Meredith L. Clements


Meredith L. Clements, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Department at The University of Tampa, where she specializes in health communication, pedagogy, and arts-based research methods. Her research uses qualitative methods to examine relational and political problems related to women’s health. 

Recent Publications: 

Pettegrew, L., Clements, M. L., Scacco, J., Miller, R. (2022). Assessing  

Patient Satisfaction: Using the Radiation Oncology Patient Satisfaction [ROPS] Questionnaire in a Private Practice Setting. Health Services Insights, 15. 1-11. doi: 10.1177/11786329221118241  

Clements, M. L., Wimbish, P. W., Wall, R.A. (2022). An arts-based workshop using  

scalp tattoos to connect students with cancer patients’ experiences of chemotherapy and hair loss. Academic Medicine, 97(8). 1160-1163. doi: 

Clements, M. L., Foltz, K., Sawicki, S. (2021). Ethics, technology, and standard practice  

in communication centers: Proposing a continuing education credit program based on lessons learned from law, business, and healthcare. Communication Center Journal, 7(1). 34-52. doi: 


For many mothers, the labor of managing one’s emotions to help guide your children’s reactions to serious, life-changing events often requires mothers to place themselves second. Using poetic narrative as both a method and an outcome, the author connects readers with the emotional labor of mothering during advanced-stage cancer. This piece highlights how performing the role of “mother” both complicates and provides clarity to the performance of “patient.” Data I collected during interviews with ovarian and uterine cancer patients are used as the hippocrene for this poetic narrative that aims to honor the perspectives of mother-patients. Recognizing the emphasis women put on their relationships with their children and grandchildren provides insight into the ways in which illness is a relational experience that flows through the entire family structure. Examining the role of “mother-patient,” both prescribed and assumed, raises questions concerning the pressure to perform in a society that often deems the role of mother and patient as thankless. Therefore, (re)positioning motherhood at the center of conversations with women who view mothering as an integral part of their lived experience as a cancer patient may create a dialogic opening to better understand issues of aesthetic sacrifice, quality-of-life, and autonomy.  


mothering, aesthetic sacrifice, health communication, poetry, narrative, roles, performance, gynecologic cancer, poetic narrative inquiry, cancer patient, emotional labor 

“I will hold your hand through my disease:” Using poetic narrative to interpret the role of mother-patient during advanced-stage cancer

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