Cognitive and Behavioral Predictors of Light Therapy Use

University of Granada, Spain
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 06/2012; 7(6):e39275. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039275
Source: PubMed


Although light therapy is effective in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and other mood disorders, only 53-79% of individuals with SAD meet remission criteria after light therapy. Perhaps more importantly, only 12-41% of individuals with SAD continue to use the treatment even after a previous winter of successful treatment.
Participants completed surveys regarding (1) social, cognitive, and behavioral variables used to evaluate treatment adherence for other health-related issues, expectations and credibility of light therapy, (2) a depression symptoms scale, and (3) self-reported light therapy use.
Individuals age 18 or older responded (n = 40), all reporting having been diagnosed with a mood disorder for which light therapy is indicated. Social support and self-efficacy scores were predictive of light therapy use (p's<.05).
The findings suggest that testing social support and self-efficacy in a diagnosed patient population may identify factors related to the decision to use light therapy. Treatments that impact social support and self-efficacy may improve treatment response to light therapy in SAD.

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