Robert B. Saper, MD MPH

Professor, Family Medicine

Robert Saper
617.414.6276

Biography

Dr. Saper is the Director of Integrative Medicine for the Boston Medical Center Department of Family Medicine and Professor in the Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Saper attended Brandeis University for his undergraduate education. After graduating Harvard Medical School in 1988, he completed a family medicine residency and chief residency at UCSF from 1988-92 and was in private practice for 8 years in the San Francisco Bay area. While in California he worked closely with Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversal of Heart Disease. In 2000 he moved back to the Boston area and retooled professionally by entering the three year NIH-funded Integrative Medicine Research Fellowship at Harvard Medical School which included an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. As a fellow, he published the first nationally representative survey of yoga use in the United States.

In 2004 he joined the Boston University faculty and medical staff of Boston Medical Center where he directs the Program for Integrative Medicine and Health Disparities. The mission of the Program is to bring evidence-based integrative medicine approaches to all, regardless of ability to pay. Soon after arriving at Boston Medical Center, he received a five year Academic Career Development Grant from the NIH National Center for Complementary Alternative Medicine. With this support, he published a pilot study of yoga for chronic low back pain in predominantly low income minorities recruited from federally qualified community health centers. In 2010 Dr. Saper was funded by the NIH to conduct a randomized controlled trial comparing the effectiveness and cost of yoga, physical therapy, and education for back pain in 320 adults. He is also funded by NIH to study yoga for back pain in veterans. Other major areas of research include the safety and efficacy of traditional Indian herbal medicines. Dr. Saper is the Past Chair of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health.

Education

  • Harvard University, MD
  • Harvard School of Public Health, MPH
  • Brandeis University, BA

Classes Taught

Publications

  • Published on 6/1/2021

    Standish KR, Gonzalez SC, Roy V, McGuire CM, Barnett KG, Saper RB. Resident Outcomes and Perspectives Over 2 Years of a New Scholarship Curriculum. Fam Med. 2021 Jun; 53(6):461-466. PMID: 34077966.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/19/2021

    Roseen EJ, Rajendran I, Stein P, Fredman L, Fink HA, LaValley MP, Saper RB. Association of Back Pain with Mortality: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Cohort Studies. J Gen Intern Med. 2021 Oct; 36(10):3148-3158. PMID: 33876379.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/30/2021

    Delitto A, Patterson CG, Stevans JM, Freburger JK, Khoja SS, Schneider MJ, Greco CM, Freel JA, Sowa GA, Wasan AD, Brennan GP, Hunter SJ, Minick KI, Wegener ST, Ephraim PL, Beneciuk JM, George SZ, Saper RB. Stratified care to prevent chronic low back pain in high-risk patients: The TARGET trial. A multi-site pragmatic cluster randomized trial. EClinicalMedicine. 2021 Apr; 34:100795. PMID: 33870150.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/5/2021

    Joyce C, Roseen EJ, Keysor JJ, Gross KD, Culpepper L, Saper RB. Can Yoga or Physical Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain Improve Depression and Anxiety Among Adults From a Racially Diverse, Low-Income Community? A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Trial. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2021 06; 102(6):1049-1058. PMID: 33556352.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/4/2021

    Roseen EJ, Gerlovin H, Felson DT, Delitto A, Sherman KJ, Saper RB. Which Chronic Low Back Pain Patients Respond Favorably to Yoga, Physical Therapy, and a Self-care Book? Responder Analyses from a Randomized Controlled Trial. Pain Med. 2021 02 04; 22(1):165-180. PMID: 32662833.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/1/2021

    Stevans JM, Delitto A, Khoja SS, Patterson CG, Smith CN, Schneider MJ, Freburger JK, Greco CM, Freel JA, Sowa GA, Wasan AD, Brennan GP, Hunter SJ, Minick KI, Wegener ST, Ephraim PL, Friedman M, Beneciuk JM, George SZ, Saper RB. Risk Factors Associated With Transition From Acute to Chronic Low Back Pain in US Patients Seeking Primary Care. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 02 01; 4(2):e2037371. PMID: 33591367.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/25/2021

    Roseen EJ, Kasali BA, Corcoran K, Masselli K, Laird L, Saper RB, Alford DP, Cohen E, Lisi A, Atlas SJ, Bean JF, Evans R, Bussières A. Doctors of chiropractic working with or within integrated healthcare delivery systems: a scoping review protocol. BMJ Open. 2021 01 25; 11(1):e043754. PMID: 33495261.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/25/2020

    Middleton A, Fitzgerald GK, Delitto A, Saper RB, Gergen Barnett K, Stevans J. Implementing stratified care for acute low back pain in primary care using the STarT Back instrument: a process evaluation within the context of a large pragmatic cluster randomized trial. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2020 Nov 25; 21(1):776. PMID: 33238964.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/1/2020

    Berlowitz J, Hall DL, Joyce C, Fredman L, Sherman KJ, Saper RB, Roseen EJ. Changes in Perceived Stress After Yoga, Physical Therapy, and Education Interventions for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Trial. Pain Med. 2020 10 01; 21(10):2529-2537. PMID: 32500130.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/11/2020

    Louis CJ, Herrera CS, Garrity BM, McDonough CM, Cabral H, Saper RB, Kazis LE. Association of Initial Provider Type on Opioid Fills for Individuals With Neck Pain. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2020 08; 101(8):1407-1413. PMID: 32437688.

    Read at: PubMed

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