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Depress Res Treat. 2011;2011:543906. doi: 10.1155/2011/543906. Epub 2011 Jun 13.

Improvement in Fatigue, Sleepiness, and Health-Related Quality of Life with Bright Light Treatment in Persons with Seasonal Affective Disorder and Subsyndromal SAD.

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1
Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, 75124 Uppsala, Sweden.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the effects of bright light treatment for secondary outcome measures and to explore and validate empirically derived subgroups and treatment effects in subgroups.

METHODS:

A descriptive design. A sample of forty-nine persons (mean age of 45.8) with clinically assessed seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or subsyndromal SAD (S-SAD) participated in a two-group clinical trial evaluating the effects of treatment with bright light therapy. A person-oriented cluster analysis was applied to study treatment effects in subgroups.

RESULTS:

For the merged group, sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale), fatigue (fatigue questionnaire), and health-related quality of life (SF-36) were improved at posttreatment, and results were maintained at the one-month followup. Three distinct subgroups had a high level of fatigue in common, while the level of excessive daytime sleepiness and depressed mood differed between the subgroups. Over time, all subgroups improved following ten days treatment in a light room.

CONCLUSION:

Fatigue, excessive daytime sleepiness, and health-related quality of life improve in a similar way as depressed mood following treatment with bright light. The treatment was effective irrespective of the severity of the disorder, that is, for persons with SAD and subsyndromal SAD.

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