Allyson Bontempo


Doctoral Student

CI 344

Allyson Bontempo's interests and research focus on improving patient experience. Her work targets three areas crucial to patient experience: diagnostic error, the patient-clinician relationship, and patient support networks including online communities. Her work seeks to better understand how patient relationships with clinicians work in concert with patients' broader support networks outside of the healthcare system to shape the patient experience, particularly around issues of diagnosis. The frameworks from which she pulls to understand the patient experience as shaped by the patient-clinician relationship during the diagnostic process are invalidation, trust, and clinician uncertainty (particularly, how these three frameworks intersect). Diagnostic contexts in which she is most interested are difficult-to-diagnose and contested health conditions. Her most recent work focuses on patients with endometriosis. Bontempo's faculty advisor is Lisa Mikesell.


Rutgers University
M.C.I.S., Communication

Nova Southeastern University
40 credits toward Ph.D., Clinical psychology

Sacred Heart University
B.S., Psychology, English

Selected Publications

Bontempo, A. C. (in press). Favorable patient attitudes toward clinicians’ transparent communication of diagnostic uncertainty and its role in patient trust. Social Science & Medicine - Qualitative Research in Health, 3. 

Bontempo, A. C. (2022). The effect of personalized invalidation of symptoms by healthcare providers on patient depression: The mediating role of self-esteem. Patient Education & Counseling, 105, 1598-1603. 

Mikesell, L. & Bontempo, A. C. (in press). Healthcare providers’ impact on the care experiences of patients with endometriosis: The value of trust. Health Communication. Published online ahead of print. 

Bontempo, A. C. (2022). The need for a standardized conceptual term to describe invalidation of patient symptoms. Journal of Health Psychology, 27, 2104-2114. 

Bontempo, A. C. & Mikesell, L. (2020). Patient perceptions of misdiagnosis of endometriosis: Results from an online national survey. Diagnosis, 7, 91-96. 

Awards & Recognitions

Louis Bevier Dissertation Fellowship, awarded by the Rutgers University Louis Bevier Committee.

ICCH 2019 Humanities and Social Sciences Scholarship Award, Academy of Communication in Healthcare (2019). 

Outstanding Continuing Doctoral Student in Communication, School of Communication & Information, Rutgers University (2019).

Outstanding Student, Master of Communication and Information Studies (MCIS), School of Communication & Information, Rutgers University (2017).