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Lee Ellington, Ph.D.

Lee Ellington

Hunstman Cancer Institute Investigator, Huntsman Cancer Institute
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Psychology Department
Adjunct Professor, Communication
Professor, College Of Nursing

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information


Research Interests

Lee Ellington is a tenured Associate Professor at the College of Nursing, a clinical psychologist, and Huntsman Cancer Institute Investigator. She teaches in the nursing doctoral program.

Dr. Ellington has an interdisciplinary program of research in patient-provider communication. She has studied interpersonal health communication in a range of health care contexts and among diverse groups of health care providers, including family practice, genetic counseling, poison control, and hospice home care.  Her focus is on the communication mechanisms in patient-provider interactions which predict adherence, coping, health behaviors, psychosocial adjustment. In particular, she is interested in provider communication which facilitates the cognitive and emotional processing of health information.

Currently, Dr. Ellington’s primary focus is on the study of home-based family caregivers and their communication with hospice nurses.  In a series of extramurally (P01CA138317, PI Mooney; Project Leader, Ellington; ACSPEP 11-165-01-PCSM, PI Ellington) and intramurally funded projects, her team is examining 1) the change in physical, psychological, and spiritual nurse-caregiver communication over the course of home-based hospice visits, 2) the nature of family caregiver-nurse reciprocity in communication, and 3) the development of participant-informed, theoretically-guided interventions for caregivers and hospice nurses. She is expanding this research to the communication of hospice and palliative care teams with families.



  • B.A., Sociology, University of Cincinnati
  • M.S., Psychology Department, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Psychology Internship (APA approved), Psychology, Veteran’s Administration Medical Center; Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Ph.D., Psychology Department-Clinical Psychology, University of Utah
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Family and Preventive Medicine and University Counseling Center , University of Utah

Selected Publications

Reblin M, Clayton MF, Xu J, Hulett JM, Latimer S, Donaldson GW & Ellington L (2016). Caregiver, patient, and nurse visit communication patterns in cancer home hospice. Psycho-oncology. In press, 12/01/2016.

Portman DG, Thirlwell S, Donovan KA, Alvero C, Gray JE, Holloway R & Ellington L (2016). Leveraging a Team Mental Model to Develop a Cancer Anorexia-Cachexia Syndrome Team. Journal of oncology practice. Vol. 12, 1046-1052. Published, 11/01/2016.

Gibson B, Butler J, Doyon K, Ellington L, Bray BE & Zeng Q (2016). Veterans Like Me: Formative evaluation of a patient decision aid design. Journal of biomedical informatics. In press, 09/01/2016.

Dingley CE, Clayton M, Lai D, Doyon K, Reblin M & Ellington L (2016). Caregiver Activation and Home Hospice Nurse Communication in Advanced Cancer Care. Cancer nursing. In press, 09/01/2016.

Towsley GL, Beck SL, Ellington L & Wong B (2016). Me & My Wishes: Lessons Learned From Prototyping Resident Centered Videos About Care Preferences. Journal of applied gerontology : the official journal of the Southern Gerontological Society. In press, 07/01/2016.

Reblin M, Donaldson G, Ellington L, Mooney K, Caserta M & Lund D (2016). Spouse cancer caregivers' burden and distress at entry to home hospice: The role of relationship quality. Journal of social and personal relationships. Vol. 33, 666-686. Published, 07/01/2016.

Reblin M, Clayton MF, John KK & Ellington L (2016). Addressing Methodological Challenges in Large Communication Data Sets: Collecting and Coding Longitudinal Interactions in Home Hospice Cancer Care. Health communication. Vol. 31, 789-97. Published, 05/01/2016.

Ellington L, Clayton MF, Reblin M, Cloyes K, Beck AC, Harrold JK, Harris P & Casarett D (2016). Interdisciplinary Team Care and Hospice Team Provider Visit Patterns during the Last Week of Life. Journal of palliative medicine. Vol. 19, 482-7. Published, 05/01/2016.

Himes DO, Clayton MF, Donaldson GW, Ellington L, Buys SS & Kinney AY (2016). Breast Cancer Risk Perceptions among Relatives of Women with Uninformative Negative BRCA1/2 Test Results: The Moderating Effect of the Amount of Shared Information. Journal of genetic counseling. Vol. 25, 258-69. Published, 03/01/2016.

Reblin, M., Donaldson, G., Ellington, L., Mooney, K., Caserta, M. & Lund, D. (in press). Spouse cancer caregivers at entry to home hospice: The role of relationship quality. Journal of Personal and Social Relationships.. In press, 01/2016.

Himes, D.O., Clayton, M. F., Donaldson, G., Ellington, L., Buys, S.S., Kinney, A.Y.; (under review). Breast Cancer Risk, Screening, and Communication with Primary Care Providers in Women from Families with Indeterminate BRCA1/2 Test Results. Cancer Nursing. Submitted, 12/2015.

Tabler, J., Utz, R. L., Ellington, L., Reblin, M., Caserta, M., Clayton, M., & Lund, D. (2015). Missed opportunity: Hospice and the family. Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care, 11 (3/4), 224-243. Received Best Paper Award for 2015.. Published, 12/2015.

Anderson, RA; Rothwell, E; Botkin, JR; Wong, B; Clayton, MF; Ellington, L. Newborn Screening False-Positives, Maternal Perceived Uncertainty And The Uncertainty In Screening Scale (UISS). (Under review). Journal of Community Genetics. Submitted, 11/2015.

Mooney, K., Ellington, L., Caserta, M., Lund, D., Donaldson, G., Clayton, M.F., Reblin, M., Berry, P.H., Utz, R., Supiano, K., Fuhrmann, H. & Wong, B. (under review). The Development and Conceptualization of a Team Science Program Project: The Cancer Caregiver IMPACT Study. Submitted, 11/2015.

Reblin, M., Clayton, M. F., John, K. K., & Ellington, L. (2015) Addressing methodological challenges in large communication datasets: Collecting and coding longitudinal interactions in home hospice cancer care. Health Communication. 18:1-9. Published, 11/2015.

Himes, D.O., Clayton, M.F., Donaldson, G.; Ellington, L.; Buys, S.S.; Kinney, A.Y.; (2015). Breast cancer risk perceptions among relatives of women with indeterminate negative BRCA1/2 test results: The moderating effect of the amount of shared information. Journal of Genetic Counseling. Epub ahead of print (DOI) 10.1007/s10897-015-9866-0. In press, 11/2015.


Last Updated: 6/12/23