Sophia K. Smith, PhD, MSW

Dr. Sophia Smith came to the Duke University School of Nursing faculty from the Duke Clinical Research Institute, where she was a Research Scientist in the Cancer Care Research Program (DCCRP) and Center of Learning Health Care (CLHC). Dr. Smith earned her PhD and MSW degrees at the University of North Carolina School of Social Work. Her clinical background includes social work internships at the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and the Hospice of Alamance County. Dr. Smith earned a BS degree (in business administration with an information systems concentration) at State University of New York at Albany, and was a senior manager at IBM and led an organization of computer application programmers and systems analysts before beginning her career in oncology social work.


Dr. Smith’s program of research has focused on innovative mHealth and psychosocial care solutions to improve health outcomes for cancer survivors. Her work has helped to define the longitudinal quality of life and patient experience of survivors of adult non-Hodgkin lymphoma, with a particular focus on posttraumatic stress disorder, the impact of cancer, and implementation of evidence-based supportive care services. As a senior scientist member of DCCRP, CLHC, and the Duke Oncology Nursing Center of Excellence, Dr. Smith has also contributed to a research ecosystem that conducts patient-centered clinical trials, analyses and policy studies, all of which simultaneously utilize and further the development of an integrated data system. This system coordinates diverse datasets, leverages novel information technology for patient-reporting of symptoms and other concerns, informs future studies, and facilitates patient education and patient-provider communication.

Academic Program Affiliations
  • Master of Science in Nursing Program
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Program
Education
  • PhD - University of North Carolina School of Social Work
  • MSW - University of North Carolina School of Social Work
  • BS - State University of New York
Research Interests
Research interests include:
• Behavioral and Mobile Health (mHealth) Interventions
• Comparative Effectiveness Research
• Cancer Survivorship Needs
• Patient-centered Outcomes
• Cancer Care Quality
• Program Evaluation
Awards and Honors
  • 2011 || • Selected as participant in Mobile Health Summer Institute, NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
  • 2007 || ICARUS Award for Best Multidisciplinary Presentation, University of North Carolina Interdisciplinary Center for Aging Research, Annual Aging Exchange Conference
  • 1992 || Supplier Excellence Award, IBM
  • 1990 || Executive Resource Program Appointment, IBM
  • 1990 || Management Leadershio Award, IBM
  • 1981 || Bachelor of Science, Cum Laude, State University of New York at Albany
Representative Publications
  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 24128592 -- Smith, S. K. and Rowe, K. and Abernethy, A. P. Use of an electronic patient-reported outcome measurement system to improve distress management in oncology. Palliat Support Care. 12(1); 69-73.
  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 24123368 -- Smith, S. K. and Samsa, G. and Ganz, P. A. and Zimmerman, S. Is there a relationship between posttraumatic stress and growth after a lymphoma diagnosis? Psychooncology. March, 2014 23(3); 315-21.
  • 2013 -- PubMed # : 23448740 -- Leak, A. and Smith, S. K. and Crandell, J. and Jenerette, C. and Bailey, D. E. and Zimmerman, S. and Mayer, D. K. Demographic and disease characteristics associated with non-hodgkin lymphoma survivors' quality of life: does age matter? Oncol Nurs Forum. 40(2); 157-62.
  • 2013 -- PubMed # : 23213093 -- Smith, S. K. and Mayer, D. K. and Zimmerman, S. and Williams, C. S. and Benecha, H. and Ganz, P. A. and Edwards, L. J. and Abernethy, A. P. Quality of life among long-term survivors of non-Hodgkin lymphoma: a follow-up study. J Clin Oncol. 31(2); 272-9.
  • 2012 -- PubMed # : 23181005 -- Mayer, D. K. and Gerstel, A. and Leak, A. N. and Smith, S. K. Patient and provider preferences for survivorship care plans. J Oncol Pract. 8(4); e80-6.
  • 2013 -- PubMed # : 22833503 -- Oerlemans, S. and Smith, S. K. and Crespi, C. M. and Zimmerman, S. and van de Poll-Franse, L. V. and Ganz, P. A. Assessing the impact of cancer among Dutch non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivors compared with their American counterparts: a cross-national study. Psychooncology. 22(6); 1258-65.
  • 2013 -- PubMed # : 22302619 -- Crespi, C. M. and Ganz, P. A. and Petersen, L. and Smith, S. K. A procedure for obtaining impact of cancer version 2 scores using version 1 responses. Qual Life Res. 22(1); 103-9.
  • 2011 -- PubMed # : 21990412 -- Smith, S. K. and Zimmerman, S. and Williams, C. S. and Benecha, H. and Abernethy, A. P. and Mayer, D. K. and Edwards, L. J. and Ganz, P. A. Post-traumatic stress symptoms in long-term non-Hodgkin's lymphoma survivors: does time heal? J Clin Oncol. 29(34); 4526-33.
  • 2011 -- PubMed # : 21240723 -- Smith, S. K. and Williams, C. S. and Zimmer, C. R. and Zimmerman, S. An exploratory model of the relationships between cancer-related trauma outcomes on quality of life in non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivors. J Psychosoc Oncol. 29(1); 19-34.
  • 2011 -- PubMed # : 20878862 -- Smith, S. K. and Herndon, J. E. and Lyerly, H. K. and Coan, A. and Wheeler, J. L. and Staley, T. and Abernethy, A. P. Correlates of quality of life-related outcomes in breast cancer patients participating in the Pathfinders pilot study. Psychooncology. 20(5); 559-64.
  • 2010 -- PubMed # : 20143102 -- Abernethy, A. P. and Herndon 2nd, J. E. and Coan, A. and Staley, T. and Wheeler, J. L. and Rowe, K. and Smith, S. K. and Shaw, H. and Lyerly, H. K. Phase 2 pilot study of Pathfinders: a psychosocial intervention for cancer patients. Support Care Cancer. 18(7); 893-8.
  • 2010 -- PubMed # : 20099255 -- Smith, S. K. and Crespi, C. M. and Petersen, L. and Zimmerman, S. and Ganz, P. A. The impact of cancer and quality of life for post-treatment non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivors. Psychooncology. 19(12); 1259-67.
  • 2010 -- PubMed # : 19967410 -- Crespi, C. M. and Smith, S. K. and Petersen, L. and Zimmerman, S. and Ganz, P. A. Measuring the impact of cancer: a comparison of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and breast cancer survivors. J Cancer Surviv. 4(1); 45-58.
  • 2009 -- PubMed # : 19452546 -- Smith, S. K. and Zimmerman, S. and Williams, C. S. and Zebrack, B. J. Health status and quality of life among non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivors. Cancer. 115(14); 3312-23.
  • 2008 -- PubMed # : 18281667 -- Smith, S. K. and Zimmerman, S. and Williams, C. S. and Preisser, J. S. and Clipp, E. C. Post-traumatic stress outcomes in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma survivors. J Clin Oncol. February, 2008 26(6); 934-41. PMC3025533
  • 2010 -- PubMed # : 20575038 -- Friedman, D. R. and Coan, A. D. and Smith, S. K. and Herndon 2nd, J. E. and Abernethy, A. P. Informational needs assessment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivors and their physicians. Am J Hematol. July, 2010 85(7); 528-32. PMC3160829
  • 2011 -- PubMed # : 21534866 -- Leak, A. and Mayer, D. K. and Smith, S. Quality of life domains among non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivors: an integrative literature review. Leuk Lymphoma. June, 2011 52(6); 972-85. PMC3160823
  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 24865219 -- Smith, S. K. and Nicolla, J. and Zafar, S. Y. Bridging the gap between financial distress and available resources for patients with cancer: a qualitative study. J Oncol Pract. September, 2014 10(5); e368-72.
  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 25644773 -- Smith, S. K. and O'Donnell, J. D. and Abernethy, A. P. and MacDermott, K. and Staley, T. and Samsa, G. P. Evaluation of Pillars4life: a virtual coping skills program for cancer survivors. Psychooncology. January, 2015 Epub ahead of print .
  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 26036473 -- Spector, D. J. and Noonan, D. and Mayer, D. K. and Benecha, H. and Zimmerman, S. and Smith, S. K. Are lifestyle behavioral factors associated with health-related quality of life in long-term survivors of non-Hodgkin lymphoma? Cancer. 121(18); 3343-51.
  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 25751114 -- Bryant, A. L. and Smith, S. K. and Zimmer, C. and Crandell, J. and Jenerette, C. M. and Bailey Jr, D. E. and Zimmerman, S. and Mayer, D. K. An exploratory path model of the relationships between positive and negative adaptation to cancer on quality of life among non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivors. J Psychosoc Oncol. 33(3); 310-31.
  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 26465328 -- Smith, S. K. and Selig, W. and Harker, M. and Roberts, J. N. and Hesterlee, S. and Leventhal, D. and Klein, R. and Patrick-Lake, B. and Abernethy, A. P. Patient Engagement Practices in Clinical Research among Patient Groups, Industry, and Academia in the United States: A Survey. PLoS One. October 14, 2015 10(10); e0140232.
Grant Funding (Selected)
  • Pillars4Life: An Online Self-Management Curriculum for Cancer Survivors
    Pfizer, Inc.
    16218019
    12/2014 to 11/2015
    Project Goal: The Pillars4Life curriculum teaches coping skills to cancer patients in a virtual group setting; it was recently implemented and studied at 17 hospitals. The goal of the project is to broaden the horizons of the program and demonstrate that chronic pain management can be improved through Pillars4Life. More specifically, the aims are to demonstrate the impact of Pillars4Life, distributed via live video conferencing technology, on: 1) a reduction in cancer-related pain and associated outcomes; and 2) optimized health care utilization and patient-provider communication.
  • Leveraging a mHealth Solution for Cancer Survivors
    Duke Cancer Institute
    01/2014 to 12/2014
    Role: PI
    Project Goal: Determine if lymphoma and breast cancer survivors will use a mobile app, PTSD Cancer Coach, and find it a valid and acceptable tool to manage their symptoms; and conduct a limited test to determine initial estimates of efficacy in managing PTSD symptoms and related outcomes.
  • Institutional Comparative Effectiveness Research Mentored Career Development Award
    NIH / National Cancer Institute
    KM1-CA156687
    03/2012 to 08/2013
    Role: Mentored postdoctoral researcher
    Project Goal: Pillars4Life Study - Evaluate the impact of participation in the LiveStrong-funded Pillars4Life program on key psychosocial outcomes across 17 sites in the US.
  • Cancer Care Quality Training Program (CCQTP)
    NIH / National Cancer Institute
    R25-CA116339
    05/2009 to 04/2011
    Role: Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    Project goal: This fellowship supports research in cancer survivorship. Overall objective of Cancer Care Quality Training Program (CCQTP) is to train clinician and non-clinician scientists to work collaboratively in multidisciplinary research teams to improve cancer care quality.
  • Quality of life in non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivors: A follow-up study
    University of North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute
    10KR71019
    08/2008 to 10/2010
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Project Goal: To describe post-treatment healthcare use, health behaviors and perceived need for and interest in receiving support services among 566 lymphoma survivors; examine change over time in quality of life outcomes; and identify demographic, psychosocial, and disease-related correlates (i.e., cross-sectional data) and predictors (i.e., longitudinal data) of healthcare use, health behaviors, and perceived need for and interest in receiving support services, as well as of different trajectories of change in quality of life.
  • National Research Service Award
    National Institutes of Health
    T32-HS000032
    12/2007 to 12/2008
    Role: NRSA Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    Project Goal: Fellowship to support research in cancer survivorship.
  • Quality of Life of Older Long-Term Lymphoma Survivors
    NIH / National Cancer Institute
    R03-CA101492
    09/2004 to 08/2006
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Project Goal: To identify and evaluate the wellbeing of 886 long-term survivors of adult lymphoma as evidenced through reported quality of life with particular emphasis on post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • ACS Doctoral Trainnig Grant: Quality of Life of Older Long-Term Lymphoma Survivors
    American Cancer Society
    DSW-03-213-01-SW
    09/2003 to 08/2006
    Role: Pre-doctoral Training Fellow
    Project goal: American Cancer Society Doctoral Training Grant in Clinical Oncology Social Work supported PI's doctoral education.
  • Long-term Cancer Survivor Needs Assessment
    University of North Carolina Research Council
    01/2000 to 12/2001
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
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