(6), 722-729.
  52. Skolarus TA, Holmes-Rovner M, Northouse LL, Fagerlin A, Garlinghouse C, Demers RY, Rovner DR, Darwish-Yassine M, Wei JT (2013). Primary care perspectives on prostate cancer survivorship: implications for improving quality of care. Urol Oncol, 31(6), 727-32.
  53. Scherer LD, Ubel PA, McClure J, Greene SM, Alford SH, Holtzman L, Exe N, Fagerlin A (2013). Belief in numbers: When and why women disbelieve tailored breast cancer risk statistics. Patient Educ Couns, 92(2), 253-9.
  54. Tait AR, Voepel-Lewis T, Nair VN, Narisetty NN, Fagerlin A (2013). Informing the uninformed: optimizing the consent message using a fractional factorial design. JAMA Pediatr, 167(7), 640-6.
  55. Taksler GB, Keshner M, Fagerlin A, Hajizadeh N, Braithwaite RS (2013). Personalized estimates of benefit from preventive care guidelines: a proof of concept. Ann Intern Med, 159(3), 161-8.


  1. Witteman HO, Scherer LD, Gavaruzzi T, Pieterse AH, Fuhrel-Forbis A, Chipenda Dansokho S, Exe N, Kahn VC, Feldman-Stewart D, Col NF, Turgeon AF, Fagerlin A (2016). Design Features of Explicit Values Clarification Methods: A Systematic Review. [Review]. Med Decis Making, 36(4), 453-71.
  2. Caverly TJ, Hayward RA, Reamer E, Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Connochie D, Heisler M, Fagerlin A (2016). Presentation of Benefits and Harms in US Cancer Screening and Prevention Guidelines: Systematic Review. [Review]. J Natl Cancer Inst, 108(6), djv436.
  3. Witteman HO, Gavaruzzi T, Scherer LD, Pieterse AH, Fuhrel-Forbis A, Chipenda Dansokho S, Exe N, Kahn VC, Feldman-Stewart D, Col NF, Turgeon AF, Fagerlin A (2016). Effects of Design Features of Explicit Values Clarification Methods: A Systematic Review. [Review]. Med Decis Making, 36(6), 760-76.
  4. Witteman HO, Dansokho SC, Colquhoun H, Coulter A, Dugas M, Fagerlin A, Giguere AM, Glouberman S, Haslett L, Hoffman A, Ivers N, Legare F, Legare J, Levin C, Lopez K, Montori VM, Provencher T, Renaud JS, Sparling K, Stacey D, Vaisson G, Volk RJ, Witteman W (2015). User-centered design and the development of patient decision aids: protocol for a systematic review. [Review]. Syst Rev, 4, 11.
  5. Lin GA, Fagerlin A (2014). Shared decision making: state of the science. [Review]. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes, 7(2), 328-34.
  6. Loeb S, Carter HB, Schwartz M, Fagerlin A, Braithwaite RS, Lepor H (2014). Heterogeneity in active surveillance protocols worldwide. [Review]. Rev Urol, 16(4), 202-3.
  7. Fagerlin A, Pignone M, Abhyankar P, Col N, Feldman-Stewart D, Gavaruzzi T, Kryworuchko J, Levin CA, Pieterse AH, Reyna V, Stiggelbout A, Scherer LD, Wills C, Witteman HO (2013). Clarifying values: an updated review. [Review]. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak, 13 Suppl 2, S8.

Book Chapter

  1. Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Mayman G, Fagerlin A (2014). Patient numeracy: What do patients need to recognize, think, or do with health numbers? In Numerical Reasoning in Judgments and Decision Making About Health.


  1. Wright Nunes JA, Cavanaugh KL, Fagerlin A (2016). An Informed and Activated Patient: Addressing Barriers in the Pathway From Education to Outcomes. Am J Kidney Dis, 67(1), 1-4.


  1. Wright Nunes J, Kerr E, Ojo A, Fagerlin A (November 2016). The Portal Patient in Kidney Disease: One Center’s Experience on Who Uses Health Portals and How. Poster session presented at American Society of Nephrology Conference, Chicago, Illinois.
  2. Wright Nunes J, Kerr E, Ojo A, Fagerlin A (November 2016). Disparities in Patient Reported Barriers to Optimal Self-Management for Chronic Kidney Disease. Poster session presented at American Society of Nephrology Conference, Chicago, Illinios.
  3. Wright Nunes J, Kerr E, Ojo A, Fagerlin A (November 2016). Quantitative Analysis: What Patients Want From Kidney Disease Education. Poster session presented at American Society of Nephrology Conference, Chicago, Illinois.
  4. Caverly T, Fagerlin A, Larkin K, Zikmund-Fisher B (May 2016). What is the Best Format for Communicating the Benefits and Harms of Lung Cancer Screening? Poster session presented at Society of General Internal Medicine, Hollywood, FL.
  5. Caverly TJ, Fagerlin A, Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Kirsh SR, Kullgren JT, Bernstien SJ, Prenovost K, Kerr EA (2015). Appropriate Prescribing for Diabetic Patients at High-risk for Hypoglycemia: National Survey of VA Primary Care Providers. Poster session presented at the 30th VA Health Services Research and Development Service (HSR&D) and Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.
  6. Holmes-Rovner M, Rovner D, Srikanth A, Kahn VC, Henry S, Ubel PA, Fagerlin A (2014). Booklet Talk: Patient Use Of Decision Aids In Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Encounter. Poster session presented at the Society for Medical Decision Making Annual Meeting, Miami, FL.
  7. Fagerlin A, Kahn VC, Derry H, Witteman HO, Roney M, Connochie D, Larkin LK, Fuhrel-Forbis A, Holmes-Rovner M, Ubel PA (2014). If You Build The Fields Of Shared Decision Making Dreams, Can Prostate Cancer Patients Play? Poster session presented at the Society for Medical Decision Making Annual Meeting, Miami, FL.
  8. Gornick M, Fagerlin A, Exe NL, Larkin K, Magoc E, Zikmund-Fisher BJ (2014). Decreasing Veterans Desire For Early Repeat Colonoscopies. Poster session presented at the Society for Medical Decision Making Annual Meeting, Miami, FL.
  9. Shtein RM, Blachley TS, Lee PP, Musch DC, Fagerlin A, Zikmund-Fisher BJ (2014). Decision Making in Cataract Surgery. Poster session presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL.
  10. Gornick MC, Fagerlin A, Exe NL, Larkin K, Magoc E, Zikmund-Fisher BJ (2014). Failure of negative genetic test results to reassure both patients and clinicians in the context of family history. Poster session presented at the American College of Medical Genetics Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting, Nashville, TN.
  11. Fagerlin A, Holmes-Rovner M, Rovner D, Knight SJ, Alexander S, Tulsky JA, Ling B, Kahn VC, Gingrich J, Ubel PA (2013). Do patients get what they want: stability of preferences before and following a physician visit. Poster session presented at the Society for Medical Decision Making Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD.
  12. Holmes-Rovner M, Kahn VC, Rovner D, Davis K, Alexander S, Braddock C, Tulsky JA, Ubel PA, Fagerlin A (2013). Does it take longer to do better informed decision making in early stage prostate cancer? Poster session presented at the Society for Medical Decision Making Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD.