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.

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

Cole, LJ, Bennell, KL, Ahamed, Y, Bryant, C, Keefe, F, Moseley, GL, Hodges, P, and Farrell, MJ. "Determining Brain Mechanisms that Underpin Analgesia Induced by the Use of Pain Coping Skills." Pain Medicine (Malden, Mass.) 19.11 (November 2018): 2177-2190. Full Text

Allen, KD, Arbeeva, L, Cené, CW, Coffman, CJ, Grimm, KF, Haley, E, Keefe, FJ, Nagle, CT, Oddone, EZ, Somers, TJ, Watkins, Y, and Campbell, LC. "Pain coping skills training for African Americans with osteoarthritis study: baseline participant characteristics and comparison to prior studies." Bmc Musculoskeletal Disorders 19.1 (September 19, 2018): 337-null. Full Text

Van Denburg, AN, Shelby, RA, Caldwell, DS, O'Sullivan, ML, and Keefe, FJ. "Self-Efficacy for Pain Communication Moderates the Relation Between Ambivalence Over Emotional Expression and Pain Catastrophizing Among Patients With Osteoarthritis." The Journal of Pain : Official Journal of the American Pain Society 19.9 (September 2018): 1006-1014. Full Text

Cook, CE, George, SZ, and Keefe, F. "Different interventions, same outcomes? Here are four good reasons." British Journal of Sports Medicine 52.15 (August 2018): 951-952. Full Text

Parmelee, PA, Scicolone, MA, Cox, BS, DeCaro, JA, Keefe, FJ, and Smith, DM. "Global Versus Momentary Osteoarthritis Pain and Emotional Distress: Emotional Intelligence as Moderator." Annals of Behavioral Medicine : a Publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine 52.8 (July 2018): 713-723. Full Text

Jensen, MP, Thorn, BE, Carmody, J, Keefe, FJ, and Burns, JW. "The Role of Cognitive Content and Cognitive Processes in Chronic Pain: An Important Distinction?." The Clinical Journal of Pain 34.5 (May 2018): 391-401. 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) 57.5 (May 2018): 693-695. (Letter) 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

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

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