Karen J Sherman

Karen J Sherman
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute · Group Health Research Institute

About

202
Publications
55,884
Reads
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13,728
Citations
Citations since 2016
38 Research Items
6619 Citations
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise
Additional affiliations
December 2000 - June 2013
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Position
  • Scientific Investigator
Education
September 1984 - June 1986
University of Washington Seattle
Field of study
  • Epidemiology
September 1976 - January 1983
Cornell University
Field of study
  • Behavioral Biology

Publications

Publications (202)
Article
Both mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are effective for chronic low back pain (CLBP), but little is known regarding who might benefit more from one than the other. Using data from a randomized trial comparing MBSR, CBT, and usual care (UC) for adults aged 20-70 years with CLBP (N = 297), we examined b...
Article
Introduction: Chronic low back pain (cLBP) can be physically and psychologically debilitating and disproportionally afflicts vulnerable populations. Yoga and education are increasingly common interventions for cLBP yet are understudied in low-income and minority adults. The objective of this qualitative study was to understand the yoga and self-car...
Article
Because osteoporosis is under-recognized in patients with vertebral fractures, we evaluated characteristics associated with osteoporosis identification. Most patients with vertebral fractures did not receive evaluation or treatment for osteoporosis. Black, younger, and male participants were particularly unlikely to have had recognized osteoporosis...
Article
Objective: To investigate whether indirect effects via psychological mechanisms explain the effects of physical therapy (PT) or yoga, versus education, on back-related outcomes. Design: Mediation analyses using data from a randomized controlled trial of PT, yoga, and education interventions for chronic low back pain. Methods: Primary outcomes...
Article
Background: To describe characteristics of patients, providers, and clinics associated with opioid or non-opioid pain medication prescribing patterns for patients who received lower spine imaging in primary care clinics. Methods: In these secondary analyses of the Lumbar Imaging with Reporting of Epidemiology (LIRE) study, a randomized controlle...
Article
Background: Modifying physician behavior to more closely align with guideline-based care can be challenging. Few effective strategies resulting in appropriate spine-related health care have been reported. The Lumbar Imaging With Reporting of Epidemiology (LIRE) intervention did not result in reductions in spine care but did in opioid prescriptions...
Article
Full-text available
Background Dissemination research is the study of distributing information and intervention materials to a specific clinical practice or public health audience. Acupuncture, a healthcare practice involving the stimulation of certain body points, often with thin needles, is considered an evidence-based treatment for low back pain (LBP), but is under...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To evaluate the effect of inserting epidemiologic information into lumbar spine imaging reports on subsequent non-surgical and surgical procedures involving the thoracolumbosacral spine and sacroiliac (SI) joints. Design: Analysis of secondary outcomes from the Lumbar Imaging with Reporting of Epidemiology (LIRE) pragmatic stepped-wed...
Article
Background: Information on the prevalence of common imaging findings among patients without back pain in spine imaging reports might affect pain medication prescribing for patients with back pain. Prior research on inserting this text suggested a small reduction in opioid prescribing. Objective: To evaluate the effect of epidemiologic informatio...
Article
Objectives The degree to which the effects of acupuncture treatment vary between acupuncturists is unknown. We used a large individual patient dataset of trials of acupuncture for chronic pain to assess practitioner heterogeneity. Methods Individual patient data linked to identifiable acupuncturists were drawn from a dataset of 39 high-quality tri...
Article
Full-text available
Importance: Lumbar spine imaging frequently reveals findings that may seem alarming but are likely unrelated to pain. Prior work has suggested that inserting data on the prevalence of imaging findings among asymptomatic individuals into spine imaging reports may reduce unnecessary subsequent interventions. Objective: To evaluate the impact of in...
Article
Purpose: To identify baseline characteristics of adults with chronic low back pain (cLBP) that predict response (i.e., a clinically important improvement) and/or modify treatment effect across three nonpharmacologic interventions. Design: Secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial. Setting: Academic safety net hospital and seven feder...
Article
Background In a recent individual patient data meta-analysis, acupuncture was found to be superior to sham and non-sham controls in patients with chronic pain. It has been suggested that a subgroup of patients has an exceptional response to acupuncture. We hypothesized the presence of exceptional acupuncture responders would lead to a different dis...
Article
Objective: Perceived stress and musculoskeletal pain are common, especially in low-income populations. Studies evaluating treatments to reduce stress in patients with chronic pain are lacking. We aimed to quantify the effect of two evidence-based interventions for chronic low back pain (cLBP), yoga and physical therapy (PT), on perceived stress in...
Article
Objective: To determine the perceived benefits of t'ai chi in older adults with chronic low-back pain (cLBP). Design: A qualitative analysis from a randomized controlled feasibility trial. Subjects: Eighteen participants (65+ years old) with cLBP of at least moderate intensity. Intervention: A 36-week intervention beginning with twice weekly cla...
Article
Objectives: T'ai chi (TC) has been found effective for improving chronic low back pain (cLBP). However, such studies did not include adults over 65 years of age. This study was designed to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of TC in this population compared with Health Education (HE) and with Usual Care (UC). Design: Feasibility randomized...
Article
Background: Poor sleep is common among adults with chronic low back pain (cLBP), but the influence of cLBP treatments, such as yoga and physical therapy (PT), on sleep quality is under studied. Objective: Evaluate the effectiveness of yoga and PT for improving sleep quality in adults with cLBP. Design: Secondary analysis of a randomized contro...
Article
OBJECTIVES: To optimally select chronic pain patients for different treatments, as it is of interest to identify patient characteristics that might moderate treatment effect. Our aim was to evaluate the impact of possible moderators on the effect of acupuncture treatment using a large data set. METHODS: We used data from an individual patient data...
Article
Objectives: To optimally select chronic pain patients for different treatments, as it is of interest to identify patient characteristics that might moderate treatment effect. Our aim was to evaluate the impact of possible moderators on the effect of acupuncture treatment using a large data set. Methods: We used data from an individual patient da...
Article
Objective: To support implementation of effective treatments for back pain that can be delivered to a range of people, we summarize learnings from our process evaluation of the MATCH trial's implementation of an adaptation of the STarT Back risk-stratified care model. Design: Our logic model-driven evaluation focused primarily on qualitative dat...
Article
Background: The STarT Back strategy for categorizing and treating patients with low back pain (LBP) improved patients' function while reducing costs in England. Objective: This trial evaluated the effect of implementing an adaptation of this approach in a US setting. Design: The Matching Appropriate Treatments to Consumer Healthcare needs (MAT...
Article
Rationale and objectives: To evaluate a natural language processing (NLP) system built with open-source tools for identification of lumbar spine imaging findings related to low back pain on magnetic resonance and x-ray radiology reports from four health systems. Materials and methods: We used a limited data set (de-identified except for dates) s...
Article
Perspective: Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic musculosketal, headache and osteoarthritis pain. Treatment effects of acupuncture persist over time and cannot be explained solely in terms of placebo effects. Referral for a course of acupuncture treatment is a reasonable option for a patient with chronic pain.
Article
Electronic medical record (EMR) systems provide easy access to radiology reports and offer great potential to support quality improvement efforts and clinical research. Harnessing the full potential of the EMR requires scalable approaches such as natural language processing (NLP) to convert text into variables used for evaluation or analysis. Our g...
Article
Study design: Economic evaluation alongside a randomized trial of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) versus usual care alone (UC) for chronic low-back pain (CLBP). Objective: Determine the one-year cost-effectiveness of CBT and MBSR compared to UC. Summary of background data: CLBP is expensive in t...
Article
Background: Yoga is effective for mild to moderate chronic low back pain (cLBP), but its comparative effectiveness with physical therapy (PT) is unknown. Moreover, little is known about yoga's effectiveness in underserved patients with more severe functional disability and pain. Objective: To determine whether yoga is noninferior to PT for cLBP....
Article
The need for effective treatment options for chronic low back pain has spurred interest in “mind-body” approaches including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). We previously reported that, compared with usual care, MBSR and CBT reduced functional limitations and pain bothersomeness for up to 1 year amon...
Article
There is uncertainty regarding how long the effects of acupuncture treatment persist after a course of treatment. We aimed to determine the trajectory of pain scores over time after acupuncture, using a large individual patient data set from high-quality randomized trials of acupuncture for chronic pain. The available individual patient data set in...
Article
There is uncertainty regarding how long the effects of acupuncture treatment persist after a course of treatment. We aimed to determine the trajectory of pain scores over time following acupuncture, using a large individual patient dataset from high quality randomized trials of acupuncture for chronic pain. The available individual patient dataset...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Patient expectations may be associated with outcomes of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments for chronic pain. However, a psychometrically sound measure of such expectations is needed. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a questionnaire to assess individuals' expectations regarding out...
Article
Objective. To identify predictors of persistent disability and back pain in older adults. Design. Prospective cohort study. Setting. Back pain outcomes using longitudinal data registry. Subjects. Five thousand two hundred twenty adults age 65 years and older with a new primary care visit for back pain. Methods. Baseline measurements included: demog...
Article
Full-text available
Background Despite numerous options for treating back pain and the increasing healthcare resources devoted to this problem, the prevalence and impact of back pain-related disability has not improved. It is now recognized that psychosocial factors, as well as physical factors, are important predictors of poor outcomes for back pain. A promising new...
Article
In Reply Drs Gatchel and Licciardone comment that “not all participants attended all group sessions, but it was not stated whether the techniques taught were implemented daily or practiced at home.” In our study, 88.6% of participants attended at least 1 session. Less than 100% session attendance is typical in studies of psychosocial interventions...
Article
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is believed to improve chronic pain problems by decreasing patient catastrophizing and increasing patient self-efficacy for managing pain. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is believed to benefit chronic pain patients by increasing mindfulness and pain acceptance. However, little is known about how these t...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Chronic low back pain is the most frequent pain condition in Veterans and causes substantial suffering, decreased functional capacity, and lower quality of life. Symptoms of post-traumatic stress, depression, and mild traumatic brain injury are highly prevalent in Veterans with back pain. Yoga for low back pain has been demonstrated to...
Article
Importance: Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has not been rigorously evaluated for young and middle-aged adults with chronic low back pain. Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness for chronic low back pain of MBSR vs cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or usual care. Design, setting, and participants: Randomized, interviewer-blind, cl...
Article
Objective: To explore the experiences of low-income minority adults taking part in a yoga dosing trial for chronic low back pain. Design: Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with nineteen participants recruited from a randomized yoga dosing trial for predominantly low-income minority adults with chronic low back pain. Interviews...
Article
This is the first study to systematically evaluate the value of a longer treatment period for massage. We provide a framework of how to conceptualize an optimal dose in this challenging setting of non-pharmacological treatments. To determine the optimal dose of massage for neck pain. Two-phase randomized trial for persons with chronic non-specific...
Article
To report the clinical course of older adults presenting for a new primary care visit for back pain, no healthcare visit for back pain within the prior 6 months, by describing pain intensity, disability, pain interference, and resolution of back pain over 12 months. Prospective inception cohort study. Primary care settings of three integrated healt...
Article
In studies involving nonpharmacological complementary and alternative medicine interventions, participant blinding is very difficult. Participant expectations may affect perceived benefit of therapy. In studies of yoga as treatment for chronic low back pain, little is known about the relationship between patient expectations and preferences on outc...
Article
Full-text available
Background The relationship between patient expectations about a treatment and the treatment outcomes, particularly for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies, is not well understood. Using qualitative data from a larger study to develop a valid expectancy questionnaire for use with participants starting new CAM therapies, we examin...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Among older adults, it is not clear how different types or amounts of physical therapy may be associated with improvements in back pain and function. Objective: The study objective was to investigate the association between types or amounts of physical therapist services and 1-year outcomes among older adults with back pain. Design:...
Article
Full-text available
Non-surgical techniques for treating scoliosis frequently focus on realigning the spine, typically by muscular relaxation or muscular or ligamentous stretching. However, such treatments, which include physical therapeutic, chiropractic, and bracing techniques, are inconsistently supported by current evidence. In this study, we assess the possible b...
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Full-text available
Background Positive patient expectations are often believed to be associated with greater benefits from complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments. However, clinical studies of CAM treatments for chronic pain have not consistently supported this assumption, possibly because of differences in definitions and measures of expectations. Th...
Article
This article explores the role of hope in participants’ assessments of their expectations, experiences and treatment outcomes. Data analysis focused on semi-structured, open-ended interviews with 44 participants, interviewed 3-5 times each over the course of a study evaluating Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD,...
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Full-text available
Background Evidence suggests yoga is a safe and effective intervention for the management of physical and psychosocial symptoms associated with musculoskeletal conditions. However, heterogeneity in the components and reporting of clinical yoga trials impedes both the generalization of study results and the replication of study protocols. The aim of...
Article
Full-text available
Background The self-reported health and functional status of persons with back pain in the United States have declined in recent years, despite greatly increased medical expenditures due to this problem. Although patient psychosocial factors such as pain-related beliefs, thoughts and coping behaviors have been demonstrated to affect how well patien...
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Full-text available
Background Vitamin and mineral supplement use after a breast cancer diagnosis is common and controversial. Dosages used and the timing of initiation and/or discontinuation of supplements have not been clearly described. Methods We prospectively examined changes in use of 17 vitamin/mineral supplements in the first six months following breast cance...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The relationship between patient expectations about a treatment and the treatment outcomes, particularly for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies, is not well understood. Using qualitative data from a larger study to develop a valid expectancy questionnaire for use with participants starting new CAM therapies, we exami...
Article
Full-text available
Little is known about the reliability of different methods of survey administration in low back pain trials. This analysis was designed to determine the reliability of responses to self-administered paper surveys compared to computer assisted telephone interviews (CATI) for the primary outcomes of pain intensity and back-related function, and secon...
Article
Full-text available
In a recent individual patient data meta-analysis, acupuncture was found to be superior to both sham and non-sham controls in patients with chronic pain. In this paper we identify variations in types of sham and non-sham controls used and analyze their impact on the effect size of acupuncture. Based on literature searches of acupuncture trials invo...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: This trial was designed to evaluate the optimal dose of massage for individuals with chronic neck pain. Methods: We recruited 228 individuals with chronic nonspecific neck pain from an integrated health care system and the general population, and randomized them to 5 groups receiving various doses of massage (a 4-week course consisting...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Chronic low back pain causes substantial morbidity and cost to society while disproportionately impacting low-income and minority adults. Several randomized controlled trials show yoga is an effective treatment. However, the comparative effectiveness of yoga and physical therapy, a common mainstream treatment for chronic low back pain,...
Article
Background Chronic low back pain causes substantial morbidity and cost to society while disproportionately impacting low-income and minority adults. Several randomized controlled trials show yoga is an effective treatment. However, the comparative effectiveness of yoga and physical therapy, a common mainstream treatment for chronic low back pain, i...
Article
Full-text available
No consistent relationship exists between pre-treatment expectations and therapeutic benefit from various complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies in clinical trials. However, many different expectancy measures have been used in those studies, with no validated questionnaires clearly focused on CAM and pain. We undertook cognitive int...
Article
Full-text available
Context: Studies suggest that yoga is effective for moderate to severe chronic low back pain (cLBP) in diverse predominantly lower socioeconomic status populations. However, little is known about factors associated with benefit from the yoga intervention. Objective: Identify factors at baseline independently associated with greater efficacy amon...
Conference Paper
Objective: To explore factors that influence satisfaction with yoga as a treatment for chronic low back pain (cLBP) in a predominantly minority population participating in a dosing research study. Information on treatment satisfaction is related to adherence and may give useful insights into patients' experience with treatment. Methods: Study parti...