Francis Joseph Keefe

Francis Joseph Keefe

Professor in Psychology andNeuroscience

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Ohio State University 1975

  • M.S., Ohio State University 1973

  • B.A., Bowdoin College 1971


The primary aim of our research over the past year has been to evaluate the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral treatments for arthritis pain. We are conducting two treatment outcome studies supported by grants from the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, and Skin Diseases. The first project, conducted with osteoarthritis patients, seeks to determine whether aerobic exercise training can enhance the effects of a cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) intervention for managing pain and disability. The CBT intervention is innovative in that it systematically involves spouses in training in pain coping skills. The second project, tests the long-term effectiveness of a relapse prevention training intervention. This study will feature the use of newly developed daily study methods to analyze the long-term effects of pain coping skills training on daily pain.

In addition, in conjunction with Lara Schanberg of the Department of Medicine we are carrying out a study funded by the Arthritis Foundation that examines the effects of a pain coping skills training regimen for pediatric fibromyalgia patients.

Finally, we are currently gathering pilot data for two new research projects. One project seeks to evaluate the efficacy of a cognitive behavior theapy and education intervention for managing pain in patients having breast cancer and prostate cancer. The second project examines the efficacy of patient controlled compression protocol in the management of pain during mammography.

DeBar, L, Benes, L, Bonifay, A, Deyo, RA, Elder, CR, Keefe, FJ, Leo, MC, McMullen, C, Mayhew, M, Owen-Smith, A, Smith, DH, Trinacty, CM, and Vollmer, WM. "Interdisciplinary team-based care for patients with chronic pain on long-term opioid treatment in primary care (PPACT) - Protocol for a pragmatic cluster randomized trial." Contemporary clinical trials 67 (April 2018): 91-99. Full Text

Rini, C, Vu, MB, Lerner, H, Bloom, C, Carda-Auten, J, Wood, WA, Basch, EM, Voorhees, PM, Reeder-Hayes, KE, and Keefe, FJ. "A qualitative study of patient and provider perspectives on using web-based pain coping skills training to treat persistent cancer pain." Palliative & supportive care 16.2 (April 2018): 155-169. Full Text

O'Sullivan, ML, Shelby, RA, Dorfman, CS, Kelleher, SA, Fisher, HM, Rowe Nichols, KA, Keefe, FJ, Sung, AD, and Somers, TJ. "The effect of pre-transplant pain and chronic disease self-efficacy on quality of life domains in the year following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation." Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer 26.4 (April 2018): 1243-1252. Full Text

Lumley, MA, Anderson, T, Ankawi, B, Goldman, G, Perri, LM, Bianco, JA, and Keefe, FJ. "The working alliance and Clinician-assisted Emotional Disclosure for rheumatoid arthritis." Journal of psychosomatic research 104 (January 2018): 9-15. Full Text

Porter, LS, and Keefe, FJ. "Couple-based communication interventions for cancer: moving beyond a 'one size fits all' approach." Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) (December 8, 2017): 1-2. Full Text

Gerhart, JI, Burns, JW, Bruehl, S, Smith, DA, Post, KM, Porter, LS, Schuster, E, Buvanendran, A, Fras, AM, and Keefe, FJ. "Variability in negative emotions among individuals with chronic low back pain: relationships with pain and function." Pain (November 13, 2017). Full Text

Burns, JW, Post, KM, Smith, DA, Porter, LS, Buvanendran, A, Fras, AM, and Keefe, FJ. "Spouse criticism and hostility during marital interaction: effects on pain intensity and behaviors among individuals with chronic low back pain." Pain (October 2017). Full Text

Lefebvre, JC, Jensen, MP, Waters, SJ, Molton, IR, Keefe, FJ, and Caldwell, DS. "The development and assessment of the Worry About Pain Questionnaire." European journal of pain (London, England) 21.7 (August 2017): 1154-1164. Full Text

Porter, LS, Keefe, FJ, Baucom, DH, Olsen, M, Zafar, SY, and Uronis, H. "A randomized pilot trial of a videoconference couples communication intervention for advanced GI cancer." Psycho-oncology 26.7 (July 2017): 1027-1035. Full Text

Gerhart, JI, Burns, JW, Post, KM, Smith, DA, Porter, LS, Burgess, HJ, Schuster, E, Buvanendran, A, Fras, AM, and Keefe, FJ. "Relationships Between Sleep Quality and Pain-Related Factors for People with Chronic Low Back Pain: Tests of Reciprocal and Time of Day Effects." Annals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine 51.3 (June 2017): 365-375. Full Text


Keefe, FJ. "Foreword." January 4, 2016. xi-xiii. Full Text

Somers, TJ, Keefe, FJ, Kothadia, S, and Pandiani, A. "Dealing with cancer pain: Coping, pain catastrophizing, and related outcomes." Cancer Pain: From Molecules to Suffering. June 1, 2015.

Lester, N, Keefe, FJ, and Rumble, ME. "Coping with chronic pain." Cambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health and Medicine, Second Edition. January 1, 2014. 50-55. Full Text

Waters, SJ, Dixon, KE, Perri, LC, and Keefe, FJ. "Pain assessment." Cambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health and Medicine, Second Edition. January 1, 2014. 300-304. Full Text

Naylor, MR, Seminowicz, DA, Somers, TJ, and Keefe, FJ. "Pain imaging." Handbook of Pain and Palliative Care: Biobehavioral Approaches for the Life Course. January 1, 2013. 439-467. Full Text

Keefe, FJ, Abernethy, AP, Wheeler, JL, and Somers, TJ. "Psychological interventions for cancer pain." Cancer Pain: Assessment and Management, Second Edition. January 1, 2009. 343-353. Full Text

Keefe, FJ. "Acute pain: A psychosocial perspective." Acute Pain Management. January 1, 2009. 41-52. Full Text

Musey, PI, Linnstaedt, SD, Platts-Mills, TF, Miner, JR, Bortsov, AV, Safdar, B, Bijur, P, Rosenau, A, Tsze, DS, Chang, AK, Dorai, S, Engel, KG, Feldman, JA, Fusaro, AM, Lee, DC, Rosenberg, M, Keefe, FJ, Peak, DA, Nam, CS, Patel, RG, Fillingim, RB, and McLean, SA. "Gender differences in acute and chronic pain in the emergency department: results of the 2014 Academic Emergency Medicine consensus conference pain section." December 2014. Full Text

Selected Grants

Improving Adherence to Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy in Breast Cancer Patients awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2016 to 2021

Optimizing Delivery of a Behavioral Cancer Pain Intervention Using a SMART awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2016 to 2021

Caregiver-Assisted Pain Coping Skills Training for Dementia awarded by National Palliative Care Research Center (Co Investigator). 2018 to 2020

Meaning-centered Psychotherapy and Pain Coping Skills in Advanced Cancer awarded by American Cancer Society, Inc. (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2020

A Self-Management Intervention for Women with Breast Cancer and Diabetes awarded by American Cancer Society, Inc. (Co Investigator). 2016 to 2020

Improving Veteran Access To Integrated Management of Chronic Back Pain awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2017 to 2019

Mechanisms of Psychosocial Chronic Pain Treatment awarded by Rush University (Principal Investigator). 2013 to 2019

Couple Communication in Cancer: A Multi-method Examination awarded by Arizona State University (Co Investigator). 2016 to 2018

Development of a Virtual Reality Graded Exposure Intervention for Chronic Low Back Pain awarded by The University of Texas at Dallas (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2018

Pain Coping Skills Training for African Americans with Osteoarthritis awarded by University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (Co Investigator). 2015 to 2018