The purpose of this K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award is to promote the candidate's development as an independent researcher in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) with a focus on chronic disease management among underserved populations. Dr. Chao's long-term career goal is to bridge public health and CAM to improve quality of life among underserved populations living with chronic conditions, such as diabetes. Towards this end, the proposed mentored research for this K01 award is to design, implement, and evaluate an acupuncture group-based intervention to improve quality of life among underserved patients with painful diabetic neuropathy. To support this research and Dr. Chao's goal of independent CAM research, this K01 application includes formal, mentored training through coursework and tailored tutorials in clinical research methodologies, practice-based acupuncture research, diabetes management and quality of life among underserved populations, and responsible conduct of research. This training will be applied to research with two Specific Aims: (1) to develop a standardized acupuncture protocol for painful diabetic neuropathy through formal treatment manualization;and (2) to evaluate acceptability, feasibility, and preliminary efficacy of group acupuncture for painful diabetic neuropathy among underserved patients. The University of California, San Francisco is an ideal environment for the proposed training because it provides access to experts in both CAM and diabetes management among underserved populations and close affiliation with San Francisco General Hospital, an urban safety net hospital serving a low-income, ethnically diverse population. Completion of the proposed research and career development activities will inform the development of an R01 application and ensure Dr. Chao's ability to conduct independent research on CAM therapies to improve quality of life among underserved populations.

Public Health Relevance

Chronic pain is highly prevalent among people with diabetes and negatively impacts on quality of life, daily functioning, and ability to engage in self-management of disease. Given the limitations of standard pharmaceutical treatments for pain, alternative approaches to effective pain management are critically needed to improve quality of life, especially among vulnerable populations who are most at risk of suffering from diabetes and undertreated for pain. If the proposed aims are achieved, group acupuncture may provide a viable model for improving quality of life among underserved diabetes populations that can be implemented in safety net hospitals and other settings.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAT1)
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Huntley, Kristen V
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University of California San Francisco
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
San Francisco
United States
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Chao, Maria T; Wade, Christine M; Abercrombie, Priscilla D et al. (2014) An innovative acupuncture treatment for primary dysmenorrhea: a randomized, crossover pilot study. Altern Ther Health Med 20:49-56
Chao, Maria T; Wade, Christine M; Booth, Sarah L (2014) Increase in plasma phylloquinone concentrations following acupoint injection for the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea. J Acupunct Meridian Stud 7:151-4