Current Projects



caring logo

CARING (Caregiver Assistance through Resources, Information, and Navigation Guidance) is a research study funded by the National Cancer Institute to test an intervention for family caregivers of patients with primary brain tumor. Our goal is to help caregivers connect to important resources and feel better supported.


lynccs logo

LYNCCS (Looking at Young adults’ Networks for Cancer & Caregiving Support) is a research study that examines how Millennial patients and their caregivers use social support. Our goal is to determine the support needs for special populations of cancer patients and their families.


The Hospice Today Project

The Hospice Today Project is a research study funded by the National Institutes of Health that examines how members of an entire hospice care team communicate with hospice families. We hope this project will lead to practical recommendations for better communication with hospice families.



Previous Projects


Home Interaction Study

The Home Interaction Study was a mentored research study funded by the American Cancer Society. In this study, we were interested in how couples dealing with a cancer diagnosis interacted at home.

One major finding from this study was that couples varied a lot on how much they talked about cancer, but, on average, couples did not discuss cancer very much at home. While it is important to talk about cancer, this study tells us that for many couples, life goes on.

  • Reblin, M., Sutton, S.K., Vadaparampil, S.T., Heyman, R.E. & Ellington, L. (2019). Behind closed doors: How advanced cancer couples communicate at home. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 37(2), 228-241. doi: 10.1080/07347332.2018.1508535. PubMed PMID: 30396616.
  • Reblin, M., Heyman, R.E., Ellington, L., Baucom, B.R.W., Georgiou, P.G. & Vadaparampil, S.T. (2018). Everyday couples’ communication research: Overcoming methodological barriers with technology. Patient Education and Counseling, 101(3), 551-556. pii: S0738-3991(17)30598-0. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2017.10.019. PMID: 29111310



The electronic Social Network Assessment Program (eSNAP) study was a research project funded by the National Cancer Institute. This project helped us to develop a cognitive visualization tool for family caregivers’ social support networks.

One major finding from this study was that family caregivers’ social networks vary. Some have extensive support, while others have very little support. Social support is an important aspect to reducing caregiver burden. 

  • Ketcher, D. & Reblin, M. (2019). Social networks of caregivers of patients with primary malignant brain tumor. Psychology Health & Medicine.
  • Reblin, M., Ketcher, D., Forsyth, P., Mendivil, E., Kane, L., Pok, J., Meyer, M., Wu, Y.P. & Agutter, J. (2018). Feasibility of implementing an electronic social support and resource visualization tool for caregivers in a neuro-oncology clinic. Supportive Care in Cancer, 26(12), 4199-4206. doi: 10.1007/s00520-018-4293-z. PMID: 29948397. PMCID: PMC6204082.



The Nurse-Caregiver Communication Study was one of the Partners in Hospice Care studies funded together by the National Institutes of Health. The goal of this study was to explore how home hospice nurses communicate with family caregivers.

This study was one of the first to describe how hospice nurses and caregivers communicate in the home over time. Our findings help describe the experience of family caregivers at end of life.

  • Reblin, M., Baucom, B.R.W., Clayton, M.F., Utz, R., Caserta, M., Lund, D., Mooney, K. & Ellington, L. (2019). Communication of emotion in home hospice cancer care: Implications for spouse caregiver depression into bereavement. Psycho-Oncology, 28(5), 1102-1109. doi: 10.1002/pon.5064. PMID: 30883985
  • Ellington, L., Clayton, M.F., Reblin, M., Donaldson, G., & Latimer, S. (2018). Communication among cancer patients, caregivers, and hospice nurses: Content, process and change over time. Patient Education and Counseling, 101(3), 414-421. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2017.09.013. PMID: 28964559. PMCID: PMC5857410.
  • Clayton, M.F., Hulett, J., Kaur, K., Reblin, M., Wilson, A. & Ellington, L. (2017). Nursing support of home hospice caregivers on the day of cancer patient death. Oncology Nursing Forum, 44(4), 457-464. doi: 10.1188/17.ONF.457-464. PMID: 28632241 PMCID: PMC5480962