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Deepa Rao

Assistant Professor, Global Health
Assistant Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

Ninth and Jefferson Building, 13th Floor
Box 359932
908 Jefferson Street
Seattle, WA


PhD (Illinois Institute of Technology)
MA (University of Chicago)
BA (University of Chicago)


Global Mental Health, Stigma Reduction, Chronic Disease, HIV/AIDS, and Social Justice and Human Rights

Biography and Research Interests 

Deepa Rao, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor at the University of Washington. Her professional interests are in designing effective interventions to improve mental health and reduce stigma for vulnerable populations worldwide.

Selected Publications 

Butt, Z., Lai, J.-S., Rao, D., Heinemann, A. W., Bill, A., & Cella, D. (2013). Measurement of fatigue in cancer, stroke, and HIV using the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy - Fatigue (FACIT-F) scale. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 74(1),64-68.

Rao, D., Molina, Y., Lambert, N., Cohn, S.E. (In Press). Assessing Stigma among African-Americans Living with HIV/AIDS. Stigma Research and Action.

Kahn, T.R., Desmond, M., Rao, D., Marx, GE, Guthrie, B.L., Bosire, R., Choi, R.Y., Kiarie, J.N., Farquhar, C. (2013). Delayed Initiation of Antiretroviral Therapy among HIV-discordant Couples in Kenya. AIDS Care, 25(3):265-72.

Rao, D., Desmond, M., Andrasik, M., Rasberry, T., Lambert, N., Cohn, S., Simoni, J. (2012). Feasibility, Acceptability, and Preliminary Efficacy of the 'Unity Workshop': An Internalized Stigma Reduction Intervention for African-American Women Living with HIV. AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 26(10):614-620.

Rao, D., Horton, R., Raguram, R. (2012). Gender Inequality and Structural Violence among Depressed Women in South India. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 47(12):1967-75.

Molina, Y., Choi, S., Cella, D., Rao, D.* (In Press). The Stigma Scale for Chronic Illnesses 8-item version (SSCI-8): Development, validation, and use across neurological conditions. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine. NIHMSID #363920.

Jeyaseelan, L., Kumar, S., Mohanraj, R., Rebekah, G., Rao, D., Manhart, L. (2012) Assessing HIV/AIDS Stigma in South India: Validation and Abridgement of the Berger HIV Stigma Scale. AIDS and Behavior, 17(1):434-43. NIHMSID #363926.

Corrigan, P.W., Rao, D. (2012). On the Self-Stigma of Mental Illness: Stages, Disclosure, and Strategies for Change. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 57(8):464-9, NIHMSID363969.

Garcia, S.F., Rosenbloom, S.K., Beaumont, J.L., Merkel, D., Von Roenn, J.H., Rao, D., Cella, D. (2012). Priority Symptoms in Advanced Breast Cancer: Development and Initial Validation of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network-Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast Cancer Symptom Index (NFBSI-16). Value in Health, 15(1):183-90.

Rao, D., Feldman, B.J., Fredericksen, R.J., Crane, P.K., Simoni, J.M., Kitahata, M.M., Crane, H.M. (2011). A Structural Equation Model of HIV-Related Stigma, Depressive Symptoms, on Medication Adherence. AIDS and Behavior, epub ahead of print. NIHMSID #278611.

Pan, A-W., Chung, L., Chen, T-J., Hsiung, P-C., Rao, D. (2011). Occupational Competence, Environmental Support, and Quality of life for People with Depression: A Path Analysis. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 14, 40-54.

Rao, D., Horton, R., Tsang, H., Shi, K., Corrigan, P. (in press) Does Individualism Help Explain Differences in Employers' Stigmatizing Attitudes Toward Disability Across Chinese and American Cultures? Rehabilitation Psychology.

Simoni, J.M., Safren, S.A., Manhart, L.E., Lyda, K., Grossman, C.I., Rao, D., Mimiaga, M. J., Wong, F.Y., Catz, S.L., Blank, M.B., DiClemente, R.J., Wilson, I.B. (in press) Challenges in addressing depression in HIV research: assessment, cultural context, and methods. AIDS and Behavior.

Rao, D., Gela, N., Daley, E.M., Kattezham, R., Rodriguez, G., Cella, D. (in press). Developing a Measure of Health Related Quality of Life for Women with Cervical Dysplasia Resulting from Human Papillomavirus Infection. International Journal of STD and AIDS.

Corrigan, P., Rafacz, J., Hautamaki, J., Walton, J., Rusch, N., Rao, D., Doyle, P., O'Brien, S., Pryor, J., Reeder, G. (2010). Changing Stigmatizing Recollections About Mental Illness: The Effects of NAMI's In Our Own Voice. Community Mental Health Journal.

Rao, D., Chen, W-T., Pearson, C., Simoni, J., Fredriksen-Goldsen, K., Nelson, K., Zhao, H., Zhang, F. Social Support Mediates the Relationship between HIV Stigma and Depression/Quality of Life among People Living with HIV in Beijing, China. International Journal of STD and AIDS. NIHMSID: NIHMS202575.

Pearson, C., Micek, M.A., Pfeiffer, J., Montoya, P., Matediane, E., Jonasse, T., Agostinho, C., Rao, D. , Gloyd S.S. (2009). One Year after ART Initiation: Psychosocial Factors Associated with Stigma among HIV-positive Mozambicans. AIDS and Behavior, 13(6):1189-96. NIHMSID: NIHMS203978.

Rao, D., Choi, S.W., Victorson, D., Bode, R., Peterman, A., Heinemann, A., Cella, D. (2009). Measuring Stigma Across Neurological Conditions: The Development of the Stigma Scale for Chronic Illness (SSCI). Quality of Life Research, 18 (5), 585-595. NIHMSID: NIHMS202563.

Rao, D., Butt, Z., Rosenbloom, R., Robinson, D., Von Roenn, J., Kuzel, T.M., Cella, D. (2009). A Comparison of the Renal Cell Carcinoma Symptom Index (RCC-SI) and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy –Kidney Symptom Index (FKSI). Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 38 (2), 291-298. NIHMSID: NIHMS202567.

Rao, D., Nainis, N., Williams, L., Langner, D., Eisen, A., Paice, J. (2009). Art Therapy for Relief of Symptoms Associated with HIV/AIDS. AIDS Care, 21 (1), 64-69.

Rao, D., Angell, B., Lam, C., Corrigan, P. (2008). Stigma in the workplace: Employer attitudes about people living with HIV/AIDS in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Chicago. Social Science and Medicine, 67 (10), 1541-1549. PMCID: PMC2740497.

Rao, D., Debb, S., Blitz, D., Choi, S., Cella, D. (2008). Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Health Related Quality of Life of Cancer Patients. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 36(5), 488-496. PMCID: PMC2596636.

Hahn, E., Rao, D., Choi, S., Cella, D. (2008). Comparability of Interview- and Self-administration of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G) in English- and Spanish-speaking Cancer Patients. Medical Care, 46 (4), 423-431.

Rao, D., Feinglass, J., Corrigan, P. (2007). Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Mental Illness Stigma. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 195 (12), 1020-1023.

Rao, D., Pryor, J.B., Gaddist, B.W., Mayer, R. (2007) Stigma, Secrecy, and Discrimination: Ethnic/Racial Differences in the Concerns of People Living with HIV/AIDS, AIDS and Behavior, 12(2), 265-271.

Rao, D., Young, M., Raguram, R. (2007). Culture, somatization, and psychological distress: A study of symptom presentation in South Indian patients from a public psychiatric hospital. Psychopathology, 40, 349-355.

Rao, D., Hahn, E., Cella, D., Hernandez, L. (2007). Health Related Quality of Life Outcomes of English and Spanish Speaking Persons Living with HIV/AIDS in the Continental United States and Puerto Rico. AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 21(5), 339-346.

Rao, D., Kekwaletswe, T. C., Hosek, S., Martinez, J., Rodriguez, F. (2007). Stigma and Social Barriers to Medication Adherence with Urban Youth Living with HIV. AIDS Care, 19(1), 28-33.

Rao, D., Zajecka, J.M., Skubiak, T. (2005). The Modified Rush Sexual Inventory (MRSI): Preliminary psychometric findings. Psychiatry Research, 137(3), 175-81.