Ben Balderson, PhD, is a clinical psychologist with specialties in adult behavior medicine and health psychology. He has expertise in behavioral and cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and treatment adherence for chronic diseases—especially chronic pain, insomnia, and HIV/PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, which is using medication to prevent HIV infection in individuals with high risk.
Dr. Balderson is interested in improving self-management for chronic health conditions and understanding how these conditions intersect with psychological health. His research has largely focused on developing and testing interventions to improve self-management for chronic pain, with a strong interest in marginalized or difficult-to-reach populations. He is also interested in telehealth and the use of technology—such as the internet and smartphones—to facilitate care.
A practicing psychologist at Kaiser Permanente Washington, Dr. Balderson provides care for adult patients and specializes in behavioral medicine, for example for chronic pain, insomnia, HIV, and gender care. He also specializes in treatment of anxiety disorders, for example, generalized anxiety disorder; PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder; phobias; and OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. He has a strong interest in translation work, bringing empirically supported treatments to the frontlines of clinical care. Dr. Balderson also has extensive experience in provider training—particularly in ways clinicians can interact with patients to increase behavior change.
Dr. Balderson serves as a peer reviewer for several journals in the areas of pain and HIV and is an avid participant in Kaiser Permanente Washington committees and initiatives related to improving behavioral health care.
Self-management support; treatment adherence; health behavior change; motivational interviewing; problem-solving therapy; cognitive behavioral therapy
Chronic pain; insomnia; treatment adherence; HIV management and PrEP; self-management support
Gray SL, Fornaro R, Turner J, Boudreau DM, Wellman R, Tannenbaum C, Marcum ZA, Balderson B, Cook A, Jacobsen AL, Phelan EA. Provider knowledge, beliefs, and self-efficacy to deprescribe opioids and sedative-hypnotics. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2022 Dec 22. doi: 10.1111/jgs.18202. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Hsu C, Evers S, Balderson BH, Sherman KJ, Foster NE, Estlin K, Levine M, Cherkin D. Adaptation and implementation of the STarT back risk stratification strategy in a US health care organization: a process evaluation. Pain Med. 2018 Sep 28. pii: 5110194. doi: 10.1093/pm/pny170. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Balderson BH, Pruitt SD, Von Korff M. Strengthening self-management of low back pain in primary care: an evolving paradigm. In: Turk DC, Gatchel RJ, editors. Psychological Approaches to Pain Management: A Practitioner’s Handbook, 3rd Edition. New York: Guilford Press; 2018. p 319-339.
Adams LM, Balderson B, Packett BJ 2nd. Meeting the challenge: hepatitis C virus and HIV care experiences among HIV specialty providers. AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2018;32(8):314-320. doi: 10.1089/apc.2018.0006. PubMed
Cherkin D, Balderson B, Wellman R, Hsu C, Sherman KJ, Evers SC, Hawkes R, Cook A, Levine MD, Piekara D, Rock P, Estlin KT, Brewer G, Jensen M, LaPorte AM, Yeoman J, Sowden G, Hill JC, Foster NE. Effect of Low Back Pain Risk-Stratification Strategy on Patient Outcomes and Care Processes: the MATCH Randomized Trial in Primary Care. LID - 10.1007/s11606-018-4468-9 [doi] J Gen Intern Med. 2018 May 22. pii: 10.1007/s11606-018-4468-9. doi: 10.1007/s11606-018-4468-9 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed
Adams LM, Balderson BH, Brown K, Bush SE, Packett BJ 2nd. Who starts the conversation and who receives preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP)?: a brief online survey of medical providers' (PrEP) practices. Health Educ Behav. 2018 Jan 1:1090198117752789. doi: 10.1177/1090198117752789. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Evers S, Hsu C, Sherman KJ, Balderson B, Hawkes R, Brewer G, La Porte AM, Yeoman J, Cherkin D. Patient perspectives on communication with primary care providers about chronic low back pain. Perm J. 2017;21. doi: 10.7812/TPP/16-177. PubMed
Herman PM, Anderson ML, Sherman KJ, Balderson BH, Turner JA, Cherkin DC. Cost-effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction vs cognitive behavioral therapy or usual care among adults with chronic low-back pain. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2017 Jul 24. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000002344. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Cherkin DC, Anderson ML, Sherman KJ, Balderson BH, Cook AJ, Hansen KE, Turner JA. Two-year follow-up of a randomized clinical trial of mindfulness-based stress reduction vs cognitive behavioral therapy or usual care for chronic low back pain. JAMA. 2017;317(6):642-644. doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.17814. PubMed
Turner JA, Anderson ML, Balderson BH, Cook AJ, Sherman KJ, Cherkin DC. Mindfulness-based stress reduction and cognitive-behavioral therapy for chronic low back pain: similar effects on mindfulness, catastrophizing, self-efficacy, and acceptance in a randomized controlled trial. Pain. 2016 Nov;157(11):2434-2444.doi:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000635. PubMed
Dr. Sascha Dublin explains why sometimes not taking medications may be a safer and healthier choice.
Evidence shows depression can have a direct effect on your body, taking away your energy and slowing you down.
Benjamin Balderson, PhD, KPWHRI research associate and Kaiser Permanente Washington clinical psychologist, shares research-backed ways to beat the holiday blues.
Tobacco remains a public health priority. Dr. Jennifer McClure discusses her new findings comparing ’acceptance and commitment therapy’ to standard care.