Communication, Health Equity & Engagement Research (CHEER)

Areas of Interest

Health Communication • Health Equity • Cancer Survivors & Caregivers

Central to my training and research has been the drive to understand key factors that influence how people communicate about cancer and the actions that result from this communication with a focus on eliminating the influence that health disparities have in shaping and limiting decision options. My program of research focuses on promoting informed and shared decision making through effective communication and measuring and evaluating sociocultural and health disparities that influence patient information needs, knowledge, attitudes and behaviors.

Current Studies

Research Updates

Latest News

  • Lillian Cai has been awarded the Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Fellowship from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry at VCU. She will work with Dr. Thomson on a project examining cancer caregiver burden in the wake of COVID-19

  • CONGRATULATIONS Jackie Knight-Wilt on the successful dissertation proposal defense!

Contact Information

e-mail: maria.thomson@vcuhealth.org830 East Main Street, 4th FloorRichmond, VA 23219
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New Pubs in Addressing Rural Cancer and Chronic Illness

    • Wright MS, Brewer AE, Wells M, Preston MA, Thomson MD, Sheppard VB. Community Recommendations for Enhanced Regional Survivorship Outcomes: A Case for Social and Structural Determinants of Health from a U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designated Cancer Center. Journal of Health Research. 2022

New Pubs in Cancer Family Caregivers

    • Thomson MD, Genderson MW, Siminoff LA. Cancer patient and Caregiver Communication about Economic Concerns and the Effect on Patient and Caregiver Partners’ Perceptions of Family Functioning. Journal of Cancer Survivorship. In Press.

    • Lanoye A, *Cai L, Thomson MD, Hong S. Use of photo methods in research studies with cancer survivors and their caregivers: A scoping review. Journal of Cancer Survivorship. 2022.