Anna M. Nápoles, MPH, PhD

Anna M. Nápoles, MPH, PhD

Associate Adjunct Professor, Department of Medicine, UCSF

Phone: (415) 476-6290 (voice)
Box 0856, UCSF
San Francisco, CA 94143-0856

UCSF Profiles

Cancer Center Membership

Program Member » Breast Oncology» Cancer Control

Research Summary

I have 25 years’ experience conducting health disparities research among underserved US ethnic minority groups, specializing in Latino health. I am a behavioral epidemiologist whose career has focused on testing community interventions to improve cancer outcomes among Latinos, cultural and language factors related to health outcomes of ethnically diverse patients, physician-patient communication among ethnically diverse populations, the conceptual and psychometric adequacy of health measures for use with ethnically diverse patients, and the effectiveness of recruitment and retention methods in ethnically diverse groups. I am proficient in both quantitative and qualitative research methods. I am Co-Investigator on “Redes en Accíon: The National Latino Cancer Network” and Director of the Center for Aging in Diverse Communities (CADC), an NIA-funded Resource Center on Minority Aging Research.
I have completed studies examining translation of evidence-based behavioral interventions targeting chronic diseases in health disparities communities. For example, we completed a RCT of a community-based cognitive-behavioral stress management intervention called “Nuevo Amanecer” for Latinas with breast cancer, which improved several dimensions of quality of life and reduced depressive and somatic symptoms. I am also working with the UCSF Memory and Aging Center as the lead on an initiative to culturally adapt their comprehensive family support intervention for patients with dementia. I co-teach a course on health disparities research methods, with a focus on community engagement and use of mixed methods to develop health measures, pre-test instruments and interventions, and understand mechanisms of health disparities. In summary, I have a record of successful and productive research, collaborations, capacity building, and leadership activities in areas that are highly relevant to the members of the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and the broader community.


Pomona College, Claremont, CA, B.A., 1980, Psychology
University of California, Berkeley, CA, M.P.H., 1983, Public Health Admin.
University of California, Berkeley, CA, Ph.D., 1998, Epidemiology
OBSSR/NIH Summer Training Institute for Randomized Clinical Trials of Behavioral Interventions, Fellow, 2001, Randomized Controlled Trials of Behavioral Interventions

Professional Experience

  • 1976-1980
    Research Assistant, Pomona College Psychology Department
  • 1980-1982
    Research Assistant, University of California Berkeley
  • 1982-1983
    Administrative Intern, La Clinica de la Raza
  • 1983-1985
    Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant, Rehabilitation Offices of Robert Rios
  • 1985-1989
    Branch Manager, CONSERVCO, Travelers Insurance Company
  • 1990-1993
    Sr. Research Associate, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California San Francisco (UCSF)
  • 1993-2000
    Project Director, National Hispanic Leadership Initiative on Cancer, Dept. of Medicine, UCSF
  • 1993-2001
    Assistant Director, Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations, UCSF
  • 1998-2001
    Research Specialist, Center for Aging in Diverse Communities, Department of Medicine, UCSF
  • 2001-2002
    Lecturer, School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley (UCB)
  • 2001-2009
    Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, UCSF
  • 2009-present
    Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, UCSF

Honors & Awards

  • 1980
    Chicana of the Year, Claremont Colleges, Claremont, CA
  • 1995-97
    Graduate Division Fellowships, University of California, Berkeley
  • 1997
    School of Public Health Alumni Association Award, University of California, Berkeley
  • 1997 and 1998
    Northern California Cancer Center, Cancer Information Service, Northern California and Nevada Region, Certificate of Appreciation
  • 1998
    Northern California Cancer Center, Cancer Information Service, Northern California and Nevada Region, 5th Year Anniversary Special Recognition Award
  • 1999
    On Lok's 30th Street Senior Center 20th Anniversary Recognition Award
  • 2000
    Nominee, UCSF Chancellor's Award for Public Service
  • 2003
    Redes En Acción: The National Hispanic/Latino Cancer Network 2003 Rising Star in Cancer Research Award
  • 2003
    The Robert H. Crede Award for Excellence in Community Service, Division of General Internal Medicine, UCSF
  • 2009
    The Robert H. Crede Award for Excellence in Community Service, Division of General Internal Medicine, UCSF

Selected Publications

  1. Napoles A, Cook E, Ginossar T, Knight KD, Ford ME. Applying a Conceptual Framework to Maximize the Participation of Diverse Populations in Cancer Clinical Trials. Adv Cancer Res. 2017; 133:77-94.
    View on PubMed
  2. Nápoles AM, Appelle N, Kalkhoran S, Vijayaraghavan M, Alvarado N, Satterfield J. Perceptions of clinicians and staff about the use of digital technology in primary care: qualitative interviews prior to implementation of a computer-facilitated 5As intervention. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2016; 16(1):44.
    View on PubMed
  3. Nápoles AM, Santoyo-Olsson J, Karliner LS, Gregorich SE, Pérez-Stable EJ. Inaccurate Language Interpretation and Its Clinical Significance in the Medical Encounters of Spanish-speaking Latinos. Med Care. 2015 Nov; 53(11):940-7.
    View on PubMed
  4. Johnson JK, Nápoles AM, Stewart AL, Max WB, Santoyo-Olsson J, Freyre R, Allison TA, Gregorich SE. Study protocol for a cluster randomized trial of the Community of Voices choir intervention to promote the health and well-being of diverse older adults. BMC Public Health. 2015; 15:1049.
    View on PubMed
  5. Kaplan CP, Nápoles AM, Narine S, Gregorich S, Livaudais-Toman J, Nguyen T, Leykin Y, Roach M, Small EJ. Knowledge and attitudes regarding clinical trials and willingness to participate among prostate cancer patients. Contemp Clin Trials. 2015 Nov; 45(Pt B):443-8.
    View on PubMed
  6. Gonzalez P, Nuñez A, Wang-Letzkus M, Lim JW, Flores KF, Nápoles AM. Coping with breast cancer: Reflections from Chinese American, Korean American, and Mexican American women. Health Psychol. 2016 Jan; 35(1):19-28.
    View on PubMed
  7. Gonzales FA, Hurtado-de-Mendoza A, Santoyo-Olsson J, Nápoles AM. Do coping strategies mediate the effects of emotional support on emotional well-being among Spanish-speaking Latina breast cancer survivors? Psychooncology. 2015 Sep 9.
    View on PubMed
  8. Kalkhoran S, Appelle NA, Napoles AM, Munoz RF, Lum PJ, Alvarado N, Gregorich SE, Satterfield JM. Beyond the Ask and Advise: Implementation of a Computer Tablet Intervention to Enhance Provider Adherence to the 5As for Smoking Cessation. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2016 Jan; 60:91-100.
    View on PubMed
  9. Nápoles AM, Ortíz C, Santoyo-Olsson J, Stewart AL, Gregorich S, Lee HE, Durón Y, McGuire P, Luce J. Nuevo Amanecer: results of a randomized controlled trial of a community-based, peer-delivered stress management intervention to improve quality of life in Latinas with breast cancer. Am J Public Health. 2015 Jul; 105 Suppl 3:e55-63.
    View on PubMed
  10. Nápoles AM, Santoyo-Olsson J, Stewart AL, Olmstead J, Gregorich SE, Farren G, Cabral R, Freudman A, Pérez-Stable EJ. Physician counseling on colorectal cancer screening and receipt of screening among Latino patients. J Gen Intern Med. 2015 Apr; 30(4):483-9.
    View on PubMed
  11. Cupertino AP, Saint-Elin M, de Los Rios JB, Engelman KK, Greiner KA, Ellerbeck EF, Nápoles AM. Empowering Promotores de Salud as partners in cancer education and research in rural southwest Kansas. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2015 Jan; 42(1):15-22.
    View on PubMed
  12. García-Jimenez M, Santoyo-Olsson J, Ortiz C, Lahiff M, Sokal-Gutierrez K, Nápoles AM. Acculturation, inner peace, cancer self-efficacy, and self-rated health among Latina breast cancer survivors. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2014 Nov; 25(4):1586-602.
    View on PubMed
  13. Brewster PW, Melrose RJ, Marquine MJ, Johnson JK, Napoles A, MacKay-Brandt A, Farias S, Reed B, Mungas D. Life experience and demographic influences on cognitive function in older adults. Neuropsychology. 2014 Nov; 28(6):846-58.
    View on PubMed
  14. Kwan CM, Napoles AM, Chou J, Seligman HK. Development of a conceptually equivalent Chinese-language translation of the US Household Food Security Survey Module for Chinese immigrants to the USA - Corrigendum. Public Health Nutr. 2015 Feb; 18(2):378.
    View on PubMed
  15. Kwan CM, Napoles AM, Chou J, Seligman HK. Development of a conceptually equivalent Chinese-language translation of the US Household Food Security Survey Module for Chinese immigrants to the USA. Public Health Nutr. 2015 Feb; 18(2):242-50.
    View on PubMed
  16. Nápoles AM, Santoyo-Olsson J, Ortiz C, Gregorich S, Lee HE, Duron Y, Graves K, Luce JA, McGuire P, Díaz-Méndez M, Stewart AL. Randomized controlled trial of Nuevo Amanecer: a peer-delivered stress management intervention for Spanish-speaking Latinas with breast cancer. Clin Trials. 2014 Apr; 11(2):230-8.
    View on PubMed
  17. Rosales M, Ashing K, Napoles A. Quality of cancer follow-up care: a focus on Latina breast cancer survivors. J Cancer Surviv. 2014 Sep; 8(3):364-71.
    View on PubMed
  18. Livaudais-Toman J, Burke NJ, Napoles A, Kaplan CP. Health Literate Organizations: Are Clinical Trial Sites Equipped to Recruit Minority and Limited Health Literacy Patients? J Health Dispar Res Pract. 2014; 7(4):1-13.
    View on PubMed
  19. Nápoles AM, Santoyo-Olsson J, Stewart AL. Methods for translating evidence-based behavioral interventions for health-disparity communities. Prev Chronic Dis. 2013; 10:E193.
    View on PubMed
  20. López ME, Kaplan CP, Nápoles AM, Hwang ES, Livaudais JC, Karliner LS. Satisfaction with treatment decision-making and treatment regret among Latinas and non-Latina whites with DCIS. Patient Educ Couns. 2014 Jan; 94(1):83-9.
    View on PubMed

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