Little is known about the prevalence or the consultation patterns of patients with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in primary care settings.
Patients aged 16-64 years consulting a general practitioner (G.P.) during a three week period in January were screened with the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire (SPAQ).
Interview-confirmed cases of SAD (N=33) were matched by age and sex to controls without seasonal morbidity and primary care consultation patterns were compared over a 5 year period.
Of 692 patients screened, 64 (9.3%) satisfied SPAQ criteria for winter SAD.
Patients with SAD showed no winter excess of consultations but were high year round consulters, averaging 1.8 times more consultations than controls.
High levels of SAD caseness on the SPAQ were found among patients consulting in primary care during January.
Possible explanations for the high non-seasonal consultation patterns among SAD patients include somatisation and diagnostic inaccuracies.
Diagnostic criteria for SAD, and the SPAQ in particular, may be over-inclusive.
The SPAQ completion rate (about 39% of eligible patients consulting a G.P.) was relatively low.
Clinical relevance : Patients with SAD (using SPAQ criteria) commonly consult their G.P. s in winter but frequency, rather than seasonality, of consultation may be a better guide to diagnosing SAD in primary care.
Mots-clés Pascal : Etat dépressif, Variation saisonnière, Consultation, Soin santé primaire, Santé mentale, Royaume Uni, Europe, Homme, Trouble humeur
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Depression, Seasonal variation, Consultation, Primary health care, Mental health, United Kingdom, Europe, Human, Mood disorder
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 98-0224831
Code Inist : 002B18C07A. Création : 11/09/1998.