Lee Ellington, PhD

Research Interests

  • Provider/Client Communication
  • Cancer Clinical Genetics Communication
  • Expression of Emotion in Medical Settings
  • Clinical Health Psychology


  • English

Academic Information

  • Departments: Nursing - Professor
  • Divisions: Acute and Chronic Care
  • Cancer Center Programs: Cancer Control & Population Sciences

Academic Office Information

  • 801-585-9844
  • College of Nursing
    10 South 2000 East, Room: 545
    Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Academic Bio

Lee Ellington is a tenured Associate Professor in the College of Nursing, a clinical psychologist, and a teacher in the nursing doctoral program at the University of Utah. She is an investigator at the Huntsman Cancer Institute and a member of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences 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, cancer genetic counseling, poison control, and hospice home care for cancer patients. 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 of cancer patients and their communication with hospice nurses. 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.Ellington earned her master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her PhD from the University of Utah.

Education History

Type School Degree
Fellowship University of Utah Department of Family and Preventive Medicine and University Counseling Center
Family and Preventive Medicine
Doctoral Training University of Utah
Clinical Psychology
Internship Veteran's Administration Medical Center
Psychology Internship
Graduate Training University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Undergraduate University of Cincinnati

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Ellington L, Reblin M, Berry P, Giese-Davis J, Clayton MF (2013). Reflective research: supporting researchers engaged in analyzing end-of-life communication. Patient Educ Couns, 91(1), 126-8.
  2. Bellury L, Ellington L, Beck SL, Pett MA, Clark J, Stein K (2013). Older breast cancer survivors: can interaction analyses identify vulnerable subgroups? A report from the American Cancer Society Studies of Cancer Survivors. Oncol Nurs Forum, 40(4), 325-36.
  3. Ellington L, Cloyes K, Berry P, Thomas NT, Reblin M, Clayton MF (2013). Complexities for hospice nurses in supporting family caregivers: opinions from U.S. thought leaders. J Palliat Med, 16(9), 1013-9.
  4. Ellington L, Reblin M, Clayton MF, Berry P, Mooney K (2012). Hospice nurse communication with patients with cancer and their family caregivers. J Palliat Med, 15(3), 262-8.
  5. Bellury L, Pett MA, Ellington L, Beck SL, Clark JC, Stein KD (2012). The effect of aging and cancer on the symptom experience and physical function of elderly breast cancer survivors. Cancer, 118(24), 6171-8.
  6. Ponto JA, Ellington L, Mellon S, Beck SL (2010). Predictors of adjustment and growth in women with recurrent ovarian cancer. Oncol Nurs Forum, 37(3), 357-64.
  7. Sheldon LK, Ellington L, Barrett R, Dudley WN, Clayton MF, Rinaldi K (2009). Nurse responsiveness to cancer patient expressions of emotion. Patient Educ Couns, 76(1), 63-70.
  8. Wujcik D, Shyr Y, Li M, Clayton MF, Ellington L, Menon U, Mooney K (2009). Delay in diagnostic testing after abnormal mammography in low-income women. Oncol Nurs Forum, 36(6), 709-15.


  1. Bellury LM, Ellington L, Beck SL, Stein K, Pett M, Clark J (2011). Elderly cancer survivorship: an integrative review and conceptual framework. [Review]. Eur J Oncol Nurs, 15(3), 233-42.
  2. Quillin JM, Tracy K, Ancker JS, Mustian KM, Ellington L, Viswanath V, Miller SM (2009). Health care system approaches for cancer patient communication. [Review]. J Health Commun, 14 Suppl 1, 85-94.