, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 72-84
Date: 20 Jul 2011

Predictors of Heart-Focused Anxiety in Patients Undergoing Genetic Investigation and Counseling of Long QT Syndrome or Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: A One Year Follow-up

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Since Long QT syndrome and Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are inherited cardiac disorders that may cause syncope, palpitations, serious arrhythmias, and sudden cardiac death, at-risk individuals may experience heart-focused anxiety. In a prospective multi-site study, 126 Norwegian patients attending genetic counseling were followed 1 year with multiple administration of questionnaires, including the Cardiac Anxiety Questionnaire, measuring three distinct symptoms of heart-focused anxiety- avoidance, attention, and fear—in mixed linear analyses. Overall, at 1-year follow-up, patients with clinical diagnosis as compared to patients at genetic risk had significantly higher scores of avoidance (p < .002), attention (p < .005), and fear (p < .007). Sudden cardiac death in close relatives, uncertainty whether other relatives previously had undergone genetic testing, patients’ perceived general health, self-efficacy expectations and procedural satisfaction with genetic counseling were influential in predicting the different symptoms of heart-focused anxiety over time.