Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

First Advisor

Stephanie Felgoise, Ph.D., ABPP, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

Third Advisor

Victoria L. Vetter, M.D.


Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is an electrophysiological disorder of the heart affecting as many as 1 in 2,000 persons. LQTS can result in potentially catastrophic and fatal arrhythmias in infants, children, adolescents, and adults. Maintaining adherence to treatment can decrease these negative outcomes and result in favorable quality of life in this population. The present study utilized a qualitative research design to examine and understand nonadherent and adherent behaviors in persons with LQTS. This study was part of a larger study and used a sample from an existing online LQTS user group message board consisting of 780 international members. A total of 68 messages were analyzed, representing 37 global participants. It was found that the overall vagueness in diagnosis and treatment of LQTS and a resulting feeling of loss of control negatively impacted adherent behavior. In addition, it was theorized that several subtypes of compliance may be relevant: precompliance, hypercompliance, and pseudocompliance.