Karen J. Sherman, PhD, MPH, is an epidemiologist and clinical trialist. Her research interests include:
She has led or participated in groundbreaking studies of various non-pharmacological therapies for chronic low back pain, including acupuncture, massage, meditation, and yoga.
Dr. Sherman has collaborated with investigators at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) and elsewhere across a range of disciplines, including clinical trials of CIH therapies for cancer, mood disorders, and menopause. Her work on building the evidence base for contextual factors related to care tries to find ways to bring greater healing into the primary care encounter. Dr. Sherman hopes her work will encourage more focus on the intricate connections between mind and body—and on helping patients seize the power of this connection to pursue better health and healing at all phases of life, including older age. Her work is rigorous, designed to answer practical questions, and intended to have impacts on the whole person.
Dr. Sherman is a senior scientific investigator at KPWHRI and an affiliate professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington (UW) School of Public Health. Her doctorate is in behavioral biology from Cornell University, and her MPH is in epidemiology from the UW. She has served as a reviewer for dozens of medical journals and granting institutions, and has sat on editorial boards for numerous CIH journals.
Utilization; role of complementary and alternative medicine in health care; acupuncture; massage; meditation; tai chi; yoga; fibromyalgia; menopause; back pain; neck pain; anxiety disorders
Chronic back pain; diabetes care; self-management
Alternative therapies for anxiety disorders
Alternative therapies for menopause
Communication; patient expectations; patient education
Sherman KJ, Cherkin DC, Kahn J, Erro J, Hrbek A, Deyo RA, Eisenberg DM. A survey of training and practice patterns of massage therapists in two US states. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2005;5(1):13. PubMed
Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ. Acupuncture and knee osteoarthritis. Ann Intern Med. 2005;142(10):872; author reply 872-3. PubMed
Sherman KJ, Cherkin DC, Eisenberg DM, Erro J, Hrbek A, Deyo RA. The practice of acupuncture: who are the providers and what do they do? Ann Fam Med. 2005;3(2):151-8. PubMed
Boon HS, Cherkin DC, Erro J, Sherman KJ, Milliman B, Booker J, Cramer EH, Smith MJ, Deyo RA, Eisenberg DM. Practice patterns of naturopathic physicians: results from a random survey of licensed practitioners in two US States. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2004;4(1):14. PubMed
Sherman KJ, Cherkin DC, Connelly MT, Erro J, Savetsky JB, Davis RB, Eisenberg DM. Complementary and alternative medical therapies for chronic low back pain: what treatments are patients willing to try? BMC Complement Altern Med. 2004;4(1):9. PubMed
Rosenblatt KA, Daling JR, Chen C, Sherman KJ, Schwartz SM. Marijuana use and risk of oral squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer Res. 2004;64(11):4049-54. PubMed
Simon GE, Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Eisenberg DM, Deyo RA, Davis RB. Mental health visits to complementary and alternative medicine providers. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2004;26:171-7. PubMed
Langevin HM, Badger GJ, Povolny BK, Davis RT, Johnston AC, Sherman KJ, Kahn JR, Kaptchuk TJ. Yin/Yang score: a new method for quantifying diagnostic patterns in traditional Chinese medicine. J Altern Complement Med. 2004;10:389-96. PubMed
Cherkin D, Sherman K. Conceptualization and evaluation of an optimal healing environment for chronic low back pain in primary care. J Altern Complement Med. 2004;10 (Suppl 1):S171-8. PubMed
Ernst E, Sherman K. Is acupuncture a risk factor for hepatitis? Systematic review of epidemiological studies. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2003;18(11):1231-6. PubMed
Health care is increasingly online—KPWHRI is studying telehealth options for opioid use disorder and chronic pain.
The latest on our research on chronic pain and opioids—and how the results influence health policy and clinical practice.
Drs. DeBar, Bradley, and Sherman lead projects in initiative to tackle opioid crisis.
Risk-reduction initiative for chronic opioid therapy sustains patient-doctor trust, Dr. Karen Sherman finds.
AARP, Feb. 6, 2020