Theresa Allison, MD, PhD

Professor of Clinical Medicine
+1 415 221-4810 ext. 25877

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.


"Relationships, Very Quickly, Turn to Nothing": Loneliness, Social Isolation, and Adaptation to Changing Social Lives Among Persons Living With Dementia and Care Partners.

The Gerontologist

Kotwal AA, Allison TA, Halim M, Garrett SB, Perissinotto CM, Ritchie CS, Smith AK, Harrison KL

Music engagement as part of everyday life in dementia caregiving relationships at home.

The Gerontologist

Allison TA, Gubner JM, Harrison KL, Smith AK, Barnes DE, Covinsky KE, Yaffe K, Johnson JK

The Role of Digital Technologies in Facilitating Psychosocial Resilience to Sudden Social Isolation Among Older Adults: Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Journal of applied gerontology : the official journal of the Southern Gerontological Society

Newmark RL, Allison TA, Smith AK, Perissinotto CM, Tha SH, Kotwal AA

Assessing Technical Feasibility and Acceptability of Telehealth Palliative Care in Nursing Homes.

Palliative medicine reports

Stephens CE, Allison TA, Flint LA, David D, Wertz V, Halifax E, Barrientos P, Ritchie CS

Integrative review of singing and music interventions for family carers of people living with dementia.

Health promotion international

Lee S, Allison T, O'Neill D, Punch P, Helitzer E, Moss H

"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.

Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD

Harrison KL, Garrett SB, Halim M, Bernstein Sideman A, Allison TA, Dohan D, Naasan G, Miller BL, Smith AK, Ritchie CS

Meaningful Activities and Sources of Meaning for Community-Dwelling People Living with Dementia.

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association

Allison TA, Gubner JM, Oh A, Harrison KL, Pham K, Barnes DE, Johnson JK, Covinsky KE, Smith AK

Front-Line Hospice Staff Perceptions of Barriers and Opportunities to Discussing Advance Care Planning With Hospice Patients and Their Families.

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association

Oh A, Allison TA, Mahoney K, Thompson N, Ritchie CS, Sudore RL, Harrison KL

Engagement in Meaningful Activities Among Older Adults With Disability, Dementia, and Depression.

JAMA internal medicine

Oh A, Gan S, Boscardin WJ, Allison TA, Barnes DE, Covinsky KE, Smith AK

The Adoption of Video Visits During the COVID-19 Pandemic by VA Home Based Primary Care.

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

Cheng MKW, Allison TA, McSteen BW, Cattle CJ, Lo DT

Multi-cultural perspectives on group singing among diverse older adults.

Geriatric nursing (New York, N.Y.)

Allison TA, Nápoles AM, Johnson JK, Stewart AL, Rodriguez-Salazar M, Peringer J, Sherman S, Ortez-Alfaro J, Villero O, Portacolone E

Transforming Undergraduate Student Perceptions of Dementia through Music and Filmmaking.

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

Gubner J, Smith AK, Allison TA

Hospice Staff Perspectives on Caring for People with Dementia: A Multisite, Multistakeholder Study.

Journal of palliative medicine

Harrison KL, Allison TA, Garrett SB, Thompson N, Sudore RL, Ritchie CS

Key Ingredients of an Ideal System for High-Quality Community Care for Persons With Dementia.

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

Oh A, Smith AK, Allison TA

High Prevalence of Malnutrition among Elderly Veterans in Home Based Primary Care.

The journal of nutrition, health & aging

Win AZ, Ceresa C, Arnold K, Allison TA

Journal of Folklore Research, guest-edited by TA Allison, JM Cohen and DB Reed

Introduction: Toward common cause: Music, team science and global health.

Allison TA, Cohen JM, Reed DB

Sense of Control in End-of-Life Decision-Making.

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

Romo RD, Allison TA, Smith AK, Wallhagen MI

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

Johnson JK, Nápoles AM, Stewart AL, Max WB, Santoyo-Olsson J, Freyre R, Allison TA, Gregorich SE

This Thing Called Music. V Levine and P Bohlman (Eds.)

Recording the Life Review: A Case Study from the Medical Humanities

Allison TA


Book review: The Culture of AIDS in Africa: Hope and Healing through Music and the Arts

Allison TA

The nursing home as village: lessons from ethnomusicology

Journal of Aging, Humanities and the Arts

Transcending the Limitations of Institutionalized Aging Through Music: Ethnomusicology in the Nursing Home. PhD dissertation

Transcending the Limitations of Institutionalized Aging Through Music: Ethnomusicology in the Nursing Home. PhD dissertation.

Allison TA

The Oxford Handbook of Medical Ethnomusicology, Koen B, Barz G and Brummel-Smith K, Eds

Songwriting and transcending institutional boundaries in the nursing home

Allison TA