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.

Wren, Anava A., et al. “Preliminary efficacy of a lovingkindness meditation intervention for patients undergoing biopsy and breast cancer surgery: A randomized controlled pilot study..” Support Care Cancer, vol. 27, no. 9, Sept. 2019, pp. 3583–92. Pubmed, doi:10.1007/s00520-019-4657-z. Full Text

Kelleher, Sarah A., et al. “A behavioral cancer pain intervention: A randomized noninferiority trial comparing in-person with videoconference delivery..” Psychooncology, vol. 28, no. 8, Aug. 2019, pp. 1671–78. Pubmed, doi:10.1002/pon.5141. Full Text

Hung, A., et al. “Ninety-day and one-year healthcare utilization and costs after knee arthroplasty..” Osteoarthritis Cartilage, June 2019. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.joca.2019.05.019. Full Text

Porter, Laura S., et al. “Caregiver-guided pain coping skills training for patients with advanced cancer: Background, design, and challenges for the CaringPals study..” Clin Trials, vol. 16, no. 3, June 2019, pp. 263–72. Pubmed, doi:10.1177/1740774519829695. Full Text

Allen, Kelli D., et al. “Pain coping skills training for African Americans with osteoarthritis: results of a randomized controlled trial..” Pain, vol. 160, no. 6, June 2019, pp. 1297–307. Pubmed, doi:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001525. Full Text

Dumenci, L., et al. “Model-based pain and function outcome trajectory types for patients undergoing knee arthroplasty: a secondary analysis from a randomized clinical trial..” Osteoarthritis Cartilage, vol. 27, no. 6, June 2019, pp. 878–84. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.joca.2019.01.004. Full Text

Burns, John W., et al. “Spouse and Patient Beliefs and Perceptions About Chronic Pain: Effects on Couple Interactions and Patient Pain Behavior..” J Pain, Apr. 2019. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2019.04.001. Full Text

Porter, Laura S., et al. “Feasibility of a mindful yoga program for women with metastatic breast cancer: results of a randomized pilot study..” Support Care Cancer, Mar. 2019. Pubmed, doi:10.1007/s00520-019-04710-7. Full Text

Sitlinger, Andrea, et al. “Higher symptom burden is associated with lower function in women taking adjuvant endocrine therapy for breast cancer..” J Geriatr Oncol, vol. 10, no. 2, Mar. 2019, pp. 317–21. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.jgo.2018.11.008. Full Text


Keefe, F. J. Foreword. 2016, pp. xi–xiii. Scopus, doi:10.1016/B978012800538506001-5. Full Text

Somers, T. J., et al. “Dealing with cancer pain: Coping, pain catastrophizing, and related outcomes.” Cancer Pain: From Molecules to Suffering, 2015.

Waters, S. J., et al. “Pain assessment.” Cambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health and Medicine, Second Edition, 2014, pp. 300–04. Scopus, doi:10.1017/CBO9780511543579.065. Full Text

Lester, N., et al. “Coping with chronic pain.” Cambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health and Medicine, Second Edition, 2014, pp. 50–55. Scopus, doi:10.1017/CBO9780511543579.012. Full Text

Naylor, M. R., et al. “Pain imaging.” Handbook of Pain and Palliative Care: Biobehavioral Approaches for the Life Course, 2013, pp. 439–67. Scopus, doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-1651-8_27. Full Text

Keefe, F. J., et al. “Psychological interventions for cancer pain.” Cancer Pain: Assessment and Management, Second Edition, 2009, pp. 343–53. Scopus, doi:10.1017/CBO9780511642357.019. Full Text

Keefe, F. J. “Acute pain: A psychosocial perspective.” Acute Pain Management, 2009, pp. 41–52. Scopus, doi:10.1017/CBO9780511576706.005. Full Text

Dorfman, C. S., et al. “Development and pilot testing of an mHealth behavioral cancer pain protocol for medically underserved communities.” Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, vol. 37, no. 3, 2019, pp. 335–49. Scopus, doi:10.1080/07347332.2018.1479327. Full Text

Musey, Paul I., et al. “Gender differences in acute and chronic pain in the emergency department: results of the 2014 Academic Emergency Medicine consensus conference pain section..” Acad Emerg Med, vol. 21, no. 12, 2014, pp. 1421–30. Pubmed, doi:10.1111/acem.12529. Full Text

Selected Grants

Improving Lung Transplant Outcomes with Coping Skills and Physical Activity awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2019 to 2024

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

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 (Co Investigator). 2018 to 2020

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

Improving Veteran Access To Integrated Management of Chronic Back Pain awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2017 to 2020

Reducing the Transition from Acute to Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain among Older Adults awarded by University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (Principal Investigator). 2019

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