Academic Appointments

Honors & Awards

  • Milldred Selzer Distinguished Service Recognition, Association of Geronotology in Higher Education (2004)
  • Fellow, American Geriatrics Society (205)
  • Betty and James E. Birren Senior Scholar Award, California Council on Gerontology and Geriatrics (2005)

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Ethnicity and Dementia
Ethnogeriatric Education
Ethnogeriatric Care


Journal Articles

  • Introduction: Care Concerns for Elders in Korean and Korean American Communities CLINICAL GERONTOLOGIST McBride, M., Yeo, G. 2011; 34 (4): 267-270
  • Outcomes and Challenges of Familias Saludables: A Rural Latino Chronic Disease Screening and Management Project. Hispanic Health Care International Yeo, G., Villalobos, F., Robinson, G. 2011; 9 (3)
  • Causal attributions of dementia among Korean American immigrants. Journal of gerontological social work Lee, S. E., Diwan, S., Yeo, G. 2010; 53 (8): 743-759


    To better understand conceptualizations of dementia, this study explored causal attributions of dementia among 209 Korean Americans, using a self-administered questionnaire in Korean. Findings show that Korean Americans endorsed various causal attributions. Factor analysis yielded 3 dimensions of their attributions including psychological, physical/environmental, and cognitive/social. Bivariate analyses showed that younger age and higher education were related to more physical/environmental attributions, and younger age was related to more cognitive/social attributions. The study provides an understanding of causal attributions of dementia that practitioners need to understand to provide culturally competent practice and highlights a need to customize public education messages by specific ethnic groups.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/01634372.2010.515290

    View details for PubMedID 20972929

  • How Will the US Healthcare System Meet the Challenge of the Ethnogeriatric Imperative? JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN GERIATRICS SOCIETY Yeo, G. 2009; 57 (7): 1278-1285


    Much of the geriatric imperative that is facing providers in the United States is an ethnogeriatric imperative, because one-third of older Americans are projected to be from one of the minority populations by mid-century, and that vastly underrepresents the actual diversity providers will see. Because of the vast heterogeneity of culture, language, health beliefs, risk for disease, and other factors, it is important for policy makers and health providers to be familiar with the diverse characteristics and needs of the various groups that will need geriatric care if they are to receive effective services. Challenges to high-quality ethnogeriatric care include disparities in health status and health care, differences of acculturation level and other characteristics within the populations, language and limited English proficiency, health literacy, culturally defined health beliefs and syndromes, and specific beliefs and preferences about long-term and end-of-life care. Some models of successful ethnogeriatric care have been identified and have in common the involvement of members of the target population in the development and design of the services and the use of cultural liaisons from the ethnic community being served, such as community health workers, or promatores. Thirteen recommendations are suggested for policy and practice changes in multiethnic and ethnic-specific health programs to provide competent ethnogeriatric care in the U.S. healthcare system.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2009.02319.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000267539800020

    View details for PubMedID 19558479

  • Family Caregiving for Elders with Dementia in Three Asian American Populations Hallym International Journal of Aging, Yeo, G. 2008; 10: 85-89
  • Ethnogeriatric education: a collaborative project of Geriatric Education Centers. Gerontology & geriatrics education Severance, J. S., Yeo, G. 2006; 26 (4): 87-99


    Geriatric Education Center (GEC) faculty and staff are committed to teaching health professionals about the impact of culture on the health and health care of elders from ethnically diverse backgrounds. Ethnogeriatrics was highlighted as an important issue in the National Agenda for Geriatric Education during the 1990s. Between 1999 and 2001, the GEC Collaborative on Ethnogeriatric Education developed a Core Curriculum on Ethnogeriatrics and Ethnic Specific Modules. Faculty from 34 GECs wrote, reviewed, revised, expanded, and disseminated the Curriculum in Ethnogeriatrics. The 16-module, web-based Curriculum provides detailed information and teaching resources about important historical and cultural influences on the health care experience of the diverse U.S. population of elders. The Stanford GEC has tracked usage of the ethnogeriatric curriculum and reports favorable responses regarding its effectiveness. Many GECs have used the modules in their continuing education programs. GEC faculty share their teaching methods with others at professional meetings and present training sessions in their own geographical areas.

    View details for PubMedID 16537310

  • Role of community health workers in dementia case finding JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN GERIATRICS SOCIETY Yeo, G. 2005; 53 (10): 1829-1830
  • Conceptions of dementia in a multiethnic sample of family caregivers JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN GERIATRICS SOCIETY Hinton, L., Franz, C. E., Yeo, G., Levkoff, S. E. 2005; 53 (8): 1405-1410


    Understanding variability in conceptions of dementia in multiethnic populations is important to improve care and guide research. The objectives of this study were to describe caregiver conceptions of dementia using a previously developed typology and to examine the correlates of conceptions of dementia in a multiethnic sample. This is a cross-sectional study conducted in Boston and the San Francisco Bay area. Participants were a convenience sample of 92 family dementia caregivers from four ethnic/racial groups: African-American, Anglo European-American, Asian-American, and Latino. In-depth, qualitative interviews explored the caregivers' ideas about the nature and cause of dementia (i.e., explanatory models). Explanatory models of caregivers were categorized as biomedical, folk, or mixed (folk/biomedical). Quantitative analyses examined the association between ethnicity and other caregiver characteristics, and explanatory model type. Overall, 54% of caregivers, including 41% of Anglo European Americans, held explanatory models that combined folk and biomedical elements (i.e., mixed models). For example, many families attributed Alzheimer's disease and related dementias to psychosocial stress or normal aging. Ethnicity, lower education, and sex were associated with explanatory model type in bivariate analyses. In multiple logistic regression analysis, minority caregivers (P<.02) and those with less formal education (P<.02) were more likely to hold mixed or folk models of dementia. Although minority and nonminority caregivers often incorporated folk models into their understanding of dementia, this was more common in minority caregivers and those with less formal education. Further research on cross-ethnic differences in a larger, more-representative sample is needed.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2005.53409.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000230726800020

    View details for PubMedID 16078970

  • Issues in caring for Afghan American elders: insights from literature and a focus group. Journal of cross-cultural gerontology Morioka-Douglas, N., Sacks, T., Yeo, G. 2004; 19 (1): 27-40


    To increase the information available for clinicians and educators to care for, and educate others to care for, elders from Afghan backgrounds more effectively.Focus group methodology.Community senior center in Fremont, CA, United States.Nine leaders of an Afghan elders group.Content analysis of translated proceedings of focus group.The two most important themes were: 1) Participants identified their health status and effective treatments with their faith in, and practice of, Islam. 2) They also emphasized the importance of care given by same-sex providers.Clinicians providing care for older Afghan refugees need to be aware of the importance of respecting the practices of Islam, especially using same sex providers. Allowing for Muslim practices in the hospital is also important, such as washing before daily prayers, not serving pork products (e.g. gelatin), and having the bed face Mecca (Southeast) for prayers, especially for a dying patient.

    View details for PubMedID 14767176

  • Curricular Framework: Core Competencies in Multicultural Geriatric Care Journal of the American Geriatrics Society Xakellis, G., Brangman, SA, Hinton, WL, Jones, VY, Masterman, D, Pan, CX, Rivera J, Wallhagen, M, Yeo, G 2004; 52 (1): 137-142
  • Curricular framework: Core competencies in multicultural geriatric care JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN GERIATRICS SOCIETY Xakellis, G., Brangman, S. A., Hinton, W. L., Jones, V. Y., Masterman, D., Pan, C. X., Rivero, J., Wallhagen, M., Yeo, G. 2004; 52 (1): 137-142


    Strategies to reduce the documented disparities in health and health care for the rapidly growing numbers of older patients from diverse ethnic populations include increased cultural competence of providers. To assist geriatric faculty in medical and other health professional schools develop cultural competence training for their ethnogeriatric programs, the University of California Academic Geriatric Resource Program partnered with the Ethnogeriatric Committee of the American Geriatrics Society to develop a curricular framework. The framework includes core competencies based on the format of the Core Competencies for the Care of Older Patients developed by the Education Committee of the American Geriatrics Society. Competencies in attitudes, knowledge, and skills for medical providers caring for elders from diverse populations are specified. Also included are recommended teaching strategies and resources for faculty to pursue the development of full curricula.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000187451000023

    View details for PubMedID 14687329

  • The ethnogeriatric imperative. Care management journals : Journal of case management ; The journal of long term home health care Yeo, G. 2003; 4 (1): 37-45

    View details for PubMedID 14502877

  • Ethnicity and dementia JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN GERIATRICS SOCIETY Yeo, G. 2001; 49 (10): 1393-1394

    View details for Web of Science ID 000171597900020

    View details for PubMedID 11890503

  • Conceptions of dementia among Vietnamese American caregivers Journal of Gerontological Social Work Yeo, G., Tran, J., Hikoyeda, N., . Hinton, L. 2001; 36 (1&2): 131
  • Ethics in rehabilitation with culturally diverse older adults TOPICS IN GERIATRIC REHABILITATION Yeo, G. 1997; 12 (3): 10-18
  • Using explanatory models to understand chronic symptoms of Cambodian refugees. Family medicine HANDELMAN, L., Yeo, G. 1996; 28 (4): 271-276


    Case reports indicate that understanding patients' "explanatory models" can improve diagnosis, patient compliance, and satisfaction. However, few studies have examined explanatory models within specific cultural groups to understand their symptoms.Seventy-six older Cambodian refugees were interviewed using measures of symptom frequency, explanatory models, help-seeking patterns, and use of traditional Cambodian remedies. Psychiatric patients were compared with non-patients.Headache was the most common symptom, reported by 58% of those interviewed, and also the most frequent chief complaint (41%). Headache was reported in both groups but was reported by significantly more psychiatric patients. Headache was positively associated with the diagnosis of depression. More than half explained their headaches as a result of sadness, grief, and anxiety. Explanatory models did not differ significantly between groups. All participants maintained Cambodian medical beliefs, and 83% used traditional Cambodian remedies.Results suggest a high prevalence of headache among older Cambodian refugees, for whom it may be a manifestation of depression. Emphasis on this somatic complaint does not preclude patients' recognition of psychological factors. Addressing explanatory models can help clinicians determine underlying etiology and understand challenging patients.

    View details for PubMedID 8728521

  • Faculty development in ethnogeriatrics EDUCATIONAL GERONTOLOGY Yeo, G., David, D., Llorens, L. 1996; 22 (1): 79-91
  • Ethnogeriatrics: Cross-cultural care of older adults GENERATIONS-JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY ON AGING Yeo, G. 1996; 20 (4): 72-77

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995QZ28000053

    View details for PubMedID 7748416



    A brief overview of the demographic and psychosocial characteristics and medical problems of African Americans age 65 and older provide the context for a discussion of the mental health issues of older African Americans. With this background, specific concerns regarding diagnostic bias are reviewed. Existing epidemiologic data on the prevalence of psychiatric symptoms and disorders are summarized and the specific mental health issues affecting older African Americans are described. Specific research strategies are suggested to address the areas of absent data.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995QE54300013

    View details for PubMedID 7720017

  • The effects of a program for faculty development in geriatrics for physician assistant teachers. Gerontology & geriatrics education Yeo, G., FOWKES, V. 1989; 9 (4): 83-94


    A Geriatric Education for Physician Assistant (PA) Faculty program enrolled teachers from 21 of the 55 PA training programs in the country to participate in three-week training sessions at Stanford University. The faculty trainees took part in lecture/discussion, audio-visual review, clinical training, and individual conferences. They prepared a lecture and a complete geriatric teaching plan for their home program, and were assigned a text and numerous articles to read. Measures of effect of the training found the following: a significant increase in knowledge scores, although the trainees came into the program with relatively high scores; a heightened awareness and increased positive attitudes toward aging; high ratings of performance on a functionally oriented comprehensive health assessment; and augmented geriatric curriculum and clinical training in their home PA programs.

    View details for PubMedID 2573563



    Using a prospective, randomized design, the effects on self-reported functional health and well being of 18 months of primary outpatient care in a geriatric clinic staffed by a multidisciplinary team with geriatric training were compared with traditional Veterans Administration care for 205 elders. Significantly less decline in functional health was found for the geriatric clinic participants on the total Sickness Impact Profile (SIP) (M = .18 vs. 3.12, p = .029) and its physical dimension (M = .28 vs. 4.39, p = .011), but not for the psychosocial dimension of the SIP, life satisfaction, depression, self-rated health, or affect balance. In addition, twice as many geriatrics clinic patients died (p = .10) during the study. Further clarification of the impact of a multidisciplinary geriatrics clinic on health outcomes and cost in VA and other settings are needed prior to recommending that this model of geriatric health care be adopted.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1987H194400003

    View details for PubMedID 3571860



    Some elucidation of the functioning of the primary care physician in the role as gatekeeper to health and social services for elderly patients is provided by a survey of family practice preceptors. Analysis of knowledge and utilization patterns of 37 types of services by 38 family physicians revealed high utilization of most health services, but there were some gaps for respite, meal site, alert system, and insurance counseling programs. The recommendations of respondents for increasing knowledge and referral coordination could facilitate the access of elderly patients to the needed services.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1986C232600008

    View details for PubMedID 3701282

  • An interdisciplinary teaching program in geriatrics for physician's assistants. Journal of allied health Stark, R., Yeo, G., Fordyce, M., GRUDZEN, M., Hopkins, J., McGann, L., Shepard, K. 1984; 13 (4): 280-287


    An interdisciplinary curriculum committee within the Division of Family Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, developed and taught a beginning course in clinical geriatrics for medical students and student physician's assistants, physical therapists, and nurse practitioners. Through a series of Saturday classes held in community facilities serving seniors, physician's assistant students had the opportunity to learn clinical geriatrics from a faculty team including a physician's assistant, physician, nurse, physical therapist, social worker, gerontologist, and health educator. Local seniors served as consumer consultants and models of health and vigor. This interdisciplinary approach was modeled by the faculty to demonstrate the need for a team approach to deliver quality care to seniors. In this well-received course, the role of the physician's assistant in health care was made evident to their future physician employers and physical therapy co-workers through faculty modeling as well as through informal contacts and patient conferences. Older people constitute a growing and increasingly medically underserved population. Team training may serve to stimulate physician's assistant students to include geriatrics in their career plans while educating their future physician employers about their role.

    View details for PubMedID 6150927

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