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Francis Joseph Keefe

Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral Medicine & Neurosciences
Box 90399, Durham, NC 27708-0399
2200 W Main St, Suite 340, Durham, NC

Research Interests


Throughout my research career,, I have had very broad ranging interests in how people cope with and adjust to pain, particularly persistent pain.  Understanding coping and adaptation helps us better understand the very significant variations in pain, disability, and suffering in people with similar levels of injury and disease.  It also can help guide the development of interventions to enhance coping efforts.  
My current research interests center on testing the efficacy and effectiveness of  behavioral interventions designed to enhance how people deal with pain (e.g. coping skills training, cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness meditation, acceptance and commitment therapy, yoga-based protocols, weight management, cbt for insomnia).  I actively collaborate with researchers conducting NIH-funded studies being conducted here at Duke and elsewhere.  Many of those studies are testing brief interventions and novel strategies for delivering training in pain copinng.

Selected Grants


Predictors of Pain Severity and Pain-Related Outcomes in Individuals with Sickle Cell Disease

ResearchCo-Mentor · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2023 - 2028

Stress Reactivity and Low Back Pain in Older Adults: Influences on Disability (ReLOAD)

Clinical TrialCo-Mentor · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2022 - 2027

Tailored Non-Pharmacotherapy Services for Chronic Pain: Testing Scalable and Pragmatic Approaches

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute · 2019 - 2025

Specific and Shared Mechanisms Associated With Treatment for Chronic Neck Pain

ResearchConsultant · Awarded by Foundation for Physical Therapy · 2023 - 2025

Predictors of Pain Severity and Pain-Related Outcomes in Individuals with Sickle Cell Disease

ResearchCo-Mentor · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2023 - 2028

Stress Reactivity and Low Back Pain in Older Adults: Influences on Disability (ReLOAD)

Clinical TrialCo-Mentor · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2022 - 2027

Tailored Non-Pharmacotherapy Services for Chronic Pain: Testing Scalable and Pragmatic Approaches

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute · 2019 - 2025

Specific and Shared Mechanisms Associated With Treatment for Chronic Neck Pain

ResearchConsultant · Awarded by Foundation for Physical Therapy · 2023 - 2025

Longitudinal Impact of Chronic Pain and its Management on Patient-centered Outcomes in Older Adults

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Massachusetts General Hospital · 2021 - 2025

Diversifying and Strengthening Dementia Palliative Care Clinical Trials

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by Massachusetts General Hospital · 2022 - 2025

An mHealth Symptom Management Intervention for Colorectal Cancer Patients

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by American Cancer Society, Inc. · 2021 - 2024

Couple Communication Skills Training for Advanced Cancer

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2020 - 2024

Reducing the Transition from Acute to Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain among Older Adults

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill · 2019 - 2024

Pain Response Evaluation of a Combined Intervention to Cope Effectively (PRECICE)

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center · 2020 - 2024

A Pragmatic Sequenced-strategy for Improving Outcomes in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis Pain

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Johns Hopkins University · 2019 - 2024

Improving Symptom Management for Survivors of Young Adult Cancer

ResearchCollaborator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2019 - 2024

UPENN Scientific and Data Research Center for the HOPE Consortium to Reduce Pain and Opioid Use in Hemodialysis

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by University of Pennsylvania · 2019 - 2024

Duke Pain Early-phase Research Clinical Center (PERC)

ResearchCo-Principal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2019 - 2024

Improving Lung Transplant Outcomes with Coping Skills and Physical Activity

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2019 - 2024

Improving Veteran Access To Integrated Management of Chronic Back Pain (AIM Back)

ResearchInvestigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2017 - 2024

Using Very Low Nicotine Content Cigarettes as a Strategy to Disrupt the Pain-Smoking Reinforcement Cycle

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2021 - 2023

Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Sleep in Cancer

FellowshipPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2021 - 2023

Couple Communication in Cancer: A Multi-method Examination

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by Arizona State University · 2016 - 2022

Meaning-Centered Pain Coping Skills Training for Patients with Advanced Cancer: A Randomized Pilot Trial

ResearchMentor · Awarded by National Palliative Care Research Center · 2020 - 2022

Improving Adherence to Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy in Breast Cancer Patients

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2016 - 2022

Optimizing Delivery of a Behavioral Cancer Pain Intervention Using a SMART

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2016 - 2022

Resilience Measurement, Prediction, and its Role in Older Adults with Late Stage Lung Cancer

ResearchAdvisor · Awarded by Wake Forest University School Of Medicine · 2020 - 2022

A Self-Management Intervention for Women with Breast Cancer and Diabetes

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by American Cancer Society, Inc. · 2016 - 2020

Caregiver-Assisted Pain Coping Skills Training for Dementia

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by National Palliative Care Research Center · 2018 - 2020

Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group (PCRC): Refinement and Expansion-Administrative Supplement

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus · 2019 - 2020

Meaning-centered Psychotherapy and Pain Coping Skills in Advanced Cancer

FellowshipPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by American Cancer Society, Inc. · 2017 - 2020

Development of a Virtual Reality Graded Exposure Intervention for Chronic Low Back Pain

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by The University of Texas at Dallas · 2016 - 2019

Caregiver-Guided Pain Management Training in Palliative Care

ResearchCo-Principal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2014 - 2019

Mechanisms of Psychosocial Chronic Pain Treatment

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Rush University · 2013 - 2019

Pain Coping Skills Training for African Americans with Osteoarthritis

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill · 2015 - 2018

Behavioral Weight and Symptom Management for Breast Cancer Survivors and Partners

FellowshipPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2015 - 2018

Knee Arthroplasty Pain Coping Skills Training (KASTpain): A Randomized Trial

Clinical TrialPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Virginia Commonwealth University · 2012 - 2018

Coping Skills for Colorectal Cancer Survivors with Pain and Distress

FellowshipPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by American Cancer Society, Inc. · 2015 - 2018

An Accessible Mobile Health Behavioral Intervention for Cancer Pain (mPain)

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by American Cancer Society, Inc. · 2014 - 2018

Refinement and Expansion of the Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group

ResearchInvestigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2013 - 2018

Yoga-based Symptom Management for Metastatic Breast Cancer

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2013 - 2018

Everyday Quality of Life in Blacks and Whites with Osteoarthritis

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by University of Alabama · 2012 - 2017

Home-Based Tablet Computer Pain Coping Skills Following Stem Cell Transplant

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2013 - 2015

Improving Adherence to Recommended Surveillance in Breast Cancer Survivors

ResearchMentor · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2010 - 2015

Pain, Distress and Mammography Use in Breast Cancer Patients

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2009 - 2014

Telephone-based coping skills training for COPD

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2000 - 2014

Coping Skills Training for Spinal Cord Stimulator Patients

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2008 - 2013

Understanding Patient Expectations of Treatment Outcomes

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2009 - 2011

Stress and Behavior in Health and Disease

Inst. Training Prgm or CMEPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1989 - 2011

Training in Psychological Intervention Research

Inst. Training Prgm or CMETraining Faculty · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2006 - 2011

IPA - McKee

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Veterans Administration Medical Center · 2010 - 2011

Quit-smoking program for lung cancer patients' families

ResearchCo-Principal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2003 - 2010

Mammography Pain in Breast Cancer Survivors

FellowshipPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2006 - 2009

Biomechanics and Inflammation in Osteoarthritis

ResearchConsultant · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2003 - 2008

Caregiver-Assisting Coping Skills Training for Lung Cancer

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2002 - 2008

Partner-Assisted Emotional Disclosure for GI Cancer

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2004 - 2008

Prostate Cancer Recovery Enhancement (PROCARE) for African American Men

Clinical TrialCo Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2007 - 2008

Coping Skills Training for Early Rheumatoid Arthritis

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2002 - 2007

Behavior Analysis of Chronic Low Back Pain

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2005 - 2007

Self System Therapy and Chronic Low Back Pain

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2003 - 2007

Anxiety, Depression, and Non-Cardiac Chest Pain

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2001 - 2007

Gender, Coping, and the Arthritis Pain Experience

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1999 - 2004

Gender, Coping and the Arthritis Pain Experience

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1999 - 2003

Spouse Guided Pain Management Training for Cancer Pain

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2000 - 2003

Fluoxetine And Behavior Therapy In Social Phobia

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1994 - 2002

Pain Threshold And Tolerance In Sickle Cell Disease

ResearchCo-Principal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1995 - 1999

Fluoxetine And Behavior Therapy In Social Phobia

ResearchCo-Principal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1994 - 1998

Fluoxetine And Behavior Therapy In Social Phobia

ResearchCo-Principal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1993 - 1998

Cognitive Behavioral Treatments For Arthritis Pain

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1993 - 1998

Cognitive Behavioral Treatments For Arthritis Pain

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1993 - 1998

Behavioral Treatment Of Fibromyalgia

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1996 - 1997

Cognitive Behavioral Treatment For Arthritis Pain

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1993 - 1997

Cognitive Behavioral Teatments For Arthritis Pain

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1993 - 1997

Coping With Osteoarthritic Knee Pain

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1991 - 1997

Medical Psychologist Member Of Task Force

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Department Of Labor · 1987 - 1988

Medical Psychologist Member Of Task Force

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Department Of Labor · 1987 - 1988

Coping With Osteoarthritic Knee Pain

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1986 - 1987

External Relationships


  • Brunel University

This faculty member (or a member of their immediate family) has reported outside activities with the companies, institutions, or organizations listed above. This information is available to institutional leadership and, when appropriate, management plans are in place to address potential conflicts of interest.