Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Kamila White, PhD


Steve Bruce, PhD

Ann Steffen, PhD, ABPP

Anne Fish, PhD, RN, FAHA


Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a common cardiac arrhythmia associated with increased risk for comorbid health conditions. Advancements in consumer technology have enabled patients to monitor hearth rhythm independently, yet, much remains unknown about patient outcomes related to the use of these smart device platforms (SDP). The aim of this study was to examine the iatrogenic and/or remedial effects of SDP use on patient reported outcomes of illness uncertainty, cardiac anxiety, body vigilance, AFib symptoms, symptom burden, and healthcare utilization. The sample included 130 AFib participants (65 in SDP group) recruited through ResearchMatch, American Heart Association support forum, and other online AFib communities. Despite being of younger age, participants in the SDP group reported more medical risk factors associated with AFib. Results partially supported the iatrogenic effect, as participants with SDP reported greater cardiac anxiety and healthcare utilization relative to those without, even after accounting for covariates of age and medical risk factors. These findings should be interpreted with caution, as the global pandemic may have impacted the results obtained.