Samuel F. Sears, Jr., PhD

Samuel F. Sears, Jr.


Departments of Psychology and Cardiovascular Sciences
215 Rawl Hall, Greenville, NC 27858-4353

252-328-6118 (phone)
252-328-6283 (fax)

Clinical referrals: 252-744-4400

Dr. Sears' Cardiac Psychology Research

Research Interests

  • 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

Sears, S.F. Rosman, L., Sasaki, S., Kondo, Y., Sterns, L.D., Schloss, E.J., Kurita, T., Meijer, A., Raijmakers, J., Gerriste, B., & Auricchio, A. (2018). Defibrillator shocks and their impact on objective and subjective patient outcomes: Results from the PainFree SST clinical trial, Heart Rhythm, In press.

Dornelas, E., & Sears, S,F. (2018). Living with heart despite recurrent challenges: Psychological care for adults with advanced cardiac disease and arrhythmias. American Psychologist, in press.

Rosman L, Lampert R, Sears SF, Burg MM. Measuring Physical Activity in Patients with Implanted Cardiac Devices: A Systematic Review. Journal of the American Heart Association. In Press.

Maron, B. J., Casey, S. A., Olivotto, I., Sherrid, M. V, Semsarian, C., Autore, C, Ahmed, A., Boriani, G., Francia, P., Winters, S.L., Guidici, M., Koulova, A., Garberich, R., Rowin, E.J., Sears, S.F., Maron, M.L., Spirito, P. (2018). Clinical Course and Quality of Life in High-Risk Patients With Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators. Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, 11(4). Retrieved from

Gehi A, Deyo Z, Mendys P, Hatfield L, Laux J, Walker J, Chen S, O'Byran J, Garner K, Sears S, Akiyama J, Stearns S, Biese K. Novel Care Pathways for patients presenting to the emergency department with atrial fibrillation. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. In press.

Kropp, C., Ellis, J., Nekkanti, R., Sears, S. (2018). Is smartphone ECG monitoring smart for ICD patients? JMIR Cardio. doi:10.2196/cardio.8710

Rosman L, Salmoirago-blotcher E, Cahill J, Sears SF. Psychosocial Adjustment and Quality of Life in Women with Peripartum Cardiomyopathy. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. In Press.

Gopinathannair, R., Lerew, D.R., Cross, N.J., Sears, S.F., Brown, S., & Olshansky, B. (2017). Longitudinal changes in quality of life following ICD implant and the impact of age, gender, and ICD shocks: Observations from the INTRINSIC RV Trial. Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology.

Rhodes, A., Murray, B., Tichnell, C., James, C.A., Calkins, H., & Sears, S.F. (2017). Quality of life metrics in Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia/Cardiomyopathy patients: The impact of age, shock and sex. International Journal of Cardiology, In press.

de la Uz CM, Burch AE, Gunderson, B, Koehler J, Sears SF. How active are young cardiac device patients? Objective assessment of activity in children with cardiac devices. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2017;40:1286-1290.

Whited, M., Ellis, J.M., Freeman, J.T., Corson, A.T., Greenway, S., Busch, A.M., Whited, A.L., & Sears, S.F. (2017). An exploration of the impact of the "Open Gym" scheduling model of cardiovascular rehabilitation on completion, attendance, and health outcomes. Journal of Cardiovascular Rehabilitation and Prevention. In press.

Burch, A.E., Spar, D.S., & Sears, S.F. (2017). Wearable cardioverter defibrillators in schools: A guide for parents and educators. Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology, In press.

Rosman L, Salmoirago-Blotcher E, Wuensch KL, Cahill J, Sears SF. (In press). Contraception and reproductive counseling in women with Peripartum Cardiomyopathy. Contraception. 2017.

Rosman L, Salmoirago-Blotcher E, Cahill J, Wuensch KL, Sears SF. (2017). Depression and health behaviors in women with peripartum cardiomyopathy. Heart and Lung. 46, 363-367.

Yardımcı, T., Mert, H., & Sears, S.F. (2017). Reliability and validity of the Turkish version of the Florida Shock Anxiety Scale. Journal of Experimental and Clinical Medicine.

Freeman, L.K., Richards, K, Conti, J.B., & Sears, S.F. (2017). Patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators on social media report more shock anxiety than clinic patients: Results from an online survey. JMIR Cardio. 1(2), e6. doi:10.2196/cardio.8152

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.