Susan C. McMillan, PhD, RN, FAAN

Where You Are:
Susan C. McMillan, PhD, RN, FAAN

"Dr. McMillan studies symptom assessment and management, and quality of life of cancer patients to develop clinically relevant evaluation tools for nurses."

Office  (813) 745-9188

Education And Training
  • MS, University of South Florida, 1984 - Nursing
  • PhD, University of South Florida, 1983 - Measurement
  • MEd, University of North Florida, 1974 - Adult Education


Dr. McMillan's research focuses on symptom assessment and management and quality of life in persons with cancer. She has developed clinically relevant tools that nurses may use in assessing patient symptoms. The Constipation Assessment Scale, for example, has been widely used both nationally and internationally to improve assessment and management of opiate-induced constipation in persons with cancer. It has been translated into Italian, Turkish, and Chinese. Dr. McMillan recently completed a pain management study at the two local veterans hospitals in which pain resource nurses provided the intervention for staff nurses working with inpatients with cancer. Those data have been analyzed and the papers are being written. Dr. McMillan and her colleagues are now in the process of analyzing data from their hospice caregiver intervention study. The purpose of that project was to teach a psychoeducational intervention called COPE to caregivers of hospice patients with cancer with the goal of improving symptom management for patients and improving quality of life for both patients and caregivers. That study included the Hospice Quality of Life Index developed by Dr. McMillan. The index has been translated into Japanese and Chinese. Currently, Dr. McMillan and her colleagues have a project in for review at NIH that focuses on use of systematic assessment to improve hospice outcomes.

  • Matthie N, Jenerette C, McMillan S. Role of Self-Care in Sickle Cell Disease. Pain Manag Nurs. 2014 Oct. Pubmedid: 25439112.
  • Matthie N, McMillan SC. Pain: a descriptive study in patients with cancer. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2014 Apr;18(2):205-210. Pubmedid: 24675255.
  • Kip KE, Rosenzweig L, Hernandez DF, Shuman A, Diamond DM, Girling SA, Sullivan KL, Wittenberg T, Witt AM, Lengacher CA, Anderson B, McMillan SC. Accelerated Resolution Therapy for treatment of pain secondary to symptoms of combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder. Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2014;5. Pubmedid: 24959325. Pmcid: PMC4014659.
  • Aguado Loi CX, Baldwin JA, McDermott RJ, McMillan S, Martinez Tyson D, Yampolskaya S, Vandeweerd C. Risk factors associated with increased depressive symptoms among Latinas diagnosed with breast cancer within 5?years of survivorship. Psychooncology. 2013 Dec;22(12):2779-2788. Pubmedid: 24000126.
  • Krok J, Baker T, McMillan S. Sexual activity and body image: examining gender variability and the influence of psychological distress in cancer patients. J Gend Stud. 2013 Oct;22(4):409-422. Pubmedid: 24778465. Pmcid: PMC3999973.
  • Allen JY, Haley WE, Small BJ, Schonwetter RS, McMillan SC. Bereavement among hospice caregivers of cancer patients one year following loss: predictors of grief, complicated grief, and symptoms of depression. J Palliat Med. 2013 Jul;16(7):745-751. Pubmedid: 23697816. Pmcid: PMC3684105.
  • McMillan SC, Small BJ, Haley WE, Zambroski C, Buck HG. The COPE Intervention for Caregivers of Patients with Heart Failure: An Adapted Intervention. J Hosp Palliat Nurs. 2013 Jun;15(4). Pubmedid: 24288455.
  • Buck HG, Zambroski CH, Garrison C, McMillan SC. "Everything They Were Discussing, We Were Already Doing": Hospice Heart Failure Caregivers Reflect on a Palliative Caregiving Intervention. J Hosp Palliat Nurs. 2013 Jun;15(4):218-224. Pubmedid: 23853527.
  • McMillan SC, Tofthagen C, Small B, Karver S, Craig D. Trajectory of medication-induced constipation in patients with cancer. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2013 May;40(3):E92-E100. Pubmedid: 23615153.
  • Wilson J, McMillan S. Symptoms Experienced by Heart Failure Patients in Hospice Care. J Hosp Palliat Nurs. 2013 Feb;15(1):13-21. Pubmedid: 23853525.
  • Dal Molin A, McMillan SC, Zenerino F, Rattone V, Grubich S, Guazzini A, Rasero L. Validity and reliability of the Italian Constipation Assessment Scale. Int J Palliat Nurs. 2012 Jul;18(7):321-325. Pubmedid: 22885963.
  • Buck HG, McMillan SC. A psychometric analysis of the spiritual needs inventory in informal caregivers of patients with cancer in hospice home care. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2012 Jul;39(4):E332-E339. Pubmedid: 22750903.
  • Stark L, Tofthagen C, Visovsky C, McMillan SC. The Symptom Experience of Patients with Cancer. J Hosp Palliat Nurs. 2012 1;14(1):61-70. Pubmedid: 22639548.
  • Aguado Loi CX, Taylor TR, McMillan S, Gross-King M, Xu P, Shoss MK, Huegel V. Use and helpfulness of self-administered stress management therapy in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy in community clinical settings. J Psychosoc Oncol. 2012;30(1):57-80. Pubmedid: 22269076.
  • Garrison CM, Overcash J, McMillan SC. Predictors of Quality of Life in Elderly Hospice Patients with Cancer. J Hosp Palliat Nurs. 2011 Sep;13(5):288-297. Pubmedid: 22022219.
  • Tofthagen CS, McMillan SC, Kip KE. Development and psychometric evaluation of the chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy assessment tool. Cancer Nurs. 2011 July;34(4):E10-E20. Pubmedid: 21242773.
  • Tofthagen C, McAllister RD, McMillan SC. Peripheral neuropathy in patients with colorectal cancer receiving oxaliplatin. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2011 Apr;15(2):182-188. Pubmedid: 21444285.
  • Holtslander LF, McMillan SC. Depressive symptoms, grief, and complicated grief among family caregivers of patients with advanced cancer three months into bereavement. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2011 Jan;38(1):60-65. Pubmedid: 21186161.
  • Buck HG, Overcash J, McMillan SC. The geriatric cancer experience at the end of life: testing an adapted model. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2009 Nov;36(6):664-673. Pubmedid: 19887354.
  • McMillan S, Tofthagen C, Morgan M. Relationships among pain, sleep disturbances, and depressive symptoms in outpatients from a comprehensive cancer center. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2008 Jul;35(4):603-611. Pubmedid: 18591165.
  • Woolery M, Bisanz A, Lyons H, Gaido L, Yenulevich M, Fulton S, McMillan S. Putting evidence into practice: evidence-based interventions for the prevention and management of constipation in patients with cancer. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2008 Apr;12(2):317-337. Pubmedid: 18390467.
  • McMillan SC, Small BJ. Using the COPE intervention for family caregivers to improve symptoms of hospice homecare patients: a clinical trial. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2007 Mar;34(2):313-321. Pubmedid: 17573295.
  • Hampton D, Hollis D, Lloyd D, Taylor J, McMillan S. Spiritual needs of persons with advanced cancer. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2007 Jan;24(1):42-48. Pubmedid: 17347504.
  • Ransom S, Azzarello L, McMillan S. Methodological issues in the recruitment of cancer pain patients and their caregivers. Res Nurs Health. 2006 Jun;29(3):190-198. Pubmedid: 16676340.
  • Meade C, Martinez D, Schullo S, McMillan S. Distance learning for communicating cancer, culture, and literacy: a model for cancer control advancement. J Cancer Educ. 2006 Jun;21(2):63-70. Pubmedid: 17020515.
  • Ransom S, Sacco W, Weitzner M, Azzarello L, McMillan S. Interpersonal factors predict increased desire for hastened death in late-stage cancer patients. Ann Behav Med. 2006 Feb;31(1):63-69. Pubmedid: 16472040.
  • Holley S, McMillan S, Hagan S, Palacios P, Rosenberg D. Pain resource nurses: believing the patients, and believing in themselves. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2005 Jul;32(4):843-848. Pubmedid: 15990913.
  • McMillan S, Tittle M, Hagan S, Small B. Training pain resource nurses: changes in their knowledge and attitudes. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2005 Jul;32(4):835-842. Pubmedid: 15990912.
  • McMillan S, Small B, Weitzner M, Schonwetter R, Tittle M, Moody L, Haley WE. Impact of coping skills intervention with family caregivers of hospice patients with cancer. Cancer. 2005 Jan;106(1):214-222. Pubmedid: 16329131.
  • McMillan S. Interventions to facilitate family caregiving at the end of life. J Palliat Med. 2005;8:s132-s139. Pubmedid: 16499461.
  • Rodriguez CS, McMillan S, Yarandi H. Pain measurement in older adults with head and neck cancer and communication impairments. Cancer Nurs. 2004;27(6):425-433. Pubmedid: 15632781.
  • McMillan S, Weitzner M. Methodologic issues in collecting data from debilitated patients with cancer near the end of life. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2003;30(1):123-129. Pubmedid: 12515990.
  • McMillan S, Moody L. Hospice patient and caregiver congruence in reporting patients' symptom intensity. Cancer Nurs. 2003;26(2):113-118. Pubmedid: 12660560.
  • Moody LE, McMillan S. Dyspnea and quality of life indicators in hospice patients and their caregivers. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2003;1:9. Pubmedid: 12740034. Pmcid: PMC155633.
  • Belanger HG, Nelson AL, McMillan S, Gavin-Dreschnack D, Holley S, Rosenberg D. Patient dignity in persons with spinal cord injury. SCI Nurs. 2003;20(1):25-29. Pubmedid: 14626015.
  • McMillan S, Heusinkveld K, Chai S, Miller Murphy C, Huang C. Revising the blueprint for the Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN) examination: a role delineation study. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2002 Oct;29(9):E110-E117. Pubmedid: 12370707.
  • Allen RS, Haley WE, Small BJ, McMillan SC. Pain reports by older hospice cancer patients and family caregivers: the role of cognitive functioning. Gerontologist. 2002 Aug;42(4):507-514. Pubmedid: 12145378. Pmcid: PMC2742681.
  • McMillan S. Presence and severity of constipation in hospice patients with advanced cancer. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2002;19(6):426-430. Pubmedid: 12442981.
  • Tittle M, Chiarelli M, McGough K, McGee S, McMillan S. Women's health beliefs about breast cancer and health locus of control. J Gerontol Nurs. 2002;28(5):37-45. Pubmedid: 12035825.
  • Haley W, McMillan S, Schonwetter R. Nurses' and social workers' experience with patients who requested assistance with suicide. N Engl J Med. 2002;347(25):2082-2083. Pubmedid: 12490697.
  • McMillan S, Small B. Symptom distress and quality of life in patients with cancer newly admitted to hospice home care. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2002;29(10):1421-1428. Pubmedid: 12432413.
  • Moody L, McMillan S. Maintaining data integrity in randomized clinical trials. Nurs Res. 2002;51(2):129-133. Pubmedid: 11984384.
  • Massaro T, McMillan S. Assessing quality of life in palliative care settings. Int J Palliat Nurs. 2000;6(9):429-433. Pubmedid: 12388894.
  • Smiley M, McMillan S, Ojeda M, Johnson S. Comparison of Florida Hispanic and non-Hispanic Caucasian women in their health beliefs related to breast cancer and health locus of control. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2000;27(6):975-984. Pubmedid: 10920836.
  • McMillan S, Tittle M, Hagan S, Laughlin J, Tabler R. Knowledge and attitudes of nurses in veterans hospitals about pain management in patients with cancer. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2000;27(9):1415-1423. Pubmedid: 11058973.
  • Barroso J, McMillan S, Gibson W, Casey L, Kaminski G, Meyer J. Comparison between African-American and white women in their beliefs about breast cancer and their health locus of control. Cancer Nurs. 2000;23(4):268-276. Pubmedid: 10939174.
  • McMillan S, Tittle M, Hagan S, Laughlin J. Management of pain and pain-related symptoms in hospitalized veterans with cancer. Cancer Nurs. 2000;23(5):327-336. Pubmedid: 11037952.
  • McMillan S, Weitzner M. How problematic are various aspects of quality of life in patients with cancer at the end of life?. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2000;27(5):817-823. Pubmedid: 10868392.
  • Weitzner MA, McMillan SC, Jacobsen PB. Family caregiver quality of life: differences between curative and palliative cancer treatment settings. J Pain Symptom Manage. 1999 Jun;17(6):418-428. Pubmedid: 10388247.
  • McMillan S, Heusinkveld K, Spray J, Miller-Murphy C. Revising the blueprint for the AOCN Examination using a role delineation study for advanced practice oncology nursing. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1999 Apr;26(3):529-537. Pubmedid: 10214595.
  • Holzheimer A, McMillan S, Weitzner M. Improving pain outcomes of hospice patients with cancer. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1999;26(9):1499-1504. Pubmedid: 11064881.
  • Weitzner M, McMillan S. The caregiver quality of life index-cancer (CQOLC) scale: revalidation in a hospice population of a new instrument to measure quality of life of the family caregiver of patients with cancer. J Palliative Care. 1999;15(2):13-20. Pubmedid: 10425873.
  • McMillan S. Assessing and managing narcotic-induced constipation in adults with cancer. Cancer Control. 1999;6(2):198-204. Pubmedid: 10758550.
  • McMillan S, Weitzner M. Quality of life in cancer patients: use of a revised Hospice Index. Cancer Pract. 1998;6:282-288. Pubmedid: 9767348 .
  • McMillan S, Holley S. Advanced practice oncology nursing: what is it?. Vital Signs. 1998;7(7):6-6. Pubmedid: noPMID.
  • McMillan S, Heusinkveld K, Spray J. A study of the role of the generalist oncology nurse as a basis for revision of the blueprint for certification. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1997 Sep;24(8):1371-1379. Pubmedid: 9380592.
  • Weitzner M, Moody L, McMillan S. Symptom management issues in hospice care. Am J Hospice Pall Care. 1997;190-195. Pubmedid: 9295429.
  • McMillan S. Pain and pain relief experienced by hospice patients with cancer. Cancer Nurs. 1996;19(4):298-307. Pubmedid: 8768688.
  • McMillan S. Quality of life of primary caregivers of hospice patients with cancer. Cancer Practice. 1996;4(4):191-198. Pubmedid: 8900760.
  • McMillan S. The quality of life of hospice patients with cancer as reported by patients and caregivers. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1996;23(8):1221-1228. Pubmedid: 8883070.
  • McMillan S. Measuring quality of life in palliative care. Cancer Control. 1996;3:223-229. Pubmedid: 10765213.
  • McMillan S. Genetically linked cancers: prevention, detection, and treatment. J Intra Nurs. 1996;19(6):321-328. Pubmedid: 9060359.
  • Marsee V, Lovett R, McMillan S. Validity and reliability of an oncology critical care patient acuity tool. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1995 Jul;22(6):967-971. Pubmedid: 7567614.
  • McMillan S, Heusinkveld K, Spray J. Role delinieation study for advanced practice in oncology nursing. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1995;20(1):41-50. Pubmedid: noPMID.
  • McMillan S, Tittle M. A descriptive study of management of pain and pain-related side effects in a cancer center and a hospice. Hospice J. 1995;10(1):89-107. Pubmedid: 7789943.
  • McMillan SC, Heusinkveld KB, Spray J. Advanced practice in oncology nursing: a role delineation study. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1995;22(1):41-50. Pubmedid: 7708524.
  • Tittle M, McMillan SC. Pain and pain-related side effects in an ICU and on a surgical unit: nurses' management. Am J Crit Care. 1994 Jan;3(1):25-30. Pubmedid: 7906992.
  • McMillan S, Mahon M. The impact of hospice services on the quality of life of primary caregivers. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1994;21(7):1189-1195.
  • McMillan S, Mahon M. Measuring quality of life in hospice patients using a newly developed Hospice Quality of Life Index. Qual Life Res. 1994;3:437-447.
  • Lovett R, Reardon M, Gordon B, McMillan S. Validity and reliability of medical and surgical oncology patient acuity tools. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1994;21(10):1709-1717.
  • Tittle M, McMillan S. Pain and pain-related side effects in an ICU and on a surgical unit: nurses' management. Am J Crit Care. 1994;3:25-30.
  • McMillan S, Mahon M. A study of quality of life of hospice patients on admission and at week 3. Cancer Nurs. 1994;17:52-60.
  • Entrekin N, McMillan S. Nurses' knowledge, beliefs, and practices related to cancer prevention and detection. Cancer Nurs. 1993;16(6):431-439.
  • Lovett R, McMillan S. Validity and reliability of a bone marrow transplant acuity tool. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1993;20:1385-1392.
  • McMillan S, Tittle M, Hill D. A systematic evaluation of I Can Cope using a national sample. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1993;20(3):455-461.
  • Tittle M, Long M, McMillan S. Measurement of pain in post-operative abdominal surgery patients. Appl Nurs Res. 1992;5(1):26-28.
  • McMillan S. Carcinogenesis. Semin Oncol Nurs. 1992;8(1):10-19.
  • Nielsen B, McMillan S, Diaz E. Instruments that measure beliefs about cancer from a cultural perspective. Cancer Nurs. 1992;15(2):109-115.
  • McMillan SC, Williams FA, Chatfield R, Camp LD. A validity and reliability study of two tools for assessing and managing cancer pain. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1988 Nov-Dec;15(6):735-741. Pubmedid: 3205832.
  • McMillan SC. Developing continuing education programs in cancer nursing. Program evaluation. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1987;14(5):67-70. Pubmedid: 3658782.
  • McMillan S. Assessing and managing opiate-induced constipation in adults with cancer. Cancer Control. 11(3 Suppl):3-9. Pubmedid: 15153834.
  • Tofthagen CS, McMillan SC. Pain, neuropathic symptoms, and physical and mental well-being in persons with cancer. Cancer Nurs. 33(6):436-444. Pubmedid: 21479139. Pmcid: PMC3070947.
  • McMillan SC, Small BJ, Haley WE. Improving hospice outcomes through systematic assessment: a clinical trial. Cancer Nurs. 34(2):89-97. Pubmedid: 20885302. Pmcid: PMC3036771.
  • Tittle M, McMillan S, Hagan S. Validating the brief pain inventory for use with surgical patients with cancer. Oncol Nurs Forum. 30(2):325-330. Pubmedid: 12692666.
  • Zambroski CH, Buck H, Garrison CM, McMillan SC. Lessons from the field: challenges in accruing hospice heart failure patients to intervention research. J Cardiovasc Nurs. 29(1):91-97. Pubmedid: 23416935. Pmcid: PMC3657574.
  • Morgan MA, Small BJ, Donovan KA, Overcash J, McMillan S. Cancer patients with pain: the spouse/partner relationship and quality of life. Cancer Nurs. 34(1):13-23. Pubmedid: 21139453. Pmcid: PMC3058774.
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