Adults with Persistent Atrial Fibrillation

Psychological distress and self-management
in older adults with persistent atrial fibrillation

Research Project Aging and Health

Funding Agency:

Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention, Research Interest Group Grant

Project Period:


“Psychological factors have been suggested to have an influence in Atrial Fibrillation (AF) onset, progression, severity and outcomes.”

Principal Investigators:

Kathy Rush


Carol Laberge


Ed Taylor, Colin Reid, Linda Hatt, Nicole Gorman, Ryan Wilson


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a heartbeat disease of aging with an uncertain and progressive course that often becomes persistent in older adults. This worsening of AF over time, especially when it is unresponsive to treatment, can lead to emotional distress, and make it more difficult to manage the disease. The purpose of this new group is to conduct a small study that will help in understanding how older adults with persistent AF and varying levels of psychological distress self-manage both their distress and AF. Findings will be used to develop an intervention tailored for older adults with persistent AF and variations in psychological distress

Reports, Presentations & Publications

Rush, K.L., Hatt, L., Shay, M., Gorman, N., Laberge, C.G., Reid, R.C. & Wilson, R. (2015, publish on line before print). The stressors and coping strategies of older adults with persistent atrial fibrillation prior to and following direct current cardioversion. Journal of Applied Gerontology. doi: 10.1177/0733464815608495