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. Guidelines for developing yoga interventions for randomized trials. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:143271. doi: 10.1155/2012/143271. Epub 2012 Oct 2. PubMed
Sherman KJ, Cook AJ, Kahn JR, Hawkes RJ, Wellman RD, Cherkin DC. Dosing study of massage for chronic neck pain: protocol for the dose response evaluation and analysis of massage [DREAM] trial. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012;12:158. PubMed
Bussing A, Michalsen A, Khalsa SB, Telles S, Sherman K. Effects of yoga on mental and physical health: a short summary of systematic reviews. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:165410. Epub Sep 13. PubMed
Avins AL, Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Goldberg H, Pressman A. Should we reconsider the routine use of placebo controls in clinical research? Trials. 2012 Apr 27;13(1):44. PubMed
Bradley R, Sherman KJ, Catz S, Calabrese C, Oberg EB, Jordan L, Grothaus L, Cherkin D. Adjunctive naturopathic care for type 2 diabetes: patient-reported and clinical outcomes after one year. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 Apr 18;12(1):44. PubMed
Bussing A, Khalsa SB, Michalsen A, Sherman KJ, Telles S. Yoga as a therapeutic intervention. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:174291. doi: 10.1155/2012/174291. PubMed
Della Volpe K, Sherman KJ. A conversation with Karen J. Sherman, PhD, MPH. Can yoga and stretching exercises relieve chronic low back pain? Pract Pain Manag. 2012;12(91):20-2.
Bradley R, Sherman KJ, Catz S, Calabrese C, Jordan L, Grothaus L, Cherkin DC. Survey of CAM interest, self-care, and satisfaction with health care for type 2 diabetes at Group Health Cooperative. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011 Dec 1;11(1):121. PubMed
Sherman KJ, Cherkin DC, Wellman RD, Cook AJ, Hawkes RJ, Delaney K, Deyo RA. A randomized trial comparing yoga, stretching, and a self-care book for chronic low back pain. Arch Intern Med. 2011 2011 Dec 12;171(22):2019-26. Epub 2011 Oct 24. PubMed
Hsu C, Cherkin DC, Hoffmeyer S, Sherman KJ, Phillips WR. Patient and clinician openness to including a broader range of healing options in primary care. Ann Fam Med. 2011 Sep-Oct;9(5):447-53. 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