Theresa Allison, MD, PhD

Title(s)Professor, Medicine
SchoolSchool of Medicine
Address490 Illinois Street, #82A
San Francisco CA 94158
Phone415-221-4810 ext. 25877
ORCID ORCID Icon0000-0003-4745-8468 Additional info
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    University of Illinois at Chicago, Urbana-ChampaignM.D.2002Medicine
    University of California, San Francisco2005Family and Community Medicine
    University of California, SanFrancisco2006Geriatric Medicine
    University of Illinois, Urbana-ChampaignPh.D.2010Musicology
    University of California, San Francisco, CA2018Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Training
    University of California, San Francisco2023CTSI K Scholars Program
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    University of California, San Francisco2020Medical Student Training in Aging Research Best Research Mentor Award
    UCSF Division of Geriatrics2016Teacher of the Year
    Department of Veterans Affairs2013Special Contribution Award
    Department of Veterans Affairs2013Superstar Award
    American Geriatrics Society2011New Investigator Award
    Society for Ethnomusicology2001Ida Halpern Award for Research in Native American Music

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Theresa A. Allison, MD, M. Music, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Geriatrics, with a secondary appointment in Family and Community Medicine. She completed both the MD and PhD (Musicology) through the University of Illinois Medical Scholars Program. She completed family practice residency and geriatric fellowship training at UCSF. Dr. Allison’s research sits at the intersection of music, well-being, dementia and relationships, bridging the medical humanities and health sciences. Her research areas include the impact of music on well-being among diverse older adults living with and without dementia across nursing home and community settings. She provides Geriatrics inpatient care in the San Francisco VA Health Care System.

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    The impact of music on well-being after diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease or its related dementias
    NIH RF1AG082292Sep 30, 2023 - Sep 29, 2026
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Impact of Music Improvisation Training on Brain Function and Cognition among Older Adults
    NIH R61AG073669Sep 15, 2021 - May 31, 2023
    Role: Co-Investigator
    The Potential for Music to Improve Quality of Life in Dementia Caregiving Relationships
    NIH K23AG062613Aug 1, 2019 - May 31, 2024
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help. to make corrections and additions.
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    Altmetrics Details PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. "Relationships, Very Quickly, Turn to Nothing": Loneliness, Social Isolation, and Adaptation to Changing Social Lives Among Persons Living With Dementia and Care Partners. Gerontologist. 2024 Apr 01; 64(4). Kotwal AA, Allison TA, Halim M, Garrett SB, Perissinotto CM, Ritchie CS, Smith AK, Harrison KL. PMID: 38499400; PMCID: PMC10948338.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    2. Supporting technology access for older adults through in-home, intergenerational involvement: The case for ethnographic methods and student service-learning courses. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2024 Mar 18. Allison TA, Stephens CE, Kotwal AA. PMID: 38497805.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    3. Music engagement as part of everyday life in dementia caregiving relationships at home. Gerontologist. 2023 Dec 30. Allison TA, Gubner JM, Harrison KL, Smith AK, Barnes DE, Covinsky KE, Yaffe K, Johnson JK. PMID: 38158775.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    4. The Role of Digital Technologies in Facilitating Psychosocial Resilience to Sudden Social Isolation Among Older Adults: Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic. J Appl Gerontol. 2023 Dec; 42(12):2348-2359. Newmark RL, Allison TA, Smith AK, Perissinotto CM, Tha SH, Kotwal AA. PMID: 37536316.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    5. Assessing Technical Feasibility and Acceptability of Telehealth Palliative Care in Nursing Homes. Palliat Med Rep. 2022; 3(1):181-185. Stephens CE, Allison TA, Flint LA, David D, Wertz V, Halifax E, Barrientos P, Ritchie CS. PMID: 36059909; PMCID: PMC9438441.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1  
    6. Integrative review of singing and music interventions for family carers of people living with dementia. Health Promot Int. 2022 Jun 02; 37(Supplement_1):i49-i61. Lee S, Allison T, O'Neill D, Punch P, Helitzer E, Moss H. PMID: 35417003; PMCID: PMC9162174.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    7. "I Didn't Sign Up for This": Perspectives from Persons Living with Dementia and Care Partners on Challenges, Supports, and Opportunities to Add Geriatric Neuropalliative Care to Dementia Specialty Care. J Alzheimers Dis. 2022; 90(3):1301-1320. Harrison KL, Garrett SB, Halim M, Bernstein Sideman A, Allison TA, Dohan D, Naasan G, Miller BL, Smith AK, Ritchie CS. PMID: 36245375; PMCID: PMC9712265.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    8. Meaningful Activities and Sources of Meaning for Community-Dwelling People Living with Dementia. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2022 07; 23(7):1191-1196.e1. Allison TA, Gubner JM, Oh A, Harrison KL, Pham K, Barnes DE, Johnson JK, Covinsky KE, Smith AK. PMID: 34481793; PMCID: PMC8888776.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    9. Front-Line Hospice Staff Perceptions of Barriers and Opportunities to Discussing Advance Care Planning With Hospice Patients and Their Families. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2022 07; 23(7):1205-1214.e2. Oh A, Allison TA, Mahoney K, Thompson N, Ritchie CS, Sudore RL, Harrison KL. PMID: 34391713; PMCID: PMC8840996.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    10. Engagement in Meaningful Activities Among Older Adults With Disability, Dementia, and Depression. JAMA Intern Med. 2021 04 01; 181(4):560-562. Oh A, Gan S, Boscardin WJ, Allison TA, Barnes DE, Covinsky KE, Smith AK. PMID: 33492334; PMCID: PMC7835951.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    11. The Adoption of Video Visits During the COVID-19 Pandemic by VA Home Based Primary Care. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2021 02; 69(2):318-320. Cheng MKW, Allison TA, McSteen BW, Cattle CJ, Lo DT. PMID: 33284996; PMCID: PMC8011851.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 12     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    12. Extreme Vulnerability of Home Care Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic-A Call to Action. JAMA Intern Med. 2020 11 01; 180(11):1459-1460. Allison TA, Oh A, Harrison KL. PMID: 32749452; PMCID: PMC7858686.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
    13. Multi-cultural perspectives on group singing among diverse older adults. Geriatr Nurs. 2020 Nov - Dec; 41(6):1006-1012. Allison TA, Nápoles AM, Johnson JK, Stewart AL, Rodriguez-Salazar M, Peringer J, Sherman S, Ortez-Alfaro J, Villero O, Portacolone E. PMID: 32778434; PMCID: PMC7738424.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    14. Transforming Undergraduate Student Perceptions of Dementia through Music and Filmmaking. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2020 05; 68(5):1083-1089. Gubner J, Smith AK, Allison TA. PMID: 32372442; PMCID: PMC7993623.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    15. Hospice Staff Perspectives on Caring for People with Dementia: A Multisite, Multistakeholder Study. J Palliat Med. 2020 08; 23(8):1013-1020. Harrison KL, Allison TA, Garrett SB, Thompson N, Sudore RL, Ritchie CS. PMID: 32130076; PMCID: PMC7404831.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    16. "Now I Write Songs": Growth and Reciprocity After Long-Term Nursing Home Placement. Gerontologist. 2020 01 24; 60(1):135-144. Allison TA, Smith AK. PMID: 31112596; PMCID: PMC10686246.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    17. Key Ingredients of an Ideal System for High-Quality Community Care for Persons With Dementia. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2020 02; 68(2):238-240. Oh A, Smith AK, Allison TA. PMID: 31868915; PMCID: PMC8015407.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    18. Caring community and relationship centred care on an end-stage dementia special care unit. Age Ageing. 2019 09 01; 48(5):727-734. Allison TA, Balbino RT, Covinsky KE. PMID: 31220199.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    19. Journal of Folklore Research, guest-edited by TA Allison, JM Cohen and DB Reed. Introduction: Toward common cause: Music, team science and global health. 2017; 54(1-2):1-14. Allison TA, Cohen JM, Reed DB.
    20. High Prevalence of Malnutrition among Elderly Veterans in Home Based Primary Care. J Nutr Health Aging. 2017; 21(6):610-613. Win AZ, Ceresa C, Arnold K, Allison TA. PMID: 28537323.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 11     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    21. Sense of Control in End-of-Life Decision-Making. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2017 Mar; 65(3):e70-e75. Romo RD, Allison TA, Smith AK, Wallhagen MI. PMID: 28029695; PMCID: PMC5357173.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 14     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    22. 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. Johnson JK, Nápoles AM, Stewart AL, Max WB, Santoyo-Olsson J, Freyre R, Allison TA, Gregorich SE. PMID: 26463176; PMCID: PMC4603966.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 9     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    23. This Thing Called Music. V Levine and P Bohlman (Eds.). Recording the Life Review: A Case Study from the Medical Humanities. 2015. Allison TA.
    24. In Current Diagnosis and Treatment in Geriatrics. CS Landefeld, B Williams and A Chang (Eds.). Long-Term Care, Nursing Home and Rehabilitation. 2014. Allison TA.
    25. Disregard of patients' preferences is a medical error: comment on "Failure to engage hospitalized elderly patients and their families in advance care planning". JAMA Intern Med. 2013 May 13; 173(9):787. Allison TA, Sudore RL. PMID: 23545699.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 22     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    26. Ethnomusicology. Book review: The Culture of AIDS in Africa: Hope and Healing through Music and the Arts. 2013; 57(1):137-141. Allison TA.
    27. The nursing home as village: lessons from ethnomusicology. Journal of Aging, Humanities and the Arts. 2010; 4(3):276-91.
    28. Transcending the Limitations of Institutionalized Aging Through Music: Ethnomusicology in the Nursing Home. PhD dissertation. 2010. Allison TA.
    29. The Oxford Handbook of Medical Ethnomusicology, Koen B, Barz G and Brummel-Smith K, Eds. Songwriting and transcending institutional boundaries in the nursing home. 2008. Allison TA.
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