Published in

MDPI, Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9(10), p. 1897, 2021

DOI: 10.3390/jcm10091897



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Validity and Usage of the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire (SPAQ) in a French Population of Patients with Depression, Bipolar Disorders and Controls

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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The Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire (SPAQ), by Rosenthal et al. (1984), is by far the most used questionnaire to evaluate seasonal effects on mood and behavior. It includes a general seasonality score (GSS), composed of 6 items, from which cutoffs have been established to screen for seasonal affective disorder (SAD). However, it has never been validated in French and associations with circadian rhythm and symptoms of depression and bipolarity remain unclear. In this study, including 165 subjects (95 controls and 70 patients with depression or bipolar disorder), we confirmed the validity of the French version of the SPAQ, with a two-factor structure (a psychological factor: energy, mood, social activity and sleep length; and a food factor: weight and appetite) and a good fit was observed by all indicators. Mood and social activity dimensions were significantly affected by seasons in the depressed/bipolar group and a stronger global seasonality score (GSS) was associated with more severe phenotypes of depression and mania. Subjects meeting SAD and subsyndromal-SAD criteria also showed a delayed circadian rhythm compared to controls. Simple tools, such as the SPAQ, can aid the identification of significant seasonal changes and have direct implications on therapeutics including the use of bright light therapy in order to enhance personalized treatments, but also to prevent adverse seasonal effects.