Roanne Thomas


Roanne Thomas
Full Professor

2001 Ph.D. University of New Brunswick
1995 B.Ed. St. Thomas University
1994 M.A. University of New Brunswick
1994 B.A. Trent University

Room: RGN 3068
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 8645
Work E-mail:

Roanne Thomas


Roanne Thomas is a Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa and holds a Canada Research Chair in Creative Practices and Well-being (2011-2021). Prior to this, she held a CIHR New Investigator Award from 2005-2010. Roanne received a Distinguished Researcher Award (University of Saskatchewan) in 2008 for her work with people who experienced cancer. She has over 80 peer reviewed publications to her credit and has received over $4 million in external funding as Principal/Co-Principal Investigator for various projects. Her graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have been supported by SSHRC and CIHR, as well as other funding agencies.

Using innovative tools such as creative writing, photovoice (storytelling + photography) and other visual arts, such as mixed media, she and her research teams are helping people to improve their sense of well-being and to support themselves while living with chronic illnesses.

Research Interests

  • Qualitative research
  • Arts-based inquiry
  • Chronic illness

Selected Publications

  • Saunders, S.*, Hammond, C.*, Thomas, R., (2019). Exploring gender-related experiences of cancer survivors through creative arts: A scoping review. Qualitative Health Research, 29(1), 135-148
  • Thomas, R., Morrison, T., Saunders, S.*, Pfaff, M., Gifford, W., Boulanger, J.*, Hammond, B., Hammond, C.* (2018). Situating our selves: using mixed media to convey experiences of psychosocial cancer research, Arts & Health, doi: 10.1080/17533015.2018.1494453.
  • Hamilton, R., Thomas, R., Anisimowicz, Y.*, Piers, M.*, Matte, R*. (2018). A critical analysis of the delivery of a psychosocial workshop for cancer survivors with lymphedema. The Qualitative Report, 23(10), 2586-2602.
  • Hammond, C.*, Gifford, W., Thomas, R., Rabaa, S., Thomas, O.*, Domecq, M.-C. (2018). Arts-based research methods with indigenous peoples: An international scoping review, AlterNative, 14(3), 260-276.
  • Gifford, W., Thomas, R., Barton, G., Grandpierre, V., Graham, I. (2018). “Breaking the silence” to improve cancer survivorship care for First Nations Peoples: A study protocol for an Indigenous knowledge translation strategy. International Journal of Qualitative Methods. doi/full/10.1177/1609406918774133.
  • Hammond, C.* Thomas, R., Saunders, S.*, Holtslander, L., Hamilton, R. (2018). A modified Delphi study on research priorities in cancer, gender, and the arts. Journal of Applied Arts and Health. 9(1): 53-69 doi:
  • Thomas, R., Gifford, W., Hammond, C*. (2017). Writing toward well-being: A qualitative study with breast cancer survivors. Canadian Oncology of Nursing Journal, 27(2), 178-185. doi:10.5737//23688076272178185.
  • Hammond, C.*, Thomas, R., Gifford, W., Poudrier, J., Scott, T., Brooks, C., Hamilton, R., Morrison, T., Warner, D. (2017). Cycles of silence: First Nations women overcoming social and historical barriers in supportive cancer care. Psycho-Oncology, 26(2), 191-198. doi: 10.1002/pon.4335.
  • Thomas, R., Hamilton, R. (2016) Composing hope through collage: A community-based intervention for cancer survivors living with lymphedema. Health Psychology Open, 3(2).
  • Boquiren, B.*, Hack, T., Thomas, R., Towers, A., Kwan, W., Tilley, T., Quinlan, E., Miedema, B. (2016). A longitudinal analysis of chronic arm morbidity following breast cancer surgery. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 157(3), 413-425.
  • Hamilton, R., Thomas, R. (2016). Renegotiating hope while living with lymphoedema after cancer: A qualitative study. European Journal of Cancer Care, 25(5), 822-831. doi:10.1111/ecc.12382.
  • Ahmed, S., Quinlan, E., McMullen, L., Thomas, R., Fichtner, P., Block, J. (2015) Ethnodrama: An innovative knowledge translation tool in the management of lymphedema. Journal of Cancer, 6(9), 859-865. doi:10.7150/jca.12276
  • Morrison, T.*, Thomas, R., (2015). Comparing men’s and women’s experiences of work after cancer: A photovoice study. Supportive Care in Cancer, 23(10), 3015–3023. doi:10.1007/s00520-015-2670-4
  • Thomas, R., Gifford, W., Poudrier, J., Scott, T., Brooks, C., Hamilton, R., Morrison, T., Warner, D., Hammond, C.* (2015). First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women’s experiences of cancer survivorship: Protocol for the National Picture Project. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 14(1), 97-120
  • Quinlan, E., Thomas, R., Ahmed, S., Fichtner, P., McMullen, L., Block, J. (2014). The aesthetic rationality of the popular expressive arts: Lifeworld communication among breast cancer survivors living with lymphedema. Social Theory & Health, 12(3), 291-312. doi: 10.1057/sth.2014.9
  • Brookes, C., Poudrier, J., Thomas, R. (2014). Visually depicting cancer fears: Beyond biomedical concerns. Aporia, 6(3), 7-21.
  • Thomas, R., Hamilton, R. (2014). Illustrating the (in)visible: Understanding the impact of loss in adults living with secondary lymphedema after cancer. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 21(9), 243-254. doi:10.3402/qhw.v9.24354. eCollection 2014.
  • Morrison, T*, Thomas, R. (2014). Survivors’ experiences of return to work following cancer: A photovoice study. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 1-10. doi:10.1177/0008417414534398  

Useful Links*

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