Janet Helen Van Cleave headshot

Janet H Van Cleave

Assistant Professor

1 212 992 7340

433 First Avenue
Room 408
New York, NY 10010
United States

expand all

collapse all

Professional overview

Dr. Van Cleave’s career goal is to improve the quality of care for patients with cancer. Her program of research addresses the complexity of care required by this population as they transition across health care settings and providers. She is conducting studies to identify interventions that will improve the quality of life and symptom management, from diagnosis to survivorship or end of life.


Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, 2010, University of Pennsylvania
PhD, 2008, Yale University
MSN, 1995, University of Pennsylvania
BSN, 1994, University of Pennsylvania
Diploma of Nursing, 1983, St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing
MBA, 1978, University of Kansas
BA, 1976, Kansas State University

Honors and awards

CANCER NURSING Research Award (Authors: Van Cleave JH, Egleston B, Ercolano E, McCorkle R, 2013, Cancer Nursing,36(4), PMCID: PMC23047803) (2014)
International Federation of Head and Neck Oncologic Societies, Poster of Distinction (2014)
American Psychosocial Oncology Society Conference Fellowship, New Orleans, LA (2010)
John A. Harford Foundation Policy Leadership Institute Oncology Nursing Society/American Cancer Society Doctoral Student Scholarship to attend 8th National Conference on Cancer Nursing Research (2009)
Oncology Nursing Society Special Interest Group Newsletter Editor: Best Article (2004)
Mount Sinai Medical Center, Outstanding Colleague (2004)
Mount Sinai Medical Center, Nominee, Clinical Excellence Award (2002)
Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Unit Recognition Award for Special Clinics (2000)
Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Professional Scholarship (1994)
University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing, Summa Cum Laude Graduate (1994)
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Joan Ethel Huebner Award for High GPA (1994)
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau (1994)



Professional membership

Academy Health
American Psychosocial Oncology Society
Gerontological Society of America
Oncology Nursing Society



The Experience of Being Aware of Disease Status in Women with Recurrent Ovarian Cancer: A Phenomenological Study

Finlayson, C. S., Fu, M., Squires, A., Applebaum, A., Van Cleave, J., O’Cearbhaill, R., & DeRosa, A. P. (2019). Journal of Palliative Medicine, 22(4), 377-384. 10.1089/jpm.2018.0127
BACKGROUND: Awareness of disease status has been identified as a factor in the treatment decision-making process. Women with recurrent ovarian cancer are facing the challenge of making treatment decisions throughout the disease trajectory. It is not understood how women with ovarian cancer perceive their disease and subsequently make treatment decisions. PURPOSE: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the lived experience of women with recurrent ovarian cancer, how they understood their disease and made their treatment decisions. METHODS: A qualitative design with a descriptive phenomenological method was used to conduct 2 in-depth interviews with 12 women (n = 24 interviews). Each interview was ∼60 minutes and was digitally recorded and professionally transcribed. Data collection focused on patients' understanding of their disease and how patients participated in treatment decisions. A modified version of Colaizzi's method of phenomenological reduction guided data analysis. RESULTS: Three themes emerged to describe the phenomenon of being aware of disease status: (1) perceiving recurrent ovarian cancer as a chronic illness, (2) perceived inability to make treatment decisions, and (3) enduring emotional distress. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: This study revealed how 12 women conceptualized recurrent ovarian cancer as a chronic disease and their perceived inability to make treatment decisions because of lack of information and professional qualifications, resulting in enduring emotional distress. Future research should replicate the study to confirm the persistence of the themes for racially, ethnically, and religiously diverse patient samples and to improve understanding of awareness of disease status and decision-making processes of patients.

Frailty in Older Adults: Assessment, Support, and Treatment Implications in Patients With Cancer

Overcash, J., Cope, D. G., & Van Cleave, J. (2018). Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 22(6), 8-18. 10.1188/18.CJON.S2.8-18
BACKGROUND: Frailty is defined as a disability in those of advanced age, often with comorbidities, poor nutritional status, cognitive decline, and reduced functional status. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this article is to discuss the concept of frailty, assess the use of a comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA), and understand the implications for treatment to maintain or enhance physical, functional, and cognitive health of older adult patients with cancer. METHODS: Literature about frailty in older adult patients diagnosed with cancer was reviewed to determine evidence-based assessment and treatment options. FINDINGS: About half of all older adult patients with cancer experience some degree of frailty. CGA is a useful way to evaluate frailty and the extent of limitations. Many frailty-specific tools have been developed. Evidence-based strategies are available to address limitations associated with frailty in older adult patients with cancer.