January 19, 2017

Available March 2017

Welcome to Duke Cancer Distress Coach

"I could open the app, take a look, and be reminded that I’m not alone. Other people have gone through the journey, other people have dealt with this sort of stress, and there are remedies out there."  - Monique Velasquez, Cancer Survivor


The cancer experience can be traumatic. After a diagnosis of cancer, patients, caregivers, and survivors may experience feelings of sadness, worry, anxiety, and anger and trouble sleeping and concentrating.

In 2014, we partnered with the National Center for PTSD to develop the Cancer Distress Coach mobile app. Now, with support from the Duke Institute for Health Innovation, Duke Health, the Duke University School of Nursing, and the Duke Cancer Institute, we are introducing Cancer Distress Coach for iOS and Android.

Through this study, we aim to determine the effectiveness of stress-reduction tools when delivered via a mobile app. We hope that one day this app will be offered as a standard part of cancer care. For more information, please contact our Cancer Distress Coach App Research Team.

About the App

The Cancer Distress Coach app is available as a free download on the App Store® and on Google Play.™ Our app helps you:

  • Learn about symptoms and available resources    
  • Understand your level of stress
  • Gain coping skills to manage your stress in the moment
  • Build a network of support

Who can participate in the study?

You qualify to take part in this research study if you:

  • Are an adult (at least 18 years old)
  • Have ever received a cancer diagnosis or care(d) for someone with cancer
  • Read and understand English
  • Live in the U.S.A.

What’s involved in the study?

Participation in the study lasts for two months. You will be asked to complete some brief questionnaires about yourself and how you are feeling, as well as some activities within the app. We will stop collecting your data after the study period is over, but you are free to continue using the Cancer Distress Coach app for as long as it remains on your device.

Get connected!

Join the study by downloading the Cancer Distress Coach app for free. The app will walk you through the enrollment process step-by-step.

Submit Study-Related Inquiries To:

Sophia K. Smith, PhD MSW, Associate Professor

Cristina Van Sant, Clinical Research Coordinator
Duke University School of Nursing
Phone: 919.613.9444

The development of this app was supported by the Duke Institute for Health Innovation (DIHI). Duke Institute for Health Innovation focuses on catalyzing transformative innovations in health and health care at Duke University and Duke Health. 

This is a study of PTSD symptom management in the cancer community. We are a multidisciplinary team of researchers, social workers, psychologists, oncologists, and computer scientists from Duke University and the National Center for PTSD who are working together to support the well-being of the cancer community: Dr. Sophia Smith, Pincipal Investigator (Duke School of Nursing, Duke Cancer Institute); Jamie Daniel II, Mike Revoir, Krista Whalen, Anita Desai, Logan Stanfield, Harrison Suh (Duke Institute for Health Innovation); Cristina Van Sant, Dr. Qing Yang (Duke School of Nursing); Dr. Julia Hoffman, Dr. Eric Kuhn (National Center for PTSD); Dr. Bridget Koontz (Duke Cancer Institute); Dr. Jonathan O’Donnell, Callie Berkowitz (Duke School of Medicine); Nicole Nelson (Duke Office of Clinical Research); and Kristin MacDermott (Reimagine.me). Study ID Number: Pro00075411. Download the Duke Health Enterprise Notice of Privacy Practice.