Winter Depression Recurrence One Year After Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Light Therapy, or Combination Treatment
ABSTRACT The central public health challenge in the management of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is prevention of depression recurrence each fall/winter season. The need for time-limited treatments with enduring effects is underscored by questionable long-term compliance with clinical practice guidelines recommending daily light therapy during the symptomatic months each year. We previously developed a SAD-tailored group cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and tested its acute efficacy in 2 pilot studies. Here, we report an intent-to-treat (ITT) analysis of outcomes during the subsequent winter season (i.e., approximately 1 year after acute treatment) using participants randomized to CBT, light therapy, and combination treatment across our pilot studies (N=69). We used multiple imputation to estimate next winter outcomes for the 17 individuals who dropped out during treatment, were withdrawn from protocol, or were lost to follow-up. The CBT (7.0%) and combination treatment (5.5%) groups had significantly smaller proportions of winter depression recurrences than the light therapy group (36.7%). CBT alone, but not combination treatment, was also associated with significantly lower interviewer- and patient-rated depression severity at 1 year as compared to light therapy alone. Among completers who provided 1-year data, all statistically significant differences between the CBT and light therapy groups persisted after adjustment for ongoing treatment with light therapy, antidepressants, and psychotherapy. If these findings are replicated, CBT could represent a more effective, practical, and palatable approach to long-term SAD management than light therapy.
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ABSTRACT: Objective: Efficient treatments to phase-advance human circadian rhythms are needed to attenuate circadian misalignment and the associated negative health outcomes that accompany early-morning shift work, early school start times, jet lag, and delayed sleep phase disorder. This study compared three morning bright-light exposure patterns from a single light box (to mimic home treatment) in combination with afternoon melatonin. Methods: Fifty adults (27 males) aged 25.9 ± 5.1 years participated. Sleep/dark was advanced 1 h/day for three treatment days. Participants took 0.5 mg of melatonin 5 h before the baseline bedtime on treatment day 1, and an hour earlier each treatment day. They were exposed to one of three bright-light (~5000 lux) patterns upon waking each morning: four 30-min exposures separated by 30 min of room light (2-h group), four 15-min exposures separated by 45 min of room light (1-h group), and one 30-min exposure (0.5-h group). Dim-light melatonin onsets (DLMOs) before and after treatment determined the phase advance. Results: Compared to the 2-h group (phase shift = 2.4 ± 0.8 h), smaller phase-advance shifts were seen in the 1-h (1.7 ± 0.7 h) and 0.5-h (1.8 ± 0.8 h) groups. The 2-h pattern produced the largest phase advance; however, the single 30-min bright-light exposure was as effective as 1 h of bright light spread over 3.25 h, and it produced 75% of the phase shift observed with 2 h of bright light. Conclusions: A 30-min morning bright-light exposure with afternoon melatonin is an efficient treatment to phase-advance human circadian rhythms.Sleep Medicine 12/2014; 16(2). DOI:10.1016/j.sleep.2014.12.004 · 3.10 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Efficacious treatments for seasonal affective disorder include light therapy and a seasonal affective disorder-tailored form of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Using data from a parent clinical trial, these secondary analyses examined the relationship between cognitive change over treatment with cognitive-behavioral therapy, light therapy, or combination treatment and mood outcomes the next winter. Sixty-nine participants were randomly assigned to 6-weeks of cognitive-behavioral therapy, light therapy, or combination treatment. Cognitive constructs (i.e., dysfunctional attitudes, negative automatic thoughts, and rumination) were assessed at pre- and post-treatment. Dysfunctional attitudes, negative automatic thoughts, and rumination improved over acute treatment, regardless of modality; however, in participants randomized to solo cognitive-behavioral therapy, a greater degree of improvement in dysfunctional attitudes and automatic thoughts was uniquely associated with less severe depressive symptoms the next winter. Change in maladaptive thoughts during acute treatment appears mechanistic of solo cognitive-behavioral therapy’s enduring effects the next winter, but is simply a consequence of diminished depression in light therapy and combination treatment.Cognitive Therapy and Research 12/2013; 37(6). DOI:10.1007/s10608-013-9561-0 · 1.70 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Learned associations between depressive behavior and environmental stimuli signaling low light availability and winter season may play a role in seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The purpose of this study was to determine whether light and season environmental cues elicit emotional responses that are distinct in individuals with SAD. Twenty-four currently depressed SAD participants were compared to 24 demographically-matched controls with no depression history on emotional responses to outdoor scenes captured under two light intensity (i.e., clear, sunny vs. overcast sky) and three season (i.e., summer with green leaves, fall with autumn foliage, and winter with bare trees) conditions. Emotion measures included surface facial electromyography (EMG) activity in the corrugator supercilii and zygomaticus major muscle regions, skin conductance, and self-reported mood state on the Profile of Mood States Depression-Dejection Subscale. Light intensity was a more salient cue than season in determining emotional reactions among SAD participants. Relative to controls, SAD participants displayed more corrugator activity, more frequent significant skin conductance responses (SCR), greater SCR magnitude, and more self-reported depressed mood in response to overcast stimuli and less corrugator activity, lower SCR magnitude, and less self-reported depressed mood in response to sunny stimuli. Study limitations include the single, as opposed to repeated, assessment and the lack of a nonseasonal depression group. These findings suggest that extreme emotional reactivity to light-relevant stimuli may be a correlate of winter depression; and future work should examine its potential onset or maintenance significance.Journal of Affective Disorders 05/2011; 133(1-2):311-9. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2011.04.016 · 3.71 Impact Factor