2004 issue 3


Volume 13, issue 3

Original article

Cognitive functioning and state-trait anxiety in patients with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) assessed before and after phototherapy, and during remission (in the summer)

Łukasz Święcicki1, EWA PRAGŁOWSKA1, SŁAWOMIR FORNAL1, Antoni Kalinowski1, Jarosław Torbiński1, Barbara Remberk1, DOROTA GRĄDZKA1, Dorota Bzinkowska1
1. II Klinika Psychiatryczna Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Warszawie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 2004, 13 (3), 225-233
Keywords: seasonal affective disorder, phototherapy, cognitive functioning


Background. The paper presents results of a three-year prospective study of patients with seasonal affective disorder (SAD, diagnosed by the DSM-IV criteria) completely remitting in the summa

Method. Out of 33 patients who participated in the study 13 dropped out (refused or did not turn up for a subsequent assessment), therefore in final analysis included were 20 patients who had at least two assessments (before and after phototherapy).

Results. A significant improvement in the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD21) scores was found after therapy. Further improvement was observed during the summer. State anxiety after phototherapy as compared to that before treatment was also significantly reduced. Moreover, phototherapy was associated with significant positive changes in some reaction time constituents, and with an improved performance on the nonverbal learning test (NVLT).

Conclusion. The findings suggest that phototherapy may primarily act on psychomotor drive rather than on mood.

Address for correspondence:
Dr Łukasz Święcicki,
II Klinika Psychiatryczna Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii, ul,
Sobieskiego 9,
02-957 Warszawa