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Use of health care services in seasonal affective disorder

  • John M. Eagles (a1), Fiona L. Howie (a2), Isobel M. Cameron (a2), Samantha M. Wileman (a2), Jane E. Andrew (a2), Carol Robertson (a1) and Simon A. Naji (a3)...
Abstract
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, under went 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.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr John M. Eagles, Royal Cornhill Hospital, Cornhill Road, Aberdeen AB25 2ZH, UK. Tel: 01224 663131, Fax: 01224 557433, e-mail: john.eagles@gpct.grampian.scot.nhs.uk
Footnotes
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See editorial, pp. 394–395, this issue.

Declaration of interest

Funded by the Scottish Office Department of Health and Grampian Primary Care NHS Trust.

Footnotes
References
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Use of health care services in seasonal affective disorder

  • John M. Eagles (a1), Fiona L. Howie (a2), Isobel M. Cameron (a2), Samantha M. Wileman (a2), Jane E. Andrew (a2), Carol Robertson (a1) and Simon A. Naji (a3)...
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