Date of Submission
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP
Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a heart rhythm disorder characterized by a disruption of the heart’s electrical activity that may cause accelerated and uncontrolled heartbeats referred to as ventricular fibrillation. LQTS is primarily treated with beta-blocker medications, which reduce the risk of experiencing an arrhythmia through regulating the heart rate. However, the potential neuropsychological side-effects associated with the use of beta-blocker medication may impact the executive functioning skills, mental health, and behavior of the affected pediatric population at home. As a result, a child’s academic performance and emotional regulation etiology may be misunderstood by his or her parents, caregivers, and teachers. The present study used an exploratory research design to further understand and conceptualize neurocognitive profiles of children diagnosed with LQTS and concurrently taking beta-blocker medications. Three participants were administered tailored test batteries with commonly used measures that assess general intellectual functioning, academic achievement, memory and new learning, fine motor and dexterity, and executive functioning skills. Additionally, the participants were administered self-report measures that assess symptoms associated with depression and anxiety, as well as self and parental perceptions of disease impact on quality of life. Overall, the participants demonstrated several inefficiencies within their executive functioning skills and basic sustained attention that had been were documented in their past educational histories, as well as in their performances on measures within the current study.
Rudisill, Kara J., "Long-term Use of Beta-blocker Medication in Pediatric Long QT Syndrome Patients: Neuropsychological Profiles" (2019). PCOM Psychology Dissertations. 510.