Ben Balderson, PhD

“I'm dedicated to meeting the health care needs of people who have complex, chronic conditions and to help them develop lifelong skills for managing their health.”

Ben Balderson, PhD

Group Health Research Institute Research Associate
Group Health Psychologist

Biography

Ben Balderson is a clinical psychologist with specialties in adult behavior medicine/health psychology and pediatric/child psychology. He has expertise in behavioral and cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and treatment adherence for chronic diseases—especially for HIV and chronic pain.

Dr. Balderson is interested in an overarching principle of improving self management for chronic health conditions and how they intersect with psychological health. His research has largely focused on developing and testing interventions to improve self management for chronic pain and HIV. He has a strong interest in marginalized or difficult-to-reach populations, including prisoners and people older than 50 who are living with HIV. He is also interested in telehealth and the use of technology to facilitate care—such as telephone counseling, electronic health records, and secure messaging.

A practicing psychologist at Group Health, Dr. Balderson provides care for adult patients—specializing in behavioral medicine and treatment of anxiety disorders. Thus, he has a strong interest in translation work, bringing empirically supported treatments to the frontlines of clinical care. He 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 Group Health committees and initiatives related to improving behavioral health care. His many professional memberships include the American Psychological Association, the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and the International Association of Providers for AIDS Care.

Research interests and experience

Recent publications

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

Adams LM, Balderson BH. HIV providers' likelihood to prescribe pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention differs by patient type: a short report. AIDS Care. 2016 Sep;28(9):1154-8. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2016.1153595. Epub 2016 Feb 26. PubMed

McCoy K, Waldrop-Valverde D, Balderson BH, Mahoney C, Catz S. Correlates of antiretroviral therapy adherence among HIV-infected older adults. J Int Assoc Provid AIDS Care. 2016;15(3):248-55. doi: 10.1177/2325957416642019. Epub 2016 Apr 12. PubMed

Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Balderson BH, Cook AJ, Anderson ML, Hawkes RJ, Hansen KE, Turner JA. Effect of mindfulness-based stress reduction vs cognitive behavioral therapy or usual care on back pain and functional limitations in adults with chronic low back pain: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2016 Mar 22-29;315(12):1240-9. doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.2323. PubMed

Cherkin D, Balderson B, Brewer G, Cook A, Estlin KT, Evers SC, Foster NE, Hill JC, Hawkes R, Hsu C, Jensen M, LaPorte AM, Levine MD, Piekara D, Rock P, Sherman K, Sowden G, Wellman R, Yeoman J. Evaluation of a risk-stratification strategy to improve primary care for low back pain: the MATCH cluster randomized trial protocol. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2016 Aug 24;17(1):361. doi: 10.1186/s12891-016-1219-0. PubMed

Balderson BH, McCurry SM, Vitiello MV, Shortreed SM, Rybarczyk BD, Keefe FJ, Von Korff M. Information without implementation: a practical example for developing a best practice education control group. Behav Sleep Med. 2015 Oct 20:1-14.[Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Balderson BH, Turner JA, Cook AJ, Stoelb B, Herman PM, Deyo RA, Hawkes RJ. Comparison of complementary and alternative medicine with conventional mind-body therapies for chronic back pain: protocol for the Mind-body Approaches to Pain (MAP) randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2014 Jun 7;15:211. doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-15-211. PubMed

Williams EC, Bradley KA, Balderson BH, McClure JB, Grothaus L, McCoy K, Rittmueller SE, Catz SL. Alcohol and associated characteristics among older persons living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy. Subst Abus. 2014;35(3):245-53. doi: 10.1080/08897077.2014.890997. PubMed

McCurry SM, Shortreed SM, Von Korff M, Balderson BH, Baker LD, Rybarczyk BD, Vitiello MV. Who benefits from CBT for insomnia in primary care? Important patient selection and trial design lessons from longitudinal results of the Lifestyles trial. Sleep. 2014 Feb 1;37(2):299-308. doi: 10.5665/sleep.3402. PubMed

Vitiello MV, McCurry SM, Shortreed SM, Balderson BH, Baker LD, Keefe FJ, Rybarczyk BD, Von Korff M. Cognitive-behavioral treatment for comorbid insomnia and osteoarthritis pain in primary care: the Lifestyles Randomized Controlled Trial. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2013;61(6):947-56. doi: 10.1111/jgs.12275. Epub 2013 May 27. PubMed

 

Holiday health

Simple tips to keep your holidays healthy

Benjamin Balderson, PhD, GHRI research associate and Group Health clinical psychologist, shares research-backed ways to beat the holiday blues. 

Read it in Live Healthy.

News release

Mindfulness meditation eases chronic low back pain

 
March 22, 2016—JAMA publishes randomized controlled trial by Group Health researchers, comparing mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, and usual care for back pain.
 
Read it in News and Events.

video

Cherkin-Newsrelease-Mindfulness_1col.jpg

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction vs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain

(JAMA Network, 2:26)

 

GHRI In the Media

Mindfulness meditation eases chronic low back pain

Mind-based therapies may ease lower back pain

New York Times, March 22, 2016

healthy findings blog

PrEP can prevent HIV/AIDS—if we get it to the right people

We have a way to limit the spread of AIDS. We just need to reach people at high risk of HIV infection. GHRI researcher Dr. Leah Adams explains. 

Read it in Healthy Findings.