Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Psychology

Dr. Samuel Sears
Personal links and information.

Samuel F. Sears, Jr., PhD
Professor and Director of Doctoral Studies

Office: Rawl 132
Phone: 252-328-6118
Clinical Referrals: 252-744-4400
Fax: 252-328-6283

Mailing Address:

104 Rawl Building
Department of Psychology
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858-4353

Willing to consider taking a doctoral student in 2019-20: Yes


PhD, Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida (1995)
MS, Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida (1992)
BS, Psychology, University of Florida (1990)

Research Interests:

Dr. Sears is currently engaged in research projects at East Carolina University and at other prominent research institutions around the US and world including:

  • Patient Acceptance of Remote Monitoring of ICD Follow up
  • Activity Assessment via ICD Accelerometers
  • The Psychological Impact of Atrial Fibrillation
  • Patient Strategies related to Wearable Cardioverter Defibrillators
  • Smartphone Use for ICD Patients
  • Measurement and Treatment of ICD Patient Shock Anxiety
Professional work:
  • Nationally recognized expert in the psychological care and quality of life outcomes of implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) patients
  • Provides clinical services to cardiac and ICD patients in a fully integrated cardiac clinic at the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU
  • Among the most published authors in the world on ICD patient outcomes. Has published over 150 articles in the medicine literature on the psychological aspects of cardiology
  • Regularly appears in PBS TV series, Second Opinion, on topics related to cardiology, such as Long QT Syndrome, Artificial Hearts, and Stress Cardiomyopathy
  • Founded "ICD Coach" to produce mobile phone apps for cardiac and ICD patients and families
  • Dr. Sears was honored by the University of North Carolina system as the O. Max Gardner Award winner for 2013.This award is given to the faculty member deemed to have made "the greatest contribution to the welfare of the human race" and is considered the highest honor for a faculty member in the state.

Selected Publications in peer refereed journals:

  1. Chelu, M.G., Gunderson, B.D., Koehler, J. Ziegler, P.D., Sears, S.F. (2016). Patient activity decreases and mortality increases after the onset of persistent atrial fibrillation in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators. Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiac Electrophysiology, 2, 518-523.
  2. Ford, J., Rosman, L., Wuensch, K., Irvine, J., & Sears, S.F. (2016). Cognitive behavioral treatment of posttraumatic stress in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators: Results from a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 29, 388-392.
  3. Garimella, R. S., Sears, S.F., & Gehi, A.K, (2016). Depression and physical inactivity as confounding the effect of obesity on atrial fibrillation. American Journal of Cardiology, in press.
  4. Rhodes, A., Rosman, L., Cahill, J., Ingles, J., Murray, B., Tichnell, C., James, C.A., & Sears, S.F. (2016).  Minding the genes: A multidisciplinary approach towards genetic assessment of cardiovascular disease.  Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Click here for full curriculum vitae (.pdf).

For more information about Dr. Sears's work: