Maria Chao, DrPH, MPA

Associate Professor

Maria T. Chao, DrPH, MPA is an associate professor at the University of California San Francisco’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and the Division of General Internal Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Dr. Chao’s overarching goal is to investigate how complementary and integrative health approaches can advance health equity and improve quality of life among underserved populations living with chronic conditions. Her recent studies aim to: (1) rigorously test integrative approaches to address the under-treatment of pain in diverse patient populations; and (2) apply research to broaden access to evidence-based integrative medicine. Her work has received funding support through the NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and numerous foundations.
2019 - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Training, University of California
Postdoctoral Studies, 2011 - Integrative Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
DrPH, 2004 - Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University
MPA, 1999 - Public Administration, Columbia University
  1. Ashby J, Toveg M, Ye H, Rubin LH, Reddy S, Chao MT. The Assessment and Treatment of Inpatient Cancer-Related Pain with Acupuncture: Development of a Manual. 2022. PMID: 35251434

  2. Ho EY, Agne RR, Santana T, Thompson N, McClendon G, Ng E, Merrick S, Gonzalez F, Smith T, Drewke K, Gutierrez A, Floyd G, Chao MT. A Communication Perspective on What Patient Advisory Boards Do: Action-Implicative Discourse Analysis and Negotiating Advice. 2021. PMID: 34591265

  3. Daubenmier J, Chao MT, Hartogensis W, Liu R, Moran PJ, Acree MC, Kristeller J, Epel ES, Hecht FM. Exploratory Analysis of Racial/Ethnic and Educational Differences in a Randomized Controlled Trial of a Mindfulness-Based Weight Loss Intervention. 2021. PMID: 33214537

  4. Ho EY, Leung G, Chao MT, Chan D, Hsieh E, Pritzker S, Chi HL, Huang S, Ruan Q, Seligman HK. Integrative Nutritional Counseling Combining Chinese Medicine and Biomedicine for Chinese Americans with Type 2 Diabetes: A Mixed-Methods Feasibility Study. 2021. PMID: 33979531

  5. Ho EY, Thompson-Lastad A, Lam R, Zhang X, Thompson N, Chao MT. Adaptations to Acupuncture and Pain Counseling Implementation in a Multisite Pragmatic Randomized Clinical Trial. 2021. PMID: 33902333

  6. Weng HY, Ikeda MP, Lewis-Peacock JA, Chao MT, Fullwiley D, Goldman V, Skinner S, Duncan LG, Gazzaley A, Hecht FM. Corrigendum: Toward a Compassionate Intersectional Neuroscience: Increasing Diversity and Equity in Contemplative Neuroscience. 2021. PMID: 33488490

  7. Weng HY, Ikeda MP, Lewis-Peacock JA, Chao MT, Fullwiley D, Goldman V, Skinner S, Duncan LG, Gazzaley A, Hecht FM. Toward a Compassionate Intersectional Neuroscience: Increasing Diversity and Equity in Contemplative Neuroscience. 2020. PMID: 33329215

  8. Weng HY, Lewis-Peacock JA, Hecht FM, Uncapher MR, Ziegler DA, Farb NAS, Goldman V, Skinner S, Duncan LG, Chao MT, Gazzaley A. Focus on the Breath: Brain Decoding Reveals Internal States of Attention During Meditation. 2020. PMID: 33005138

  9. Chao MT, Schillinger D, Nguyen U, Santana T, Liu R, Gregorich S, Hecht FM. A Randomized Clinical Trial of Group Acupuncture for Painful Diabetic Neuropathy Among Diverse Safety Net Patients. 2019. PMID: 31127837

  10. Hullender Rubin LE, Mist SD, Schnyer RN, Chao MT, Leclair CM. Acupuncture Augmentation of Lidocaine for Provoked, Localized Vulvodynia: A Feasibility and Acceptability Study. 2019. PMID: 31592976

  11. Thompson-Lastad A, Atreya CE, Chao MT, Pollak C, Dhruva A, Santana T, Abrams DI. Improving Access to Integrative Oncology Through Group Medical Visits: A Pilot Implementation Project. Volume 25 of Issue 7. 2019. PMID: 31314561

  12. Chao MT, Hurstak E, Leonoudakis-Watts K, Sidders F, Pace J, Hammer H, Wismer B. Patient-Reported Outcomes of an Integrative Pain Management Program Implemented in a Primary Care Safety Net Clinic: a Quasi-experimental Study. Volume 34 of Issue 7. 2019. PMID: 30783878

  13. Bruns EB, Befus D, Wismer B, Knight K, Adler SR, Leonoudakis-Watts K, Thompson-Lastad A, Chao MT. Vulnerable Patients' Psychosocial Experiences in a Group-Based, Integrative Pain Management Program. 2019. PMID: 31314560

  14. Hurstak E, Chao MT, Leonoudakis-Watts K, Pace J, Walcer B, Wismer B. Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of an Integrative Pain Management Program in a Primary Care Safety-Net Clinic. Volume 25 of Issue S1. 2019. PMID: 30870021

  15. Ye H, Bowden D, Ashby J, Toveg M, Reddy S, Chao MT. Improving Usability of Electronic Health Records for Whole Systems Integrative Medicine Practitioners. Volume 25 of Issue S1. 2019. PMID: 30870026

  16. Harrison JD, Reddy S, Liu R, Adler SR, Chao MT. Implementing an Inpatient Acupuncture Service for Pain and Symptom Management: Identifying Opportunities and Challenges. Volume 25 of Issue 5. 2019. PMID: 30758215

  17. Thompson-Lastad A, Gardiner P, Chao MT. Integrative Group Medical Visits: A National Scoping Survey of Safety-Net Clinics. Volume 3 of Issue 1. 2019. PMID: 30706043

  18. Helen Y Weng, Jarrod A Lewis-Peacock, Frederick M Hecht, Melina Uncapher, David Ziegler, Norman AS Farb, Veronica Goldman, Sasha Skinner, Larissa G Duncan, Maria T Chao, Adam Gazzaley. Focus on the breath: Brain decoding reveals internal states of attention during meditation. 2018. PMID:

  19. Dhruva A, Atreya CE, Chao MT. Applying New Models of Care to Meet Patient Needs in Integrative Oncology. Volume 24 of Issue 9-10. 2018. PMID: 30247958

  20. Ho EY, Acquah J, Chao C, Leung G, Ng DC, Chao MT, Wang A, Ku S, Chen W, Yu CK, Xu S, Chen M, Jih J. Heart healthy integrative nutritional counseling (H2INC): Creating a Chinese medicine + western medicine patient education curriculum for Chinese Americans. Volume 101 of Issue 12. 2018. PMID: 30126680

  21. Chao MT, Adler SR. Integrative Medicine and the Imperative for Health Justice. Volume 24 of Issue 2. 2018. PMID: 29364694

  22. Salvatore D’Amico, Maria Chao, Paula Gardiner. Addressing Disparities in Integrative and Complementary Therapies. 2017. PMID:

  23. Huang AJ, Rowen TS, Abercrombie P, Subak LL, Schembri M, Plaut T, Chao MT. Development and Feasibility of a Group-Based Therapeutic Yoga Program for Women with Chronic Pelvic Pain. Volume 18 of Issue 10. 2017. PMID: 28419385

  24. Duncan LG, Cohn MA, Chao MT, Cook JG, Riccobono J, Bardacke N. Benefits of preparing for childbirth with mindfulness training: a randomized controlled trial with active comparison. Volume 17 of Issue 1. 2017. PMID: 28499376

  25. Liu R, Chao MT, Jostad-Laswell A, Duncan LG. Does CenteringPregnancy Group Prenatal Care Affect the Birth Experience of Underserved Women? A Mixed Methods Analysis. Volume 19 of Issue 2. 2017. PMID: 26942939

  26. Chao MT, Chang A, Reddy S, Harrison JD, Acquah J, Toveg M, Santana T, Hecht FM. Adjunctive acupuncture for pain and symptom management in the inpatient setting: protocol for a pilot hybrid effectiveness-implementation study. Volume 14 of Issue 3. 2016. PMID: 27181130

  27. Wade C, Wang L, Zhao WJ, Cardini F, Kronenberg F, Gui SQ, Ying Z, Zhao NQ, Chao MT, Yu J. Acupuncture point injection treatment of primary dysmenorrhoea: a randomised, double blind, controlled study. Volume 6 of Issue 1. 2016. PMID: 26733563

  28. Chang A, Acquah J, Reddy S, Chao MT. Acupuncture for the Management of Postdural Puncture Headache: A Case Report. Volume 5 of Issue 1. 2016. PMID: 26937320

  29. Chao MT, Abercrombie PD, Santana T, Duncan LG. Applying the RE-AIM Framework to Evaluate Integrative Medicine Group Visits Among Diverse Women with Chronic Pelvic Pain. Volume 16 of Issue 6. 2015. PMID: 26365760

  30. Chao MT, Handley MA, Quan J, Sarkar U, Ratanawongsa N, Schillinger D. Disclosure of complementary health approaches among low income and racially diverse safety net patients with diabetes. 2015. PMID: 26146238

  31. Chao MT, Abercrombie PD, Nakagawa S, Gregorich SE, Learman LA, Kuppermann M. Prevalence and use of complementary health approaches among women with chronic pelvic pain in a prospective cohort study. Volume 16 of Issue 2. 2014. PMID: 25279935

  32. Maria T. Chao, Margaret Handley, Judy Quan, Urmimala Sarkar, Neda Ratanawongsa, Dean Schillinger. Disclosure of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Diverse Safety Net Patients with Diabetes. 2014. PMID:

  33. Maria T. Chao, Priscilla D. Abercrombie, Larissa G. Duncan, Trilce Santana, Alexandra M. Chang. Feasibility and Preliminary Effects of Centering for Chronic Pelvic Pain: Integrative Group Visits for Medically Underserved Women. 2014. PMID:

  34. Larissa Duncan, Michael Cohn, Maria Chao, Joseph Cook, Jane Riccobono, Nancy Bardacke. Mind in Labor: Effects of Mind/Body Training on Childbirth Appraisals and Pain Medication Use During Labor. 2014. PMID:

  35. Maria T. Chao, Unity Nguyen, Zachary Zibrat, Fija Reed, Dean Schillinger, Frederick M. Hecht. Protocol Development of Group Acupuncture Treatment for Painful Diabetic Neuropathy Using Treatment Manualization. 2014. PMID:

  36. Chao MT, Wade CM, Abercrombie PD, Gomolak D. An innovative acupuncture treatment for primary dysmenorrhea: a randomized, crossover pilot study. Volume 20 of Issue 1. 2014. PMID: 24445356

  37. Tippens KM, Chao MT, Connelly E, Locke A. Patient perspectives on care received at community acupuncture clinics: a qualitative thematic analysis. Volume 13. 2013. PMID: 24168022

  38. Chao MT, Abercrombie PD, Duncan LG. Centering as a model for group visits among women with chronic pelvic pain. Volume 41 of Issue 5. 2012. PMID: 22862426

  39. Xie SB, Zhu JY, Ying Z, Zeng LJ, Chao M, Lu MQ. Prevention and risk factors of the HBV recurrence after orthotopic liver transplantation: 160 cases follow-up study. Volume 90 of Issue 7. 2010. PMID: 20703179

  40. Reiff M, Wade C, Chao MT, Kronenberg F, Cushman LF. Health practices and vaginal microbicide acceptability among urban black women. Volume 17 of Issue 8. 2008. PMID: 18788991

  41. Wade C, Chao M, Kronenberg F, Cushman L, Kalmuss D. Medical pluralism among American women: results of a national survey. Volume 17 of Issue 5. 2008. PMID: 18537484

  42. Wade C, Chao MT, Kronenberg F. Medical pluralism of Chinese women living in the United States. Volume 9 of Issue 4. 2007. PMID: 17431784

  43. Chao MT, Wade C, Kronenberg F, Kalmuss D, Cushman LF. Women's reasons for complementary and alternative medicine use: racial/ethnic differences. Volume 12 of Issue 8. 2006. PMID: 17034277

  44. Kronenberg F, Cushman LF, Wade CM, Kalmuss D, Chao MT. Race/ethnicity and women's use of complementary and alternative medicine in the United States: results of a national survey. Volume 96 of Issue 7. 2006. PMID: 16735632

  45. Abraído-Lanza AF, Chao MT, Flórez KR. Do healthy behaviors decline with greater acculturation? Implications for the Latino mortality paradox. Volume 61 of Issue 6. 2005. PMID: 15970234

  46. Abraído-Lanza AF, Chao MT, Gates CY. Acculturation and cancer screening among Latinas: results from the National Health Interview Survey. Volume 29 of Issue 1. 2005. PMID: 15677297

  47. Abraído-Lanza AF, Chao MT, Gammon MD. Breast and cervical cancer screening among Latinas and non-Latina whites. Volume 94 of Issue 8. 2004. PMID: 15284049

  48. Dessio W, Wade C, Chao M, Kronenberg F, Cushman LE, Kalmuss D. Religion, spirituality, and healthcare choices of African-American women: results of a national survey. Volume 14 of Issue 2. 2004. PMID: 15132203