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Improvement in fatigue, sleepiness and health-related quality of life with bright light treatment in seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and subclinical SAD
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences.
Manuscript (Other academic)
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-98090OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-98090DiVA: diva2:173269
Available from: 2009-02-10 Created: 2009-02-10 Last updated: 2015-11-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Winter Fatigue and Winter Depression: Prevalence and Treatment with Bright Light
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Winter Fatigue and Winter Depression: Prevalence and Treatment with Bright Light
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to study prevalence of winter depressive mood and treatment effects of bright light for persons with winter fatigue and winter depression.

Study I is a cross-sectional survey of a random sample (N=1657) from the general population between 18-65 years of age in Dalarna, Sweden (latitude 60°N). Study II is a similar survey of 17-18 year old students (N=756) in the municipality of Falun. Approximately 20% of both samples report seasonal symptoms, mainly fatigue, lowered mood and increased sleep duration, appetite and weight.

Study III examines the effects of treatment in light rooms for persons from the sample in Study I (40 women, 10 men) with clinically assessed Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or subclinical SAD (S-SAD). Subjects were randomised either to an experimental group receiving ten days of bright light treatment or to a three-week waiting-list control condition followed by bright light treatment. There was a >50% reduction of depressed mood in 13 of the 24 subjects in the experimental group, while none of the 24 controls reported a similar reduction. At the one-month follow-up, results were maintained and 39 of 47 subjects were improved >50%. Fatigue and excessive daytime sleepiness, which were high at baseline, were normal/below population norms for 39 of 47 subjects at the one-month follow-up. Mean values for the mental health aspect of health-related quality of life, which were low at baseline, improved and were close to norms at the one-month follow-up.

Study IV is a person-oriented subgroup/cluster analysis of the subjects in Study III. A common trait in all three clusters was a high level of fatigue hence the denomination ´Winter Fatigue´ is used for the merged group. Even though the degree of depressive mood and daytime sleepiness differed between the subgroups, all three groups improved following bright light treatment.

The results suggest that an increase in fatigue and depressed mood during the winter season is common in the general population. Bright light treatment reduces depressive mood, fatigue and excessive daytime sleepiness and improves health-related quality of life in persons with winter fatigue and winter depression.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Universitetsbiblioteket, 2009. 77 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 421
National Category
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-9561 (URN)978-91-554-7418-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-03-19, Auditorium Minus, Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-02-26 Created: 2009-02-10 Last updated: 2009-03-12Bibliographically approved

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