Associate Professor
DHCC #10211
2775 Laurel Street, 10th FLoor
Vancouver, British Columbia V5Z 1M9
Research Interests:
  • Cultural competency education in physician training
  • Diabetes prevention and control
  • Diabetes self-management interventions in community-based settings
  • Health promotion and disease prevention in medically underserved communities
  • Racial and ethnic health and health care disparities



Research Summary:

Over the past 11 years, I have developed a significant, independently funded, program of research on chronic illness prevention and control among ethnic minority and medically underserved communities. I have served as a Principal Investigator on 5 NIH grants and 3 foundation grants focused on the development, implementation, and evaluation of innovative models for long-term chronic illness management.

In February 2003, I secured an NIH-sponsored pilot grant to examine the feasibility of an empowerment-based, culturally tailored, and professional-led, diabetes self-management support (DSMS) intervention designed to sustain and/or improve long-term diabetes-related health outcomes among African-American adults with type 2 diabetes (Lifelong Management intervention). Results found that participation in the Lifelong Management intervention was associated with improvements in body mass index (BMI), total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and self-care behaviors. In July 2005, I received a 5-year NIH-sponsored K23 career development award to investigate whether health gains achieved from short-term diabetes self-management education (DSME) would be sustained and/or improved following participation in the 24-month Lifelong Management intervention. At the end of a 6-month DSME period, participants made signficant improvements in clinical (diastolic blood pressure and serum cholesterol,) and self-care (healthy diet, blood glucose monitoring, foot exams) outcomes. Not only were improvements sustained post- 24-month Lifelong Management intervention, but additional self-care and psychosocial improvements (quality of lifes) emerged. Findings suggest that an empowerment-based, professional-led DSMS model can sustain or improve health gains achieved from short-term DSME. In July 2008, I received a grant sponsored by the International Diabetes Federation to develop, implement, and evaluate a program training peers to faciliate the Lifelong Management intervention. The peer leader training program recruited 8 African-American adults and equipped them with communication skills, empowerment-based facilitation strategies, and behavior change techniques. All participants met the pre-established competencies post- training. Results demonstrated that it is feasibile to train and graudate peer leaders with the necessary skills set to facilitate the Lifelong Management intervention. In February 2009, I received grant sponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation to conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of our Peer-led Lifelong Management intervention for African-American and Spanish-speaking Latino adults with type 2 diabetes in community-based and clinic-based settings, respsetively. In December 2010, I received an NIH-sponsored grant to examine the feasibility and acceptability of a culturally tailored, church-based, diabetes prevention program delivered by peers (Lifelong Prevention intervention). We recruited six African-American adults who successfully graduated from the 8-hour peer lifestyle coach (PLC) training program. In May 2011, I received a grant from the Vancouver General Hospital – University of British Columbia hospital foundation to conducte a RCT of the Lifelong Management intervention culturally tailored for Punjabi-speaking South Asian Canadians with type 2 diabetes. This study is currently underway. In August 2011, I received an NIH-sponsored R34 grant to conduct a cluster RCT investigating the impact of a peer-led and church-based DSMS intervention for African-American adults with type 2 diabetes compared to a controlled condition. In Jaunary 2012, I was awarded a Vancouver Foundation grant: Prevention Matters: reducing the diabetes burden in the South Asian community and In August 2013, I was awarded a grant from Sun-Life to design “A Virtual Fitness Center for South Asian adults at risk for or diagnosed with diabetes.”


Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA Psychology, 1994, A.B.
University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, USA Clinical Psychology, 1999, PhD
Recent Publications:
  • Boyd EA, Gutierrez JR, Fink RJ, Eaman E, Tang TS. Cultural competency training in undergraduate medical education: strategies for including lesbian, gay, and bisexual health concerns. Annals of Behavioral Science and Medical Education 12:65-71, 2006.
  • Tang TS, Funnell MM, Anderson RM. Group education strategies for diabetes self-management.  Diabetes Spectrum 19:99-105, 2006.
  • Bole A, Tang TS. Narrative Medicine: The case for a curriculum in medical education. Annals of Behavioral Science and Medical Education 13:10-15, 2007.
  • Funnell MM, Tang TS, Anderson RM. From DSME to DSMS: Developing empowerment-based diabetes self-management support. Diabetes Spectrum 20:221-226, 2007.
  • Tang TS, White CB, Haftel HM, Poszywak KK, Bozynski MA. Evaluating medical students’ cross-cultural communication skills. Annals of Behavioral Science and Medical Education 13:73-77, 2007.
  • Fitzgerald JT, Stansfield RB, Tang TS, Oh MF, Frohna AZ, Armbruster BA, Gruppen LD, Anderson RM. Patient and provider perceptions of diabetes: measuring and evaluating differences. Patient Education and Counseling 70:118-125, 2008.
  • Li DL, Gao Y, Mullan P, Tang TS, Gruppen L. Optional double major program will broaden medical students’ knowledge base.  Chinese Journal of Medical Education 2008;28: 35-40.
  • Ramirez D, Engel KG, Tang TS. Language interpreter utilization in the emergency department setting: a clinical review.  Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 19:352-361, 2008.
  • Roy B, Tang TS. Beliefs and predictors of cervical cancer screening among women attending a women’s health clinic in Kolkata, India. Journal of Cancer Education 2008;23: 23-9.
  • Tang TS, Brown MB, Funnell MM, Anderson RM. Social support, quality of life, and self-care behaviors among African Americans with type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Educator 34:266-276, 2008.
  • Tang TS, Fitzgerald JT, Stansfield B, Oh M, Anderson RM. Patient-provider perceptions of diabetes and its impact on self-management: a comparison of African-American and Caucasian patients. Diabetic Medicine 25:341-8, 2008.
  • Anderson RM, Funnell MM, Fitzgerald JT, Oh M, Aikens J, Tang TS. Evaluating the efficacy of an empowerment-based self-management consultant intervention : results of a two-year randomized controlled trial. Therapeutic Patient Education 2009;1: 3-11.
  • Tang TS, Patterson S, Roubidoux M, Duan L. Women’s mammography experience and its impact  on screening adherence.  Psycho-oncology 2009;18: 727-34.
  • Tang TS, Skye E. When patients decline medical student participation. The preceptors’ perspective.  Advances in Health Sciences Education 2009; 14:645-9.
  • Tang TS, Skye E. Who gets “kicked out” of the exam room?  Factors associated with patient refusal of medical student participation. Teaching and Learning in Medicine 2009;21: 1-7.
  • Tang TS, Skye E.I. Increasing patients’ acceptance of medical student participation: using interactive theatre for faculty development. Teaching and Learning in Medicine 2009;21: 195-200.
  • Attar MA, Hernandez ME, Mullan PB, Tang TS, Haftel H. Pediatric Residents’ Competency in communicating bad news and eliciting spiritual needs: Development and evaluation of a skill-based curriculum.  Journal of Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine 2010;3:177-85.
  • Tang TS, Funnell MM, Brown MBB, Kurlander JE. Supporting ongoing self-management in “real world” settings: An empowerment-based intervention. Patient Education and Counseling 2010;79:178-84.
  • Tang TS, Funnell MM, Gillard M, Nwankwo N, Heisler, M. The development of a pilot training program for peer leaders in diabetes: Process and content. Diabetes Educator (in press).
  • Tang TS, Ayala GX, Cherrington A, Rana G. A review of volunteer-based peer support interventions in diabetes. Diabetes Spectrum 2011;24:85-98.
  • Tang TS, Funnell MM, Gillard M, Nwankwo R, Heisler, M. Training peers to provide ongoing diabetes self-management support (DSMS): Results from a pilot study. Patient Education and Counseling 2011;85:160-8.
  • Tang TS, Funnell MM, Gillard ML, Nwankwo R, Heisler M. The development of a pilot training program for peer leaders in diabetes. The Diabetes Educator 2011; 37:67-77.
  • Tang TS, Funnell MM, Noorulla S, Oh M, Brown MB. Sustaining short-term improvements over the long-term: Results from a 2-year diabetes self-management support (DSMS) intervention. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 2011;95:85-92.
Awards & Recognition:
  • Distinguished Fellow, Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research (OBSSR), National Institutes of Health, The Ninth Annual Summer Institute on Randomized Clinical Trials Involving Behavioral Interventions. July 12-24, 2009
  • William N. Hubbard, Jr., Endowed Fellowship (Annual award), University of Michigan, 2003
  • William N. Hubbard, Jr., Endowed Fellowship (Annual award), University of Michigan, 2002
  • Jeffrey Tanaka Memorial Dissertation Award – Honorable Mention Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs, Association of Women in Psychology, 1999
  • Women of Color Psychology Award, Association of Women in Psychology, 1997
  • Graduate Research Scholarship Nominee, American Psychological Foundation, 1997
  • Dean’s List, Duke University, 1992-1994

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