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

Senior Collaborative Scientist, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Psychologist, Washington Permanente Medical Group


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.

Research interests and experience

  • Health Psychology


Recent publications

Catz SL, Thibodeau L, Bluespruce J, Yard SS, Seal DW, Amico KR, Bogart LM, Mahoney C, Balderson BH, Sosman JM. Prevention needs of HIV-positive men and women awaiting release from prison. AIDS Behav. 2012 Jan;16(1):108-20. PubMed

McCurry SM, Von Korff M, Vitiello MV, Saunders K, Balderson BH, Moore AL, Rybarczyk BD. Frequency of comorbid insomnia, pain, and depression in older adults with osteoarthritis: predictors of enrollment in a randomized treatment trial. J Psychosom Res. 2011;71(5):296-9. Epub 2011 Jul 1. PubMed

Levine MD, Ross TR, Balderson BH, Phelan EA. Implementing group medical visits for older adults at Group Health Cooperative. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2010 Jan;58(1):168-72. Epub 2009 Dec 9. PubMed

Phelan EA, Balderson B, Levine M, Erro JH, Jordan L, Grothaus L, Sandhu N, Perrault PJ, Logerfo JP, Wagner EH. Delivering effective primary care to older adults: a randomized, controlled trial of the senior resource team at Group Health Cooperative. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2007;55(11):1748-56. PubMed

Levine M, Phelan EA, Balderson BHK, Wagner EH. Collaborative treatment planning for older patients in primary care. Generations. 2006;30(3):83-5.

Von Korff M, Balderson BH, Saunders K, Miglioretti DL, Lin EH, Berry S, Moore JE, Turner JA. A trial of an activating intervention for chronic back pain in primary care and physical therapy settings. Pain. 2005;113(3):323-30. PubMed

Balderson, BHK, Lin EHB, Von Korff M. The management of pain-related fear in primary care. In: Understanding and Treating Fear of Pain. Vlaeyen GWS, Asmundson G, Crombez G (Eds). Oxford Press, 2004.

Mullins LL, Hartman VL, Chaney JM, Balderson BH, Hoff AL. Training experiences and theoretical orientations of pediatric psychologists. J Pediatr Psychol. 2003;28(2):115-22. PubMed

Cote MP, Mullins LL, Hartman V, Hoff A, Balderson BHK, Chaney J, Domek D. Psychosocial correlates of health care utilization:children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes mellitus. Children's Health Care. 2003;32(1):1-16.

Balderson BHK, Von Korff M. The stepped care approach to chronic back pain. In: New Avenues for the Prevention of Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain and Disability: Pain Research and Clinical Management, Vol 12. SJ Linton (Ed) Amsterdam, Elsevier, 2002, pp 237-243.


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