Use of health care services in seasonal affective disorder.
BACKGROUND:Little is known about the presentation and management of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in primary care. AIMS:To determine the use of health care services by people suffering from SAD. METHOD:Following a screening of patients consulting in primary care, 123 were identified as suffering from SAD. Each was age- and gender-matched with two primary care consulters with minimal seasonal morbidity, yielding 246 non-seasonal controls. From primary care records, health care usage over a 5-year period was established. RESULTS:Patients with SAD consulted in primary care significantly more often than controls and presented with a wider variety of symptoms. They received more prescriptions, underwent more investigations and had more referrals to secondary care. CONCLUSIONS:Patients with SAD are heavy users of health care services. This may reflect the condition itself, its comorbidity or factors related to the personality or help-seeking behaviour of sufferers.
Eagles, JM; Howie, FL; Cameron, IM; Wileman, SM; Andrew, JE; Robertson, C; Naji, SA
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