Robert B. Saper, MD

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 an Associate Professor in the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health. 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 Vice Chair of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health and the Co-Editor in Chief of Global Advances in Health and Medicine.

Other Positions

  • Associate Professor, Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health
  • Active Staff Hospital Privileges, Family Medicine, Boston Medical Center

Education

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

Publications

  • Published on 8/22/2019

    Keosaian J, Venkatesh T, D'Amico S, Gardiner P, Saper R. Blood Lead Levels of Children Using Traditional Indian Medicine and Cosmetics: A Feasibility Study. Glob Adv Health Med. 2019; 8:2164956119870988. PMID: 31489260.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/1/2019

    Carey K, Ameli O, Garrity B, Rothendler J, Cabral H, McDonough C, Stein M, Saper R, Kazis L. Health insurance design and conservative therapy for low back pain. Am J Manag Care. 2019 Jun 01; 25(6):e182-e187. PMID: 31211551.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/25/2019

    Delitto A, Patterson CG, Stevans JM, Brennan GP, Wegener ST, Morrisette DC, Beneciuk JM, Freel JA, Minick KI, Hunter SJ, Ephraim PL, Friedman M, Simpson KN, George SZ, Daley KN, Albert MC, Tamasy M, Cash J, Lake DS, Freburger JK, Greco CM, Hough LJ, Jeong JH, Khoja SS, Schneider MJ, Sowa GA, Spigle WA, Wasan AD, Adams WG, Lemaster CM, Mishuris RG, Plumb DL, Williams CT, Saper RB. Study protocol for targeted interventions to prevent chronic low back pain in high-risk patients: A multi-site pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial (TARGET Trial). Contemp Clin Trials. 2019 Jul; 82:66-76. PMID: 31136834.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/6/2019

    Beneciuk JM, George SZ, Greco CM, Schneider MJ, Wegener ST, Saper RB, Delitto A. Targeted interventions to prevent transitioning from acute to chronic low back pain in high-risk patients: development and delivery of a pragmatic training course of psychologically informed physical therapy for the TARGET trial. Trials. 2019 May 06; 20(1):256. PMID: 31060589.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/7/2019

    Gardiner P, Lestoquoy AS, Negash NL, Luo M, Gergen-Barnett K, Saper R, Penti B, White LF, Liebschutz JM. Lessons Learned and Strategies for Recruitment of Diverse, Low-income Patients into an Integrative Medical Group Visit Clinical Trial. Explore (NY). 2019 May - Jun; 15(3):215-221. PMID: 31056423.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2019

    Wusu MH, Tepperberg S, Weinberg JM, Saper RB. Matching Our Mission: A Strategic Plan to Create a Diverse Family Medicine Residency. Fam Med. 2019 01; 51(1):31-36. PMID: 30633795.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/22/2018

    Roseen EJ, LaValley MP, Li S, Saper RB, Felson DT, Fredman L. Association of Back Pain with All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality Among Older Women: a Cohort Study. J Gen Intern Med. 2019 Jan; 34(1):90-97. PMID: 30350028.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/1/2017

    Hore P, Ahmed MS, Sedlar S, Saper RB, Nagin D, Clark N. Blood Lead Levels and Potential Risk Factors for Lead Exposures Among South Asians in New York City. J Immigr Minor Health. 2017 Dec; 19(6):1322-1329. PMID: 27015835.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/16/2017

    Roseen EJ, Cornelio-Flores O, Lemaster C, Hernandez M, Fong C, Resnick K, Wardle J, Hanser S, Saper R. Inpatient Massage Therapy Versus Music Therapy Versus Usual Care: A Mixed-methods Feasibility Randomized Controlled Trial. Glob Adv Health Med. 2017; 6:2164957X17735816. PMID: 29085740.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/4/2017

    Spadola CE, Rottapel R, Khandpur N, Kontos E, Bertisch SM, Johnson DA, Quante M, Khalsa SBS, Saper RB, Redline S. Enhancing yoga participation: A qualitative investigation of barriers and facilitators to yoga among predominantly racial/ethnic minority, low-income adults. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2017 Nov; 29:97-104. PMID: 29122272.

    Read at: PubMed

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