Francis Joseph Keefe

Francis Joseph Keefe

Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Ohio 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.

George, Steven Z., et al. “Improving Veteran Access to Integrated Management of Back Pain (AIM-Back): Protocol for an Embedded Pragmatic Cluster-Randomized Trial.Pain Med, vol. 21, no. Suppl 2, Dec. 2020, pp. S62–72. Pubmed, doi:10.1093/pm/pnaa348. Full Text

Lawford, Belinda J., et al. “"I Could Do It in My Own Time and When I Really Needed It": Perceptions of Online Pain Coping Skills Training For People With Knee Osteoarthritis.Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken), vol. 72, no. 12, Dec. 2020, pp. 1736–46. Pubmed, doi:10.1002/acr.24093. Full Text

Carson, James W., et al. “Yoga Practice Predicts Improvements in Day-to-Day Pain in Women With Metastatic Breast Cancer.J Pain Symptom Manage, Oct. 2020. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2020.10.009. Full Text

Dumenci, Levent, et al. “Disentangling trait versus state characteristics of the Pain Catastrophizing Scale and the PHQ-8 Depression Scale.Eur J Pain, vol. 24, no. 8, Sept. 2020, pp. 1624–34. Pubmed, doi:10.1002/ejp.1619. Full Text

Ramos, K., et al. “Attachment style, partner communication, and physical well-being among couples coping with cancer.” Personal Relationships, vol. 27, no. 3, Sept. 2020, pp. 526–49. Scopus, doi:10.1111/pere.12330. Full Text

Aaron, Rachel V., et al. “Emotion regulation as a transdiagnostic factor underlying co-occurring chronic pain and problematic opioid use.Am Psychol, vol. 75, no. 6, Sept. 2020, pp. 796–810. Pubmed, doi:10.1037/amp0000678. Full Text

Rice, Andrew S. C., and Francis J. Keefe. “An introduction to the Biennial Review of Pain.Pain, vol. 161 Suppl 1, Sept. 2020, pp. S1–2. Pubmed, doi:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001979. Full Text

Dharmasri, Chamara J., et al. “Acceptability of telephone-based pain coping skills training among African Americans with osteoarthritis enrolled in a randomized controlled trial: a mixed methods analysis.Bmc Musculoskelet Disord, vol. 21, no. 1, Aug. 2020, p. 545. Pubmed, doi:10.1186/s12891-020-03578-7. Full Text

Gilam, Gadi, et al. “What Is the Relationship between Pain and Emotion? Bridging Constructs and Communities.Neuron, vol. 107, no. 1, July 2020, pp. 17–21. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2020.05.024. 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.

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

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

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

Zimmaro, Lauren A., et al. “Greater mindfulness associated with lower pain, fatigue, and psychological distress in women with metastatic breast cancer.Psychooncology, vol. 29, no. 2, 2020, pp. 263–70. Pubmed, doi:10.1002/pon.5223. 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

An mHealth Symptom Management Intervention for Colorectal Cancer Patients awarded by American Cancer Society, Inc. (Co Investigator). 2021 to 2024

Couple Communication Skills Training for Advanced Cancer awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2020 to 2024

Improving Symptom Management for Survivors of Young Adult Cancer awarded by National Institutes of Health (Collaborator). 2019 to 2024

Duke Roybal Center awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2024

Duke Pain Early-phase Research Clinical Center (PERC) awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2024

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

AIM BACK UH3 Transition awarded by National Institutes of Health (Investigator). 2017 to 2024

Meaning-Centered Pain Coping Skills Training for Patients with Advanced Cancer: A Randomized Pilot Trial awarded by National Palliative Care Research Center (Mentor). 2020 to 2022