University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Anna M. Nápoles, MPH, PhD

Anna M. Nápoles, MPH, PhD

Associate Adjunct Professor, Department of Medicine, UCSF

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. Valdez A, Napoles AM, Stewart SL, Garza A. A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Cervical Cancer Education Intervention for Latinas Delivered Through Interactive, Multimedia Kiosks. J Cancer Educ. 2018 Feb; 33(1):222-230.
    View on PubMed
  2. Nápoles AM, Santoyo-Olsson J, Stewart AL, Ortiz C, García-Jímenez M. Evaluating the Implementation of a Translational Peer-Delivered Stress Management Program for Spanish-Speaking Latina Breast Cancer Survivors. J Cancer Educ. 2017 Mar 08.
    View on PubMed
  3. Vijayaraghavan M, Yuan P, Gregorich S, Lum P, Appelle N, Napoles AM, Kalkhoran S, Satterfield J. Disparities in receipt of 5As for smoking cessation in diverse primary care and HIV clinics. Prev Med Rep. 2017 Jun; 6:80-87.
    View on PubMed
  4. Ramirez J, Elmofty M, Castillo E, DeRouen M, Shariff-Marco S, Allen L, Gomez SL, Nápoles AM, Márquez-Magaña L. Evaluation of cortisol and telomere length measurements in ethnically diverse women with breast cancer using culturally sensitive methods. J Community Genet. 2017 Apr; 8(2):75-86.
    View on PubMed
  5. 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
  6. 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 Apr 19; 16:44.
    View on PubMed
  7. Ashing KT, Loscalzo M, Burhansstipanov L, Wang JH, Napoles A. Attending to Distress as part of quality, comprehensive cancer care: Gaps and Diversity Considerations. Expert Rev Qual Life Cancer Care. 2016; 1(4):257-259.
    View on PubMed
  8. Echeverri M, Anderson D, Nápoles AM. Cancer Health Literacy Test-30-Spanish (CHLT-30-DKspa), a New Spanish-Language Version of the Cancer Health Literacy Test (CHLT-30) for Spanish-Speaking Latinos. J Health Commun. 2016; 21 Suppl 1:69-78.
    View on PubMed
  9. Sternberg RM, Nápoles AM, Gregorich S, Paul S, Lee KA, Stewart AL. Development of the Stress of Immigration Survey: A Field Test Among Mexican Immigrant Women. Fam Community Health. 2016 Jan-Mar; 39(1):40-52.
    View on PubMed
  10. Kaplan CP, Nápoles A, Davis S, Lopez M, Pasick RJ, Livaudais-Toman J, Pérez-Stable EJ. Latinos and Cancer Information: Perspectives of Patients, Health Professionals and Telephone Cancer Information Specialists. J Health Dispar Res Pract. 2016; 9(2):154-167.
    View on PubMed
  11. 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
  12. 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 Oct 13; 15:1049.
    View on PubMed
  13. 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):443-448.
    View on PubMed
  14. 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
  15. 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. 2016 11; 25(11):1286-1292.
    View on PubMed
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. Rush CL, Darling M, Elliott MG, Febus-Sampayo I, Kuo C, Muñoz J, Duron Y, Torres M, Galván CC, Gonzalez F, Caicedo L, Nápoles A, Jensen RE, Anderson E, Graves KD. Engaging Latina cancer survivors, their caregivers, and community partners in a randomized controlled trial: Nueva Vida intervention. Qual Life Res. 2015 May; 24(5):1107-18.
    View on PubMed

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