Current Projects



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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.



Previous Projects


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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.

This study demonstrated the feasibility of our data collection methods. We also identified characteristics of young adult and LGBTQ+ cancer patient and caregiver social support networks

Feasibility, usability, and acceptability of personalized web-based assessment of social network and daily social support interactions over time. J Cancer Surviv. 2022 Aug;16(4):904-912. doi: 10.1007/s11764-021-01083-x. Epub 2022 Jan 22. PMID: 35064551; PMCID: PMC8782690.

Cloyes KG, Guo JW, Tennant KE, McCormick R, Mansfield KJ, Wawrzynski SE, Classen SC, Jones EC, Reblin M. Exploring Social Support Networks and Interactions of Young Adult and LGBTQIA+ Cancer Survivors and Care Partners. Front Oncol. 2022 Apr 8;12:852267. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2022.852267. PMID: 35463370; PMCID: PMC9033283.


The Hospice Today Project

The Hospice Today Project is a research study funded by the National Institutes of Health. We explore how characteristics of hospice cancer caregivers, including how work/employment, social network composition, and sexual orientation and gender identity, impact the caregiving experience, and develop new methods, including audio diaries.

Guo JW, Reblin M, Tay D, Ellington L, Beck AC, Cloyes KG. Patterns of stress and support in social support networks of in-home hospice cancer family caregivers. J Soc Pers Relat. 2021 Nov;38(11):3121-3141. doi: 10.1177/02654075211024743. Epub 2021 Jun 16. PMID: 34898795; PMCID: PMC8664070.

Cloyes KG, Thomas Hebdon MC, Vega M, Rosenkranz SJ, Tay D, Reblin M, Mooney K, Ellington L. Home Hospice Family Caregivers' Use of Audio Diaries and Reported Prevalence of Patient and Caregiver Symptoms. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2023 Mar;65(3):183-192. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2022.11.023. Epub 2022 Dec 7. PMID: 36493980; PMCID: PMC9940448.

Xu J, Hebdon M, Beck A, Cloyes KG, Mooney K, Reblin M, Tay D, Appiah EO, Ellington L. Moderating Effect of Work on Burden and Hospice Family Caregiver Well-Being. J Palliat Med. 2023 Feb 17. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2022.0395. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36799950.

Cloyes KG, Reynaga M, Vega M, Thomas Hebdon MC, Thompson C, Rosenkranz SJ, Tay D, Reblin M, Ellington L. The Burden of having to Wonder: Hospice Caregiving Experiences of LGBTQ+ Cancer Family Caregivers. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2023 Feb 23:10499091231159089. doi: 10.1177/10499091231159089. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36822189.

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