The seasonality of bipolar affective disorder: Comparison with a primary care sample using the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire

Allen J Shand, Neil W Scott, Seonaid M Anderson, John M Eagles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background
In contrast with recurrent unipolar depression, relatively little is known about the seasonality of depressive episodes in bipolar affective disorder (BAD).

Method
We compared responses on the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire (SPAQ) between a cohort of 183 patients with BAD and a large sample of patients in primary care (N = 4746). Comparisons were adjusted for age and gender.

Results
27% of the BAD patients fulfilled SPAQ criteria for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD. This gave an adjusted odds ratio of 3.73 (95% confidence intervals 2.64 to 5.27) in comparison with the rate among the primary care samples. Global seasonality scores were significantly higher among BAD patients (adjusted mean difference 1.73, 95% CI 0.97 to 2.49, p < 0.001).

Limitations
The SPAQ was originally designed as a screening instrument rather than as a case-finding instrument.

Conclusions
Vigilance for seasonal symptom recurrence in BAD may be important with regard to management and relapse prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-292
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume132
Issue number1-2
Early online date4 Mar 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

Keywords

  • bipolar disorder
  • seasons
  • seasonal affective disorder
  • psychoeducation

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