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Christopher Knoepke - USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Los Angeles, CA, US

Christopher Knoepke Christopher Knoepke

Adjunct Faculty Advisor | USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work


Postdoctoral Fellow in Shared Medical Decision Making at the University of Colorado School of Medicine


CHRIS KNOEPKE PhD, MSW, LCSW is both a Faculty Advisor within the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work’s Doctor of Social Work (DSW) program and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He previously held an appointment on the Adjunct Faculty at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work, where he helped to develop curricula for the Health & Wellness concentration.

Knoepke’s research examines innovative means by which to support medical patients making decisions involving technologically complex treatment options in stigmatized or emotionally challenging clinical circumstances. Knoepke uses innovative data-gathering and product development methodologies to create and test tools used in patient decision support, including for patients with symptomatic aortic stenosis who are offered various aortic valve procedures, patients with risk of sudden cardiac death offered implantable defibrillator therapy, and patients who are at risk of suicide who also have access to firearms.

Knoepke has worked extensively in clinical settings as well, including outpatient mental health, employee assistance programs and child safety programs. He is an LCSW in Colorado and a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP), and he currently serves as an at-large director on the International Board of Directors for the Employee Assistance Professionals Association.

Knoepke is currently the principal investigator or co-investigator on a number of research, development and implementation projects, with funding from the American College of Cardiology Foundation; the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; the National Institute of Mental Health; and the Palliative Care Research Collaborative (under funding from the National Institute for Nursing Research).

Education (3)

University of Denver: PhD 2015

Washington University in St. Louis: MSW 2007

Monmouth College: BA 2005

Areas of Expertise (6)

Palliative Care

Stigmatized or Emotionally Challenging Clinical Circumstances

Patient-Provider Shared Decision Making

Social Work

Technologically Complex Treatment Options

Mental Health

Industry Expertise (4)

Health and Wellness

Health Care - Providers


Social Services

Accomplishments (4)

Daetwiler Award for Distinguished Service to the Employee Assistance Profession (professional)

Employee Assistance Professionals Association, Colorado Chapter

Excellence in Teaching Award - Adjunct Faculty (professional)

Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver

Graduate Studies Dissertation Fellowship (professional)

Office of Graduate Studies, University of Denver

Enid O. Cox Fellowship (professional)

Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver


Research Articles & Publications (5)

Hospice, She Yelped: Examining the Quantity and Quality of Decision Support Available to Patient and Families Considering Hospice Journal of Pain and Symptom Management

Grace Finnigan-Fox, Dan D Matlock, Channing E Tate, Christopher E Knoepke, and Larry A Allen

2017 Whether to engage hospice is one of the most difficult medical decisions patients and families make. Meanwhile, misperceptions about hospice persist. Within this context, the breadth and depth of patient decision support materials for hospice is unknown.

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Loaded Questions: Internet Commenters’ Opinions on Physician-Patient Firearm Safety Conversations Western Journal of Emergency Medicine

Christopher E Knoepke, Amanda Allen, Megan L Ranney, Garen J Wintemute, Daniel D Matlock, Marian E Betz

2017 Medical and public health societies advocate that healthcare providers (HCPs) counsel at-risk patients to reduce firearm injury risk. Anonymous online media comments often contain extreme viewpoints and may therefore help in understanding challenges of firearm safety counseling. To help inform injury prevention efforts, we sought to examine commenters’ stated opinions regarding firearm safety counseling HCPs.

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Differences in Response Groups for a Survey Using Multimodal Return: Implications for Social Work Research Social Work Research

Christopher E Knoepke

2017 In social work and elsewhere, the Internet is increasingly viewed as an advantageous data-gathering vehicle, capable of cultivating large and diverse samples at a fraction of the cost of traditional mailed surveys (Schonlau, Ronald, & Elliott, 2002). Concurrently, leaders in the field of survey design and recruitment have advocated the use of multiple response formats to maximize response rate and remove possible sources of differential nonresponse bias in survey samples (Cook, Heath, & Thompson, 2000; Dillman, 2000; Kaplowitz, Hadlock, & Levine, 2004). This philosophy and associated methodologies were developed primarily by researchers interested in educational surveys and public opinion polling, but are also critical to social work and human services research. Demographic variables are implicated in risk of nonresponse to surveys, including socioeconomic status (SES), education, and race (Curtin, Presser, & Singer, 2000; Warriner & ...

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Preliminary Development of an Informational Media Use Measure for Patients with Implanted Defibrillators: Toward a Model of Social–Ecological Assessment of Patient Education and Support Health & Social Work

Christopher E Knoepke & Daniel D Matlock

2017 Social work interventions in health care, particularly those that involve working with people being treated for chronic and life-threatening conditions, frequently involve efforts to educate patients about their disease, treatment options, safety planning, medical adherence, and other associated issues. Despite an intuitive notion that patients access information about all of these issues through a variety of media—both inside and outside the clinical encounter, created by professionals and by others—there currently exists no validated means of assessing patients’ use of these forms of information. To address this gap, authors first created candidate item measures with input from both physicians and a small group of diverse patients who currently have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), a sophisticated cardiac device for which a trajectory model of social work intervention was recently outlined. Authors then surveyed a group of 205 individuals who have these devices, assessing their use of various media to learn about ICDs. They then conducted factor and item analysis to refine and remove poorly performing items while delineating forms of media use by type. The resultant preliminary measure of informational media use can be further refined and adapted for use with any clinical population.

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Colorado Medical Students’ Attitudes and Beliefs About Marijuana Journal of General Internal Medicine

Michael H Chan, Christopher E Knoepke, Madeline L Cole, James McKinnon, Daniel D Matlock

2017 Over the past two decades, state and local governments across the U.S. have been increasingly reforming marijuana laws. Despite growing support for marijuana as a medical treatment, little is known about medical students’ perceptions of marijuana use.

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