Jill Hamilton, R.N., Ph.D. FAAN is Associate Professor and Senior FacultyFellow of SDOH & Health Disparities at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School ofNursing and Affiliate Professor at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.  Dr. Hamilton earned her BSN, MSN, and PhD in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a BS in Accounting fromNorth Carolina Central University, and postdoctoral training in the nursing care of older adults at the Oregon Health & Science University. She previously held faculty positions at Johns Hopkins University and theUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was tenured AssociateProfessor.  Dr. Hamilton’s research interests include social determinants of health, health disparities, and the mental health promoting strategies used among older African American their families in response to life-threatening illness.  She has developed culturally-relevant measures of social support and spirituality and has conducted research to examine ways in which these determinants influence health outcomes.  Dr. Hamilton is published on topics related to culture, social support, religiosity, spirituality, and quality of life among African Americans with life-threatening illness. She has done original research on the effects of Storytelling that incorporates religious songs and scripture on psychological distress among older and younger AfricanAmericans. The findings from this research are published in Cancer Nursing, the Journal of Religion and Health, theGerontologist, and Nursing Research. She was a Georgia Cancer CoalitionDistinguished Cancer Scholar from 2003-2007 and a member of the 2014 Class of the UNC Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars. Dr. Hamilton is currently aFellow in the American Academy of Nursing and a Faculty Scholar of the Center for Spirituality, Theology & Health at Duke University. She was the recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award from theSchool of Nursing at the University of North Carolina and the 2011 OncologyNursing Society (ONS) Publishing’s Division Award for Excellence in WritingQualitative Research.  Dr. Hamilton’s work on religious songs was featured in the November 2012 Thanksgiving edition of Good Housekeeping magazine. 

Healing Through Spiritual Song - Religious Songs Can Help Cancer Patients Heal

Areas of Expertise

Gerontology and Elder Health
Health Disparities
Mental Health

Spirituality and Health

Social Determinants of Health and Rural Communities


Koenig, H. G., Hamilton, J., Doolittle, B.(accepted). Training to Conduct Research onReligion, Spirituality and Health. Journal of Religion and Health.

*+Miller, T.N., Matthie, N., Best, N. C., Price, M. A. &Hamilton, J. B. (2020). Intergenerational Influences on faith-basedstrategies used in response to racial discrimination among young AfricanAmerican Adults. Journal of the National Medical Association. Apr;112(2):176-185

Hamilton, J. B.(2020). Religion and Spirituality in Healthcare:  Distinguishing related and overlappingconcepts. Cancer Nursing.Jul/Aug;43(4):338-339.

*+Hamilton, J.B.,Kweon, L., Brock, L., & Moore, A.D. (2020). The use of prayer duringlife-threatening illness: A connectedness to God, inner-self, and others. Journal of Religion and Health Aug;59(4):1687-1701.

Hamilton, J. B.(2020). Strategies to enhance validity in qualitative research amongcommunity-dwelling African Americans. Qualitative Health Research. Jan;30(2):196-204. 

+Kurtz-Uveges,M., Hamilton, J.B., DePriest, K.,Boss, R., Hinds, P. S., & Nolan, M.T. (2019). The influence of parents’religion or spirituality on decision making for the critically ill child: Anintegrative review.  Journal ofPalliative Medicine. [e-pub, August 2019]. 

Hamilton, J. B.(2019).  Emotionalsuffering and the use of spirituality as a resource during cancer. Journalof Cancer Education. [e-pub, May 2019].

*+Galbraith-Gyan,K.V., Jenerette, C.M., Lechuga, J., Moore, A.D., Palmer, M.H., Hamilton, J.B. (2019).  AfricanAmerican parents and daughters’ health beliefs toward HPV and HPV vaccineacceptance. PublicHealth Nursing, 36(2):134-143. doi: 10.1111/phn.12565.

*+Galbraith, K.V., Lechuga, J.,Jenerette, C.M., Moore, A.D., Palmer, M.H., Hamilton, J.B. (2019).  African American parents’ anddaughters’ HPV vaccine acceptance: An inquiry grounded in culture, Ethnicity & Health, 24(3), 323-340.

*+Hamilton, J.B.,Best, N. C., Wells, J.S., & Worthy, V.C. (2018).  Making sense ofloss:  Perspectives of African Americanfamily members who have experienced the death of a close family member. Palliative and Supportive Care, 16(6), 662-668.

*Sheppard, V.B., Walker, R., Phillips, W. Hudson, V. & Hamilton, J.  (2018). Spirituality in African Americanbreast cancer patients: Implications for clinical and psychosocial care. Journal of Religion & Health, 57(5), 1918-1930.

*+Stewart, J.M., Budhathoki, C., Thompson, K., Hamilton, J.B. (2017). Associations ofHIV testing with Anxiety and stress within the African American church:implications for faith-based HIV testing and treatment. Journal of Mental Health,Religion & Culture. E-pub ahead of Print.  

Hamilton, J.B.(2017).  Cultural beliefs and cancercare: Are we doing everything we can? CancerNursing, 40(1), 84-85

*+Hamilton, J.B.,Stewart, J.M., Thompson, K., Alverez, C., Best, N.C. Amoah, K. & LaNey, I.C. (2017). Younger African American Adults’ Use of Religious Songs to ManageStressful Life Events. Journal ofReligion and Health, 56(1), 329-344.

*+Hamilton, J.B., Worthy, V. C., & Moore, A. D.,Best, N.C., Stewart, J. M. & Song, M.K. (2017). Messages of Hope: Helping family members to overcome fears and fatalistic attitudes towardcancer.  Journal of Cancer Education. 32(1), 190-197.

Hamilton, J.B. (2017).  Cultural beliefsand cancer care: Are we doing everything we can? Cancer Nursing, 40(1), 84-85.  

Hamilton, J.B.,Stewart, J.M., Thompson, K., Alverez, C., Best, N.C. Amoah, K. & LaNey, I.C. (2017). Younger African American Adults’ Use of Religious Songs to ManageStressful Life Events. Journal of Religion and Health, 56(1), 329-344.

Galbraith, K.V., Lechuga, J.,Jenerette, C.M., Moore, A.D., Palmer, M.H., Hamilton, J.B. (2016).  Parental acceptance and uptake of the HPV vaccine among AfricanAmericans and Latinos in the United States: A Literature Review. Social Science and Medicine, 159, 116-126.

*Hamilton,J.B., Worthy, V.C., Kurtz, M., Cudjoe, J. & Johnstone, P.A. (2016).Using religious songs as an integrative and complementary therapy in themanagement of psychological symptoms among African American cancer survivors. Cancer Nursing, Feb 8. [Epub ahead ofprint].    

*Hamilton, J.B., Worthy, V.C., & Moore, A. D., Best, N.C., Stewart, J. M. & Song, M.K.  (2015). Messages of Hope:  Helping family members to overcome fears andfatalistic attitudes toward cancer.  Journal of Cancer Education. Aug 28.  [E-pubahead of print].

*Hamilton,J.B., Best, N. C., Galbraith, K. V., Worthy, V. C., & Moore, A. D.(2015). Strategies African American cancer survivors use to overcome fears andfatalistic attitudes. Journal of CancerEducation, 30(4), 629-635.

*Finney, J. M., Hamilton, J.B., Hodges, E. A., Pierre-Louis, B J., Crandell, J.L., & Muss, H.  (2015). AfricanAmerican cancer patients: Do cultural factors influence symptom distress? Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 3,294-300.  

*Hamilton,J.B., Galbraith, K. V., Best, N. C., Worthy, V. C., & Moore, A. D.(2015). African American Cancer survivors' use of religious beliefs topositively influence the utilization of cancer care. Journal of Religion & Health, 54(5), 1856-69.

*Hamilton,J.B., Moore, A. D., Best, N. C., Alston, L., & Pierre-Louis, B. J.(2014). Associations of sociocultural factors to quality of life among olderAfrican American cancer survivors. Journalof the Black Nurses Association, 25(1), 7-14.

Spruill, A., Mayer, D. K., & Hamilton, J.B. (2013). Barriers inhospice use among African Americans with cancer. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 53(3), 136-144.

*Hamilton,J.B., Moore, A. D., Johnson, K. A., & Koenig, H. G. (2013). Reading theBible for guidance, comfort, and strength during stressful life events. Nursing Research, 62(3), 176-183.

*Hamilton,J.B., Deal, A. M., Moore, A. D.,Best, N. C., Galbraith, K., & Muss, H. (2013).Psychosocial predictors ofdepressive symptoms among older African American cancer patients. Oncology Nursing Forum, 40(4), 394-402.

*Hamilton,J.B., Sandelowski, M., Moore, A. D., Agarwal, M., & Koenig, H. G.(2013).  You need a song to bring youthrough:  The use of religious songs tomanage stressful life events. TheGerontologist, 53(1), 26-38.

*Moore, A. D., Hamilton, J.B., Knafl, G. J., Godley, P. A., Carpenter, W. R.,& Bensen, J. T., & Mishel, M. (2012). Patient satisfaction influenced by interpersonal treatment andcommunication for African American men: The North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project (PCaP).  AmericanJournal of Men’s Health, 6, 409-419.

Hamilton,J.B., Agarwal, M., Song, L.,Moore, A. D., & Best, N. (2012). Are interventions delivered to AfricanAmerican cancer patients culturally appropriate?  A review of the literature. Cancer Nursing, 35(2), E12-E23.

*Song, L., Hamilton, J.B., & Moore, A. D. (2012). Patient-Heath Care Provider communication:  Perspectives of African American cancersurvivors. Health Psychology, 31(5), 539-47.  

*Hamilton,J.B., Agarwal, M., Carter, J., & Crandell, J. L. (2011). Patterns ofcoping among older African American cancer survivors. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 41(1), 79-92.

*Agarwal, M., Hamilton, J.B., Crandell,J. L., & Moore, C. E. (2010). Coping strategies, quality of life, andcloseness to family and friends of older African American head and neck cancerpatients. Journal of PsychosocialOncology, 28, 526-538.

*Hamilton, J.B., Moore, C. E., Powe, B. D., Agarwal, M.,& Martin, P. P.  (2010). Perceptionsof social support among older African American cancer survivors. Oncology Nursing Forum, 37, 480-489.

*Hamilton, J.B., Crandell, J. L., Carter, J. K., & Lynn,M. R. (2010). Reliability and validity of the perspectives of supportfrom God scale. Nursing Research, 50, 102-109.

*Agarwal, M., Hamilton, J.B., Moore, C. E., & Crandell, J. L. (2010).Predictors of depression among older African American cancer patients. Cancer Nursing, 33, 156-163.

*Hamilton,J.B., Stewart, B. J., Crandell, J. L., & Lynn, M. R. (2009).Development of the ways of helping questionnaire: A measure of preferred copingstrategies for older African American cancer survivors.  Research in Nursing & Health, 32, 243-59.

*Hamilton, J.B.,Powe, B. D., Pollard, A. B. III.,  Lee,K. J., & Felton, A.  M. (2007).Spirituality among African American cancer survivors: A personal relationshipwith God.  Cancer Nursing, 30, 309-316.

*Hamilton, J.B., & Sandelowski, M. (2004). Types ofsocial support in African American cancer patients. Oncology Nursing Forum, 31,792-800.

*Hamilton, J.B.,& Sandelowski, M. (2003). Living the golden rule: Reciprocal exchangesamong African Americans with cancer. QualitativeHealth Research, 13, 656-674.