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Niloofar Afari

TitleProfessor In Residence
InstitutionUniversity of California San Diego
DepartmentPsychiatry
Address9500 Gilman Drive #9116-B
La Jolla CA 92093
Phone858-642-3387
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    University of CA, San DiegoPsychology1986Psychology
    University of Nevada, RenoClinical Psychology1996Psychology

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Dr. Afari is Associate Chief of Staff for Mental Health at VA San Diego Healthcare System and Vice Chair of Veterans Affairs at the Department of Psychiatry, UCSD School of Medicine. She has expertise in examining the relationship between psychological trauma and health, using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for treatment of various conditions, and implementing eHealth technology for evidence-based screening and outcomes monitoring of mental health symptoms. Her research on the development and implementation of technology to improve evidence-based mental health care has led to the development of the VA eScreening program for veterans to directly report their health symptoms through a veteran-facing portal that communicates with the electronic medical records system. The VA eScreening program was selected as a 2016 Gold Status practice by the VA Undersecretary for Health for diffusion across the VHA. She has received grant funding from multiple NIH Institutes as well as the Veterans Affairs. In addition to numerous peer-reviewed articles, Dr. Afari has co-authored the highly popular "The Big Book of ACT Metaphors". She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno and completed her predoctoral internship and postdoctoral training at the University of Washington School of Medicine where she also was a faculty member.


    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    An ACT-enhanced Weight Management and Fitness Program for Navy Personnel
    NIH/NIDDK R01DK106415Jun 1, 2016 - May 31, 2021
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Acceptance-based Group Intervention for Binge Eating
    VA I01RX000381Oct 1, 2012 - Jun 30, 2016
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Twin Study of Chronic Widespread Pain
    NIH/NIAMS R01AR051524Sep 25, 2005 - Jul 31, 2011
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Twin Study of Chronic Widespread Pain
    NIH/NIAMS R55AR051524Sep 1, 2004 - Jul 31, 2006
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse ORNG Applications 
    Collapse Clinical Trials
    Collapse Featured Publications
    Collapse In The News

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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    1. Schrepf A, Williams DA, Gallop R, Naliboff B, Basu N, Kaplan C, Harper DE, Landis R, Clemens JQ, Strachan E, Griffith JW, Afari N, Hassett A, Pontari MA, Clauw DJ, Harte SE. Sensory sensitivity and symptom severity represent unique dimensions of chronic pain: a MAPP Research Network study. Pain. 2018 May 28. PMID: 29863527.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Herbert MS, Leung DW, Pittman JOE, Floto E, Afari N. Race/ethnicity, psychological resilience, and social support among OEF/OIF combat veterans. Psychiatry Res. 2018 May 06; 265:265-270. PMID: 29763847.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Herbert MS, Afari N, Robinson JB, Listvinsky A, Bondi MW, Wetherell JL. Neuropsychological Functioning and Treatment Outcomes in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Chronic Pain. J Pain. 2018 Mar 02. PMID: 29496638.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Colvonen PJ, Glassman LH, Crocker LD, Buttner MM, Orff H, Schiehser DM, Norman SB, Afari N. Corrigendum to "Pretreatment biomarkers predicting PTSD psychotherapy outcomes: A systematic review" [Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 75 (2017) 140-156]. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2018 Jan; 84:495. PMID: 28951017.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Gasperi M, Krieger JN, Forsberg C, Goldberg J, Buchwald D, Afari N. Chronic prostatitis and comorbid non-urological overlapping pain conditions: A co-twin control study. J Psychosom Res. 2017 Nov; 102:29-33. PMID: 28992894.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Buttner MM, Godfrey KM, Floto E, Pittman J, Lindamer L, Afari N. Combat exposure and pain in male and female Afghanistan and Iraq veterans: The role of mediators and moderators. Psychiatry Res. 2017 Nov; 257:7-13. PMID: 28709118.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Gasperi M, Herbert M, Schur E, Buchwald D, Afari N. Genetic and Environmental Influences on Sleep, Pain, and Depression Symptoms in a Community Sample of Twins. Psychosom Med. 2017 Jul/Aug; 79(6):646-654. PMID: 28658193.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Godfrey KM, Herbert M, Strachan E, Mostoufi S, Crofford LJ, Buchwald D, Poeschla B, Succop A, Afari N. Dexamethasone-suppressed Salivary Cortisol and Pain Sensitivity in Female Twins. Clin J Pain. 2017 Mar; 33(3):246-253. PMID: 27275736.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Pittman JO, Floto E, Lindamer L, Baker DG, Lohr JB, Afari N. VA eScreening program: Technology to improve care for post-9/11 veterans. Psychol Serv. 2017 Feb; 14(1):23-33. PMID: 28134554.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Colvonen PJ, Glassman LH, Crocker LD, Buttner MM, Orff H, Schiehser DM, Norman SB, Afari N. Pretreatment biomarkers predicting PTSD psychotherapy outcomes: A systematic review. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2017 Apr; 75:140-156. PMID: 28143760.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Backhaus A, Gholizadeh S, Godfrey KM, Pittman J, Afari N. The many wounds of war: The association of service-related and clinical characteristics with problems with the law in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Int J Law Psychiatry. 2016 Nov - Dec; 49(Pt B):205-213. PMID: 27863701.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Herbert MS, Afari N, Liu L, Heppner P, Rutledge T, Williams K, Eraly S, VanBuskirk K, Nguyen C, Bondi M, Atkinson JH, Golshan S, Wetherell JL. Telehealth Versus In-Person Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Chronic Pain: A Randomized Noninferiority Trial. J Pain. 2017 Feb; 18(2):200-211. PMID: 27838498.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Afari N, Gasperi M, Forsberg CW, Goldberg J, Buchwald D, Krieger JN. Heritability of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms in Men: A Twin Study. J Urol. 2016 Nov; 196(5):1486-1492. PMID: 27312318.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Godfrey KM, Strachan E, Mostoufi S, Poeschla B, Succop A, Afari N. Familial Contributions to Self-Reported Sleep and Pain in Female Twins. Pain Med. 2016 Jan; 17(1):33-9. PMID: 26271474; PMCID: PMC4753149 [Available on 01/01/17].
    15. Buttner MM, Bormann JE, Weingart K, Andrews T, Ferguson M, Afari N. Multi-site evaluation of a complementary, spiritually-based intervention for Veterans: The Mantram Repetition Program. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2016 Feb; 22:74-9. PMID: 26850810.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Griffith JW, Stephens-Shields AJ, Hou X, Naliboff BD, Pontari M, Edwards TC, Williams DA, Clemens JQ, Afari N, Tu F, Lloyd RB, Patrick DL, Mullins C, Kusek JW, Sutcliffe S, Hong BA, Lai HH, Krieger JN, Bradley CS, Kim J, Landis JR. Pain and Urinary Symptoms Should Not be Combined into a Single Score: Psychometric Findings from the MAPP Research Network. J Urol. 2016 Apr; 195(4 Pt 1):949-54. PMID: 26585679; PMCID: PMC4867140 [Available on 04/01/17].
    17. Godfrey KM, Mostoufi S, Rodgers C, Backhaus A, Floto E, Pittman J, Afari N. Associations of military sexual trauma, combat exposure, and number of deployments with physical and mental health indicators in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Psychol Serv. 2015 Nov; 12(4):366-77. PMID: 26524278.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Jenkins MM, Colvonen PJ, Norman SB, Afari N, Allard CB, Drummond SP. Prevalence and Mental Health Correlates of Insomnia in First-Encounter Veterans with and without Military Sexual Trauma. Sleep. 2015 Oct 01; 38(10):1547-54. PMID: 26085301.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Wetherell JL, Petkus AJ, Alonso-Fernandez M, Bower ES, Steiner AR, Afari N. Age moderates response to acceptance and commitment therapy vs. cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic pain. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2016 Mar; 31(3):302-8. PMID: 26216753.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Naliboff BD, Stephens AJ, Afari N, Lai H, Krieger JN, Hong B, Lutgendorf S, Strachan E, Williams D. Widespread Psychosocial Difficulties in Men and Women With Urologic Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndromes: Case-control Findings From the Multidisciplinary Approach to the Study of Chronic Pelvic Pain Research Network. Urology. 2015 Jun; 85(6):1319-27. PMID: 26099876; PMCID: PMC4479402.
    21. Trost Z, Strachan E, Sullivan M, Vervoort T, Avery AR, Afari N. Heritability of pain catastrophizing and associations with experimental pain outcomes: a twin study. Pain. 2015 Mar; 156(3):514-20. PMID: 25599234; PMCID: PMC4329018.
    22. Afari N, Pittman J, Floto E, Owen L, Buttner M, Hossain N, Baker DG, Lindamer L, Lohr JB. Differential impact of combat on postdeployment symptoms in female and male veterans of iraq and afghanistan. Mil Med. 2015 Mar; 180(3):296-303. PMID: 25735020.
      View in: PubMed
    23. Godfrey KM, Gallo LC, Afari N. Mindfulness-based interventions for binge eating: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Behav Med. 2015 Apr; 38(2):348-62. PMID: 25417199.
      View in: PubMed
    24. Mostoufi S, Godfrey KM, Ahumada SM, Hossain N, Song T, Wright LJ, Lohr JB, Afari N. Pain sensitivity in posttraumatic stress disorder and other anxiety disorders: a preliminary case control study. Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2014; 13(1):31. PMID: 25422670; PMCID: PMC4236800.
    25. Krieger JN, Stephens AJ, Landis JR, Clemens JQ, Kreder K, Lai HH, Afari N, Rodríguez L, Schaeffer A, Mackey S, Andriole GL, Williams DA. Relationship between chronic nonurological associated somatic syndromes and symptom severity in urological chronic pelvic pain syndromes: baseline evaluation of the MAPP study. J Urol. 2015 Apr; 193(4):1254-62. PMID: 25444992.
      View in: PubMed
    26. Strachan E, Poeschla B, Dansie E, Succop A, Chopko L, Afari N. Clinical and evoked pain, personality traits, and emotional states: can familial confounding explain the associations? J Psychosom Res. 2015 Jan; 78(1):58-63. PMID: 25311873; PMCID: PMC4272603.
    27. Landis JR, Williams DA, Lucia MS, Clauw DJ, Naliboff BD, Robinson NA, van Bokhoven A, Sutcliffe S, Schaeffer AJ, Rodriguez LV, Mayer EA, Lai HH, Krieger JN, Kreder KJ, Afari N, Andriole GL, Bradley CS, Griffith JW, Klumpp DJ, Hong BA, Lutgendorf SK, Buchwald D, Yang CC, Mackey S, Pontari MA, Hanno P, Kusek JW, Mullins C, Clemens JQ. The MAPP research network: design, patient characterization and operations. BMC Urol. 2014 Aug 01; 14:58. PMID: 25085119; PMCID: PMC4126395.
    28. Godfrey KM, Strachan E, Dansie E, Crofford LJ, Buchwald D, Goldberg J, Poeschla B, Succop A, Noonan C, Afari N. Salivary cortisol and cold pain sensitivity in female twins. Ann Behav Med. 2014 Apr; 47(2):180-8. PMID: 23955075.
      View in: PubMed
    29. Afari N, Ahumada SM, Wright LJ, Mostoufi S, Golnari G, Reis V, Cuneo JG. Psychological trauma and functional somatic syndromes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychosom Med. 2014 Jan; 76(1):2-11. PMID: 24336429; PMCID: PMC3894419.
    30. Godfrey KM, Lindamer LA, Mostoufi S, Afari N. Posttraumatic stress disorder and health: a preliminary study of group differences in health and health behaviors. Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2013 Sep 26; 12(1):30. PMID: 24070007; PMCID: PMC3852011.
    31. Mostoufi SM, Strachan E, Chopko L, Succop A, Martinez B, Ahumada SM, Afari N. Adverse childhood experiences, health perception, and the role of shared familial factors in adult twins. Child Abuse Negl. 2013 Nov; 37(11):910-6. PMID: 23876862; PMCID: PMC4108345.
    32. Poeschla B, Strachan E, Dansie E, Buchwald DS, Afari N. Chronic fatigue and personality: a twin study of causal pathways and shared liabilities. Ann Behav Med. 2013 Jun; 45(3):289-98. PMID: 23361410.
      View in: PubMed
    33. Schur E, Godfrey KM, Dansie E, Buchwald D, Pagoto S, Afari N. Can familial factors account for the association of body mass index with poor mental health in men or women? Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2013 Sep-Oct; 35(5):502-7. PMID: 23664570; PMCID: PMC3775952.
    34. Moeller-Bertram T, Afari N, Mostoufi S, Fink DS, Johnson Wright L, Baker DG. Specific pain complaints in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans screening positive for post-traumatic stress disorder. Psychosomatics. 2014 Mar-Apr; 55(2):172-8. PMID: 23473449.
      View in: PubMed
    35. Bullones Rodríguez MÁ, Afari N, Buchwald DS. Evidence for overlap between urological and nonurological unexplained clinical conditions. J Urol. 2013 Jan; 189(1 Suppl):S66-74. PMID: 23234637.
      View in: PubMed
    36. Strachan E, Hunt C, Afari N, Duncan G, Noonan C, Schur E, Watson N, Goldberg J, Buchwald D. University of Washington Twin Registry: poised for the next generation of twin research. Twin Res Hum Genet. 2013 Feb; 16(1):455-62. PMID: 23218177; PMCID: PMC4505360.
    37. Dansie EJ, Heppner P, Furberg H, Goldberg J, Buchwald D, Afari N. The comorbidity of self-reported chronic fatigue syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, and traumatic symptoms. Psychosomatics. 2012 May-Jun; 53(3):250-7. PMID: 22296866; PMCID: PMC3343192.
    38. Plesh O, Noonan C, Buchwald DS, Goldberg J, Afari N. Temporomandibular disorder-type pain and migraine headache in women: a preliminary twin study. J Orofac Pain. 2012; 26(2):91-8. PMID: 22558608.
      View in: PubMed
    39. Afari N, Mostoufi S, Noonan C, Poeschla B, Succop A, Chopko L, Strachan E. C-reactive protein and pain sensitivity: findings from female twins. Ann Behav Med. 2011 Oct; 42(2):277-83. PMID: 21785898.
      View in: PubMed
    40. Dansie EJ, Furberg H, Afari N, Buchwald D, Edwards K, Goldberg J, Schur E, Sullivan PF. Conditions comorbid with chronic fatigue in a population-based sample. Psychosomatics. 2012 Jan-Feb; 53(1):44-50. PMID: 22221720; PMCID: PMC3254018.
    41. Mostoufi SM, Afari N, Ahumada SM, Reis V, Wetherell JL. Health and distress predictors of heart rate variability in fibromyalgia and other forms of chronic pain. J Psychosom Res. 2012 Jan; 72(1):39-44. PMID: 22200521.
      View in: PubMed
    42. Wetherell JL, Afari N, Rutledge T, Sorrell JT, Stoddard JA, Petkus AJ, Solomon BC, Lehman DH, Liu L, Lang AJ, Atkinson JH. A randomized, controlled trial of acceptance and commitment therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy for chronic pain. Pain. 2011 Sep; 152(9):2098-107. PMID: 21683527.
      View in: PubMed
    43. Kremen WS, Koenen KC, Afari N, Lyons MJ. Twin studies of posttraumatic stress disorder: differentiating vulnerability factors from sequelae. Neuropharmacology. 2012 Feb; 62(2):647-53. PMID: 21443892; PMCID: PMC3153636.
    44. Wetherell JL, Afari N, Ayers CR, Stoddard JA, Ruberg J, Sorrell JT, Liu L, Petkus AJ, Thorp SR, Kraft A, Patterson TL. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for generalized anxiety disorder in older adults: a preliminary report. Behav Ther. 2011 Mar; 42(1):127-34. PMID: 21292059; PMCID: PMC3496779.
    45. Afari N, Noonan C, Goldberg J, Roy-Byrne P, Schur E, Golnari G, Buchwald D. Depression and obesity: do shared genes explain the relationship? Depress Anxiety. 2010 Sep; 27(9):799-806. PMID: 20821799; PMCID: PMC2949065.
    46. Nunnink SE, Goldwaser G, Afari N, Nievergelt CM, Baker DG. The role of emotional numbing in sexual functioning among veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Mil Med. 2010 Jun; 175(6):424-8. PMID: 20572475.
      View in: PubMed
    47. Wright LJ, Schur E, Noonan C, Ahumada S, Buchwald D, Afari N. Chronic pain, overweight, and obesity: findings from a community-based twin registry. J Pain. 2010 Jul; 11(7):628-35. PMID: 20338816; PMCID: PMC2892725.
    48. Wright LJ, Noonan C, Ahumada S, Rodríguez MA, Buchwald D, Afari N. Psychological distress in twins with urological symptoms. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2010 May-Jun; 32(3):262-7. PMID: 20430229; PMCID: PMC2862233.
    49. Smith MS, Buchwald DS, Bogart A, Goldberg J, Smith WR, Afari N. Adolescent offspring of mothers with chronic fatigue syndrome. J Adolesc Health. 2010 Mar; 46(3):284-91. PMID: 20159507; PMCID: PMC2824612.
    50. Afari N, Harder LH, Madra NJ, Heppner PS, Moeller-Bertram T, King C, Baker DG. PTSD, combat injury, and headache in Veterans Returning from Iraq/Afghanistan. Headache. 2009 Oct; 49(9):1267-76. PMID: 19788469.
      View in: PubMed
    51. Rodríguez MA, Afari N, Buchwald DS. Evidence for overlap between urological and nonurological unexplained clinical conditions. J Urol. 2009 Nov; 182(5):2123-31. PMID: 19758633; PMCID: PMC2957306.
    52. Schmaling KB, Afari N, Hops H, Barnhart S, Buchwald D. Change in airflow among patients with asthma discussing relationship problems with their partners. J Health Psychol. 2009 Sep; 14(6):715-20. PMID: 19687108.
      View in: PubMed
    53. Baker DG, Heppner P, Afari N, Nunnink S, Kilmer M, Simmons A, Harder L, Bosse B. Trauma exposure, branch of service, and physical injury in relation to mental health among U.S. veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Mil Med. 2009 Aug; 174(8):773-8. PMID: 19743729.
      View in: PubMed
    54. Schur EA, Noonan C, Buchwald D, Goldberg J, Afari N. A twin study of depression and migraine: evidence for a shared genetic vulnerability. Headache. 2009 Nov-Dec; 49(10):1493-502. PMID: 19438739; PMCID: PMC2853741.
    55. Johnson Wright L, Afari N, Zautra A. The illness uncertainty concept: a review. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2009 Apr; 13(2):133-8. PMID: 19272279.
      View in: PubMed
    56. Heppner PS, Crawford EF, Haji UA, Afari N, Hauger RL, Dashevsky BA, Horn PS, Nunnink SE, Baker DG. The association of posttraumatic stress disorder and metabolic syndrome: a study of increased health risk in veterans. BMC Med. 2009 Jan 09; 7:1. PMID: 19134183; PMCID: PMC2647553.
    57. Afari N, Wen Y, Buchwald D, Goldberg J, Plesh O. Are post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and temporomandibular pain associated? Findings from a community-based twin registry. J Orofac Pain. 2008; 22(1):41-9. PMID: 18351033; PMCID: PMC2950007.
    58. Schur E, Afari N, Goldberg J, Buchwald D, Sullivan PF. Twin analyses of fatigue. Twin Res Hum Genet. 2007 Oct; 10(5):729-33. PMID: 17903114; PMCID: PMC2953372.
    59. Schur EA, Afari N, Furberg H, Olarte M, Goldberg J, Sullivan PF, Buchwald D. Feeling bad in more ways than one: comorbidity patterns of medically unexplained and psychiatric conditions. J Gen Intern Med. 2007 Jun; 22(6):818-21. PMID: 17503107; PMCID: PMC2219854.
    60. Ullrich PM, Afari N, Jacobsen C, Goldberg J, Buchwald D. Cold pressor pain sensitivity in monozygotic twins discordant for chronic fatigue syndrome. Pain Med. 2007 Apr; 8(3):216-22. PMID: 17371408; PMCID: PMC2957294.
    61. Afari N, Noonan C, Goldberg J, Edwards K, Gadepalli K, Osterman B, Evanoff C, Buchwald D. University of Washington Twin Registry: construction and characteristics of a community-based twin registry. Twin Res Hum Genet. 2006 Dec; 9(6):1023-9. PMID: 17254446; PMCID: PMC2953369.
    62. Roy-Byrne PP, Noonan C, Afari N, Buchwald D, Goldberg J. Is the association between posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and poor health due to a common familial or genetic factor? Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2006 Sep-Oct; 28(5):408-13. PMID: 16950376; PMCID: PMC2953376.
    63. Arguelles LM, Afari N, Buchwald DS, Clauw DJ, Furner S, Goldberg J. A twin study of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and chronic widespread pain. Pain. 2006 Sep; 124(1-2):150-7. PMID: 16701954; PMCID: PMC2957179.
    64. Hallstrand TS, Fischer ME, Wurfel MM, Afari N, Buchwald D, Goldberg J. Genetic pleiotropy between asthma and obesity in a community-based sample of twins. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005 Dec; 116(6):1235-41. PMID: 16337451; PMCID: PMC2014783.
    65. Furberg H, Olarte M, Afari N, Goldberg J, Buchwald D, Sullivan PF. The prevalence of self-reported chronic fatigue in a U.S. twin registry. J Psychosom Res. 2005 Nov; 59(5):283-90. PMID: 16253618; PMCID: PMC2949064.
    66. Afari N, Buchwald D. Chronic fatigue syndrome: a review. Am J Psychiatry. 2003 Feb; 160(2):221-36. PMID: 12562565.
      View in: PubMed
    67. Giardino ND, Schmaling KB, Afari N. Relationship satisfaction moderates the association between catastrophic cognitions and asthma symptoms. J Asthma. 2002 Dec; 39(8):749-56. PMID: 12507196.
      View in: PubMed
    68. Schmaling KB, McKnight PE, Afari N. A prospective study of the relationship of mood and stress to pulmonary function among patients with asthma. J Asthma. 2002 Sep; 39(6):501-10. PMID: 12375709.
      View in: PubMed
    69. Roy-Byrne P, Afari N, Ashton S, Fischer M, Goldberg J, Buchwald D. Chronic fatigue and anxiety/depression: a twin study. Br J Psychiatry. 2002 Jan; 180:29-34. PMID: 11772848.
      View in: PubMed
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