Lee Ann Johnson, PhD, RN, earned a BA in psychology, with an emphasis on experimental psychology and neuroscience, and English from the University of Mississippi Sally McDonnel Barksdale Honors College. After a Fulbright Scholarship took her to Malaysia, she earned an MSN in psychiatric-mental health nursing and PhD in nursing science from Vanderbilt University. Prior to becoming a faculty member at UVA, she worked in head and neck cancer research at Vanderbilt and for the Oncology Nursing Society.

Johnson’s research is focused on palliative and end-of-life care outcomes in individuals with advanced lung cancer, and the stigma associated with the diagnosis. As a PI, she has received funding from the American Cancer Society, the Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation, and the Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina. Johnson's specific work examines health disparities, especially as they relate to rural health care, and health and treatment outcomes in those who have a life-limiting diagnosis of lung cancer.

Honors and Awards

  • Scholar-Teacher Award, East Carolina University
  • Nightingale Award, Vanderbilt University
  • Phi Beta Kappa, University of Mississippi

Research Focus

Reducing palliative care disparities in rural residents with advanced cancer

Recent Grants

  • Planting the Seeds: A Community-based Palliative Care Model for Latinos with Advanced Cancer, Principal Investigator, Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation (2020-2021)
  • A Comparative Analysis of Lung Cancer Treatment in a Local and National Sample with Lung Cancer, Principal Investigator, Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina (2019-2020)

Teaching Focus

Quantitative methods


Advance Online Publications

Catlett, L. & Johnson, L.A. (2023). Disparities in advance directive documentation for rural-dwelling persons with lung cancer. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Advance online publication.

Journal Articles

Parajuli, J., Berish, D., Jao, Y., Liao, Y., Johnson, L.A., Walsh, A. (2023). Prevalence and health outcomes in individuals with comorbid cancer and dementia: A longitudinal analysis from the HRS study. Aging and Mental Health, 27(2), 317-325.

Johnson, L. A., Briley, P., Bolin, L. P., Kitko, L., & Ellis, C. (2022). Disparities in comorbidities in lung cancer: Findings from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Cancer Nursing, 45(6), E883-889.

Johnson, L. A., Melendez, C., & Larson, K. (2022). Using participatory action research to sustain palliative care knowledge and readiness among Latino community leaders. American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine, 39(5), 511-515.

Davis, S. P., Crane, P. B., Bolin, L., & Johnson, L. A. (2022). An integrative review of physical activity in adults with inflammatory bowel disease. Intestinal Research, 20(1), 43-52.

Larson, K. L., Dominado, G. D., Maldonado, M. F., & Johnson, L. A. (2022). Call the rezadora: Aiding Latino families at the end of life. Hispanic Health Care International, 20(2), 147-155.

Larson, K. L., Mathews, H. F., Moye, J. P., Congema, M. R., Hoffman, S. J., Murrieta, K. M., & Johnson, L. A. (2021). Four kinds of hard: An understanding of cancer and death among Latino community leaders. Global Qualitative Nursing Research, 8, 1-11.

Johnson, L. A , Melendez, C., Larson, K., Moye, J., Schreier, A. M., & Ellis, C. (2021). Using demographics to predict palliative care access in inpatient facilities in rural North Carolina. The Journal of Rural Health, 37, 412-416.

Johnson, L. A., Bell, C., Ridner, S., & Murphy, B. (2021). Healthcare professionals' perceived barriers to effective cancer pain management in the home hospice setting: Is dying at home really best? Journal of Death and Dying, 83(3), 587-600.

Johnson, L. A., Swanson, M., & Schreier, A. M. (2020). Dimensions of distress in lung cancer. Oncology Nursing Forum, 47(6), 732-738.

Schreier, A. M., Johnson, L. A., Vohra, N. A., Muzaffar, M., & Kyle, B. (2019). Post-treatment symptoms of pain, anxiety, sleep disturbance and fatigue in breast cancer survivors. Pain Management Nursing, 20(2), 146-151.

Johnson, L. A., Schreier, A. M., Swanson, M., Moye, J. P., & Ridner, S. H. (2019). Stigma and quality of life in patients with advanced lung cancer. Oncology Nursing Forum, 46(3), 318-328.

Johnson, L. A., Blew. A., & Schreier, A. M. (2019). Health disparities in hospice utilization and length of stay in a diverse population with lung cancer. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 36(6), 513-518.

Johnson, L. A., Dias, N., Clarkson, G., & Schreier, A. M. (2019). Social media as a recruitment tool: Can a diverse sample of bereaved parents be reached? Applied Nursing Research, 50(12), 151-201.