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Ellyn Matthews, PhD, RN, AOCNS, CBSM

Associate Professor

Ellyn Matthews

Ellyn Matthews is an associate professor in the College of Nursing and an advanced oncology certified nurse specialist (AOCNS). She is certified by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in behavioral sleep medicine (CBSM). Her primary research focus is to understand symptom science and improve symptom management in populations with chronic illness with a focus on cancer patients. Specific areas of interest include interventions for sleep disturbance and psychosocial distress, among other symptoms, in a variety of cancer populations. In a recent randomized controlled trial, Matthews tested cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTI) compared to behavioral placebo therapy in breast cancer survivors following completion of primary cancer treatment (1K23 NR010507-01). In an extension of this research, she addressed the issues of adherence to CBTI in an American Nurses Foundation award (#2010-049) titled, “Motivational Enhancement to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in Women after Breast Cancer Treatment.” She has published articles and book chapters on topics including sleep disturbances in cancer survivors, critically ill hospitalized patients, and pregnant women; obstructive sleep apnea; and adherence to behavioral therapy.

Matthews has explored sleep disturbances in other populations. As the co-PI in a Colorado Center for Translational Research and Clinical Translational Research Center funded study, she extended her research to include sleep patterns and stress indicators (e.g., salivary cortisol, perceived stress) of mothers and children with acute lymphocytic leukemia compared with matched controls. Matthews is the primary sponsor of a College of Nursing PhD student through a NIH/NINR National Research Service Award (NRSA). This NRSA research study will test internet-based therapy to improve sleep in rural breast cancer survivors, (PI, M. McCarthy; 1F31NR012097). Currently, she is the PI of the study, Sleep Disturbances in Veterans with Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury, at the Denver Veterans Administration Medical Center, VISN 19 Mental Illness Research Education Clinical Center (MIRECC). She is also a co-investigator of a VA Office of Rural Health funded study, Rural Women Veterans Psycho-education and Skill Building Retreat, which includes strategies to address sleep disturbances.  

Degree Awarding Institution Field of Study Graduation Date
PhD Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Newark, New Jersey, Nursing 2000
MSN Catholic University
Washington, D.C.,
Medical-Surgical Nursing 1979
BS Georgetown University
Washington, D.C.
College of Nursing
Nursing 1976
Title Organization Year
Dean's Teaching Award University of Colorado Denver, College of Nursing 2006
2002 Excellence in Cancer Patient Education Award National Cancer Institute, Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN) 2002
  1. Matthews, E. E., Neu, M., Cook, P. F., & King, N. (in press). Mother-child sleep patterns during maintenance therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia compared to healthy controls. Oncology Nursing Forum.
  2. Moore, C. M., Schmiege, S. J., & Matthews, E. E. (in press). Actigraphy and sleep diary measurements in breast cancer survivors: Discrepancy in selected sleep parameters. Behavioral Sleep Medicine.
  3. Berger, A. M., Desaulniers, G., Matthews, E., Otte, J., & Page, M. (in press). Sleep-wake disturbances. In M. Irwin & L. Johnson (Eds.), Putting evidence into practice. Pittsburgh, PA: Oncology Nursing Society.
  4. Neu, M., Matthews, E. E., & King, N. (Epub ahead of print, January 2014). Exploring sleep-wake experiences of mothers during maintenance therapy therapy for their child's lymphoblastic leukemia. Journal of Pediatric Nursing. doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2014.01.002
  5. Neu, M., Matthews, E. E., King, N., Cook, P. F., & Laudenslager, M. L. (2014). Anxiety, depression, stress, and cortisol levels in mothers of children undergoing maintenance therapy for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing, 31(2), 104-113. doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2014.01.002
  6. Matthews, E., Berger, A. M., Schmiege, S. J., Cook, P. F., McCarthy, M. S., Moore, C. M., & Aloia, M. S. (2014). Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia outcomes in women after primary breast cancer treatment: A randomized controlled trial. Oncology Nursing Forum, 41(3), 241-253. doi: 10.1188/14.ONF.41-03AP
  7. Matthews, E., Berger, A. M., & Shade, M. (2013). Online Continuing Education Course Symptom Management: Sleep-Wake Disturbance Module. Oncology Nursing Society.
  8. Matthews, E., Arnedt, J. T., McCarthy, M. S., Cuddihy, L. J., & Aloia, M. S. (2013). Adherence to cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia: A systematic review. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 17(6), 453-464. doi: 10.1080/15402002.2012.666220.
  9. Hastings-Tolsma, M., Matthews, E. E., Nelson, J., & Schmiege, S. J. (2013). Comparative Effectiveness Research: Nursing Science and Health Care Delivery, Western Journal of Nursing Research, 35(6), 683-702. doi: 10.1177/0193945912474501.
  10. Nodine, P. & Matthews, E. (2013). Common prenatal sleep disorders: Management strategies and pregnancy outcomes. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health, 58(4), 368-377. Epub 2013 July 15. doi: 10.1111/jmwh.12004.
  11. Matthews, E. & Berger, A.M. (2013). Sleep Disturbances. In C.H.Yarbro, D. Wujcik, & B.Gobel (Eds.), Cancer Symptom Management (4th edition). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.
  12. McCarthy, M. S. & Matthews, E. E. (2012). [Review of the book Sleep Disorders and Sleep Promotion in Nursing Practice by Springer Publishing Company] Nurse Education in Practice, 12(5).
  13. Matthews, E.E., Schmiege, S.J., Cook, P.F., Berger, A.M., Aloia, M.S. (2012). Adherence to cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTI) among women following primary breast cancer treatment: A pilot study, Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 10 (3), 1-13. doi: 10.1080/15402002.2012.666220.
  14. Mccargue, D., Sankaranarayanan, J., Visovsky, C. G., Matthews, E. E., Highland, K. B., & Berger, A.(2012). Predictors of adherence to a behavioral therapy sleep intervention. Supportive Care in Cancer, 20 (2):245-52.
  15. Matthews, E. E., Schmiege, S. J., Cook, P., Sousa, K. H. (2011). Breast cancer and symptom clusters during radiotherapy. Cancer Nursing, 35 (2), E1.
  16. Jankowski , C & Matthews, E.E., (2011). Exercise guidelines for adults with cancer: a vital role in survivorship, Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 15 (6), 683-686.
  17. Matthews, E.E., (2011). Sleep disturbances and fatigue in critically ill patients. AACN Advance Care Journal, 22 (3), 201-224.
  18. Cook, P.F., Sousa, K., Matthews, E.E., Meek, P., Kwong, J. (2011). Patterns of symptom clusters with HIV disease progression. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management,42 (1), 12-23.
  19. Matthews, E.E., and Aloia, M.S. (2011), Cognitive recovery following positive airway pressure (PAP) treatment in sleep apnea. Progress in Brain Research, 190, 71-88.
  20. Matthews, E., Cook, P., Terada, M., & Aloia, M. (2010). Randomizing research participants: Promoting balance and concealment in small samples. Research in Nursing and Health, 33, 243-253.
  21. Matthews, E., & Aloia, M. (2009).Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Treatment and Adherence in Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Sleep Medicine Clinics, 4 (4).
  22. Matthews, E., & Cook, P. (2009). Relationships Among Optimism, Well-Being, Self-Transcendence, Coping, and Social Support In Women During Treatment for Breast Cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 18,716-726.  doi: 10.1002/pon.1461
  23. Matthews, E., Armstrong, G., & Spencer, T. (2008). Pertussis infection in a baccalaureate nursing program: Clinical implications, emerging issues, and recommendations. The Journal Of Continuing Education in Nursing, 39 (9), 419-426.
  24. Matthews, E. (2007). Family Caregiving. In M. Langhorne, J. Fulton, & S. Otto (Eds.), OncologyNursing (5th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
  25. Matthews, E. (2007). Sleep-Wake Disturbances. In R. Fink & R. Gates (Eds.), Oncology Nursing Secrets.St. Louis :Elsevier
  26. Matthews, E. (2007). Oncological Disorders. In L. A. Silvestri (Ed.), Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN® Examination (4th ed.) .St. Louis: Elsevier
  27. Matthews, E. (2007). Family caregiving. In M. Langhorne, J. Fulton, & S. Otto (Eds.), Oncology nursing (5th ed., pp. 620-647). St Louis: Mosby.
  28. Matthews, E., Snell, K., & Coates, H. (2006). Intra-arterial chemotherapy for limb preservation in patients with osteosarcoma: Nursing implications. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 10(5), 581-589.
  • PI, Sleep Disturbances in Veterans with Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury, Denver Veterans Administration medical Center, VISN 19 Mental Illness Research Education Clinical Center (MIRECC) (8/15/13-present)
  • Co-PI, Rural Women Veterans Psycho-education and Skill Building Retreat, Veterans Administration Office of Rural Health (8/15/13-present)
  • Primary Sponsor, Internet-based Therapy to Improve Sleep in Rural Breast Cancer Survivors, NIH/NINR, (1F31NR012097) (9/23/10-9/22/14).
  • PI, Motivational Enhancement to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in Women after Breast Cancer Treatment, American Nurses Foundation #2010-049 (9/1/10 - 8/31/12).
  • Co-PI with Madalynn Neu, Caregiver-Child Sleep Patterns And Distress During Maintenance Therapy For Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI).(2/2009-1/2010)
  • Co-PI with Madalynn Neu, Caregiver-Child Sleep Patterns And Distress During Maintenance Therapy For Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, Clinical Translational Research Center (CTRC). (2/2009 - 1/2010)
  • PI, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Insomnia after Breast Cancer Treatment, NIH/NINR, (1K23 NR010507-01).(12/2007-5/2010)
  • P.I., Sleep Management to Reduce Sleep Disturbances during Melanoma Treatment: A Pilot Feasibility Study, funded by The UCD College of Nursing, (2005- 2006)
  • P.I., Optimism and Emotional Well-Being in Women with Breast Cancer: The Role of Mediators, Oncology Nursing Foundation Research Award (1998-2000)