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Texas Medical Center

Phone: 832-824-5800
Fax: 832-825-5801


6701 Fannin Street
Suite 1630
Houston, TX 77030

Grace S. Kao, PhD, ABPP

Licensed Psychologist

Assistant Professor, Baylor College of Medicine


School Education Degree Year
Stanford University Pain Management Center Fellowship Pediatric Pain Psychology 2014
Texas A&M University University Doctor of Philosophy 2013
Texas A & M University - College Station University Masters of Education 2011


Dr. Kao works closely with patients and families and a multidisciplinary team of clinicians to address pain coping. With such an intimate connection between mind and body, pain can affect many aspects of life, including school, sleep, family, and friends. Dr. Kao works with patients and parents to help them utilize non-pharmacological techniques for management of discomfort and provides individualized treatment for stress, anxiety, and/or depressive symptoms, etc., which can be so closely tied to experiencing pain. Her interests include factors impacting the pediatric pain experience, traumatic stress and coping, and integrative techniques.


Organization Name Role
American Pain Society Member
American Psychological Association, Division 54, Society of Pediatric Psychology; Division 53, Clinical Child Psychology; Division 56, Trauma Psychology; Division 35, Society for the Psychology of Women Member
Society for Pediatric Pain Medicine Member

Selected Publications

Chu AS, Torres L, Kao G., et al. (2021). Multidisciplinary care for refractory pediatric functional abdominal pain decreases emergency and inpatient utilization. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. Article in press.

Kao, G. (2020). The pain of invisibility: A perspective on the treatment of pediatric chronic pain. Journal of Patient Experience. doi:10.1177/2374373520925276. 

Misra, S., Monico, E., Kao, G., Guffy, D., Kim, E., Khatker, M., Gilbert, G., Bird, M., Roth, I., Giardino, A. (2019). Addressing pain with inpatient integrative medicine at a large children’s hospital. Clinical Pediatrics, 58(7). doi: 10.1177/0009922819839232. 

Kao, G. (2018). It hurts to move (on): A family’s experience with chronic pain, grief, and healing. Families, Systems, & Health, 36(2), 252-254. doi:10.1037/fsh0000351. 

Huestis, S., Kao, G., Dunn, A., Hilliard, A.T., Yoon, I.A., Golianu, B., Bhandari, R.P. (2017). Multi-family pediatric pain group therapy: Capturing acceptance and cultivating change. Children, 4, 106. doi:10.3390/children4120106. 

Clementi, M., Kao, G., Monico, C. (2017). Pain acceptance as a predictor of medical utilization and school absenteeism in adolescents with chronic pain. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. jsx125, 

Kao, G. (2017). A perfect distance. Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, Spring 2017.  

Kao, G., Bhandari, R., Huestis, S., Golianu, B. (2017). Traumatic stress and pediatric pain: Towards a neurobiological stress-health perspective. Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma, doi:10.1007/s40653-017-0145-0. 

Bhandari, R., Kao, G., Logan, D. E. (2014). Pediatric pain psychology fellowship training: Current trends in the USA and future goals. Pediatric Pain Letter, 16, 22-28. 

Liew, J., Lench, H.C., Kao, G., Yeh, Y., & Kwok, O. (2014). Avoidance temperament and social-evaluative threat in college students’ math performance: A mediation model of math and test anxiety. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping: An International Journal, doi: 10.1080/10615806.2014.910303. 

Kao, G. & Thomas, H. (2010). Test review: C. Keith Conners Conners 3rd Edition. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 28, 598-602. 

Book Chapters 

Kao, G., Schwartz, E. (2019). Distraction techniques in pediatric pain management. In A. Adler, A. Chandrakantan, R. Litma (Ed.), Case Studies in Pediatric Anesthesia, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.   

Kao, G., Monico, C., Bhandari, R., Huestis, S. (2019). Pediatric chronic pain. In A. Dempsey (Ed.), Pediatric Health Conditions in Schools, New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 

* Texas Children's Hospital physicians' licenses and credentials are reviewed prior to practicing at any of our facilities. Sections titled From the Doctor, Professional Organizations and Publications were provided by the physician's office and were not verified by Texas Children's Hospital.