Daniel C. Cherkin, PhD
Research interests and experience
- Alternative approaches to healing: healing in primary care; back pain; neck pain; acupuncture; chiropractic care; massage; meditation; tai chi; naturopathic medicine; yoga
- Chronic illness management: chronic back pain; chronic neck pain; medically unexplained physical symptoms
- Patient/provider interaction: patient expectations; the therapeutic environment
- Health services & economics: role of complementary alternative medicine in health care
Finding new inroads to healing is what drives Dan Cherkin's research. With chronic illness on the rise, he aims to show how primary care can evolve to more effectively deal with health problems that don't respond well to conventional treatments.
Dr. Cherkin's approach embodies a transformation of the way we think about health care delivery and centers around the question, "What paths to healing are absent from the typical primary care encounter?" Dr. Cherkin is dedicated to engaging patients in healing activities by understanding their underlying needs and tailoring treatment around them. He's especially interested in improving treatment for chronic conditions and is best known for his research on alternative therapies for back pain. He often collaborates with Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) investigator, Karen Sherman, PhD, to study therapies such as yoga, tai chi, and acupuncture.
While Dr. Cherkin's work is yielding important knowledge about the effectiveness of these therapies, he remains committed to finding ways to create an optimal healing environment in primary care. This enhanced approach can only work when primary care providers' needs are met in a supportive work environment. To this end, he led a study aimed at bolstering awareness, communication, and team building among primary care staff as a way to foster mindful, patient-centered care.
Dr. Cherkin provided nearly a decade of valuable service to GHRI as associate director for research from 1999‑2008, with two years as acting director. He belongs to several professional organizations, including the International Society for Complementary Medicine Research, and was program chair for the 2009 North American Conference on Complementary and Integrative Medicine.
Appointed December 2010 by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Dr. Cherkin serves on the 2011–2014 National Advisory Council for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) within National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Cherkin has maintained two faculty appointments at the University of Washington since the 1980s and is now affiliate professor in both family medicine and health services.
- International Society for Complementary Medicine Research
- National Advisory Council for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Sherman KJ, Eaves ER, Ritenbaugh C, Hsu C, Cherkin DC, Turner JA. Cognitive interviews guide design of a new CAM patient expectations questionnaire. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Jan 25;14(1):39. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-39. PubMed
Franco MR, Ferreira ML, Ferreira PH, Maher CG, Pinto RZ, Cherkin DC. Methodological limitations prevent definitive conclusions on the effects of patients' preferences in randomized clinical trials evaluating musculoskeletal conditions. J Clin Epidemiol. 2013 Jun;66(6):586-98. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2012.12.012. Epub 2013 Mar 16. PubMed
Sherman KJ, Wellman RD, Cook AJ, Cherkin DC, Ceballos RM. Mediators of yoga and stretching for chronic low back pain. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:130818. doi: 10.1155/2013/130818. Epub 2013 Apr 17. PubMed
Lind BK, Gerkovich MM, Cherkin DC, Deyo RA, Sherman KJ, Lafferty WE. Effect of risk adjustment method on comparisons of health care utilization between complementary and alternative medicine users and nonusers. J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Mar;19(3):250-6. doi: 10.1089/acm.2011.0707. Epub 2012 Oct 4. PubMed
Ward L, Stebbings S, Cherkin D, Baxter GD. Yoga for functional ability, pain and psychosocial outcomes in musculoskeletal conditions: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Musculoskeletal Care. 2013 Dec;11(4):203-17. doi: 10.1002/msc.1042. Epub 2013 Jan 9. PubMed
Schafer LM, Hsu C, Eaves ER, Ritenbaugh C, Turner J, Cherkin DC, Sims C, Sherman KJ. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) providers' views of chronic low back pain patients' expectations of CAM therapies: a qualitative study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 Nov 27;12(1):234. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-12-234. PubMed
Oberg EB, Bradley RD, Hsu C, Sherman KJ, Catz S, Calabrese C, Cherkin D. Patient-reported experiences with first-time naturopathic care for type 2 diabetes. PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e48549. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048549. Epub 2012 Nov 7. PubMed
Martin BI, Gerkovich MM, Deyo RA, Sherman KJ, Cherkin DC, Lind BK, Goertz CM, Lafferty WE. The association of complementary and alternative medicine use and health care expenditures for back and neck problems. Med Care. 2012 Dec;50(12):1029-36. 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
Witt CM, Aickin M, Baca T, Cherkin D, Haan MN, Hammerschlag R, Hao JJ, Kaplan GA, Lao L, McKay T, Pierce B, Riley D, Ritenbaugh C, Thorpe K, Tunis S, Weissberg J, Berman BM. Effectiveness guidance document (EGD) for acupuncture research - a consensus document for conducting trials. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 Sep 6;12:148. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-12-148. PubMed
To view more publications, please see Dr. Cherkin's CV.