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 a cardiac condition that affects approximately 1 in 2,500 persons. This condition has been vastly understudied with regard to psychosocial aspects. LQTS patients have the potential for experiencing life threatening cardiac events and prevention requires significant lifestyle modifications. Although there has not been a significant amount of research on this specific syndrome, other research on chronic illnesses suggests that many individuals experience significant psychosocial aspects after diagnosis. This study specifically examined anxiety within the LQTS population through a qualitative research design. An archived database from a LQTS user group involving approximately 780 members was used to ascertain anxiety related themes. Results of the research provided two distinct periods in which participants expressed anxiety related to the diagnosis. These results are discussed within a cognitive behavioral context to elaborate upon identified themes within this population, including ways in which these responses could become maladaptive. Although the primary goal of this research was to identify specific themes related to anxiety, it also serves as a stepping-stone for future research within the LQTS population.