Francis Joseph Keefe

Francis Joseph Keefe

Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

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.

Porter, LS, Carson, JW, Olsen, M, Carson, KM, Sanders, L, Jones, L, Westbrook, K, and Keefe, FJ. "Feasibility of a mindful yoga program for women with metastatic breast cancer: results of a randomized pilot study." Supportive Care in Cancer : Official Journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (March 15, 2019). Full Text

Sitlinger, A, Shelby, RA, Van Denburg, AN, White, H, Edmond, SN, Marcom, PK, Bosworth, HB, Keefe, FJ, and Kimmick, GG. "Higher symptom burden is associated with lower function in women taking adjuvant endocrine therapy for breast cancer." Journal of Geriatric Oncology 10.2 (March 2019): 317-321. Full Text

Porter, LS, Samsa, G, Steel, JL, Hanson, LC, LeBlanc, TW, Bull, J, Fischer, S, and Keefe, FJ. "Caregiver-guided pain coping skills training for patients with advanced cancer: Background, design, and challenges for the CaringPals study." Clinical Trials (London, England) (February 19, 2019): 1740774519829695-null. Full Text

Bovbjerg, DH, Keefe, FJ, Soo, MS, Manculich, J, Van Denburg, A, Zuley, ML, Ahrendt, GM, Skinner, CS, Edmond, SN, and Shelby, RA. "Persistent breast pain in post-surgery breast cancer survivors and women with no history of breast surgery or cancer: associations with pain catastrophizing, perceived breast cancer risk, breast cancer worry, and emotional distress." Acta Oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) (February 12, 2019): 1-6. Full Text

Riddle, DL, Keefe, FJ, Ang, DC, Slover, J, Jensen, MP, Bair, MJ, Kroenke, K, Perera, RA, Reed, SD, McKee, D, and Dumenci, L. "Pain Coping Skills Training for Patients Who Catastrophize About Pain Prior to Knee Arthroplasty: A Multisite Randomized Clinical Trial." The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American Volume 101.3 (February 2019): 218-227. Full Text

Wren, AA, Shelby, RA, Soo, MS, Huysmans, Z, Jarosz, JA, and Keefe, FJ. "Preliminary efficacy of a lovingkindness meditation intervention for patients undergoing biopsy and breast cancer surgery: A randomized controlled pilot study." Supportive Care in Cancer : Official Journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (January 31, 2019). Full Text

Dumenci, L, Perera, RA, Keefe, FJ, Ang, DC, Slover, J, Jensen, MP, and Riddle, DL. "Model-based pain and function outcome trajectory types for patients undergoing knee arthroplasty: a secondary analysis from a randomized clinical trial." Osteoarthritis and Cartilage (January 17, 2019). Full Text

Whitney, CA, Dorfman, CS, Shelby, RA, Keefe, FJ, Gandhi, V, and Somers, TJ. "Reminders of cancer risk and pain catastrophizing: relationships with cancer worry and perceived risk in women with a first-degree relative with breast cancer." Familial Cancer 18.1 (January 2019): 9-18. Full Text

Shelby, RA, Dorfman, CS, Bosworth, HB, Keefe, F, Sutton, L, Owen, L, Corsino, L, Erkanli, A, Reed, SD, Arthur, SS, Somers, T, Barrett, N, Huettel, S, Gonzalez, JM, and Kimmick, G. "Testing a behavioral intervention to improve adherence to adjuvant endocrine therapy (AET)." Contemporary Clinical Trials 76 (January 2019): 120-131. Full Text

Burns, JW, Gerhart, J, Post, KM, Smith, DA, Porter, LS, Buvanendran, A, Fras, AM, and Keefe, FJ. "Spouse Criticism/Hostility Toward Partners With Chronic Pain: The Role of Spouse Attributions for Patient Control Over Pain Behaviors." The Journal of Pain : Official Journal of the American Pain Society 19.11 (November 2018): 1308-1317. 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

Dorfman, CS, Kelleher, SA, Winger, JG, Shelby, RA, Thorn, BE, Sutton, LM, Keefe, FJ, Gandhi, V, Manohar, P, and Somers, TJ. "Development and pilot testing of an mHealth behavioral cancer pain protocol for medically underserved communities(Accepted)." January 1, 2018. 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

Couple Communication in Cancer: A Multi-method Examination awarded by Arizona State University (Co Investigator). 2016 to 2019

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 2019

Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group (PCRC) Refinement and Expansion awarded by University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (Co Investigator). 2018 to 2019

Caregiver-Guided Pain Management Training in Palliative Care awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2019