Scores of a web-based version of the seasonal pattern assessment questionnaire in Brazil

Denis Martinez, Roberto Pacheco da Silva, Cristiane Maria Cassol, Gabriel Natan Pires

Abstract


Introduction: Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a proposed mental disorder still controversial. This condition is prevalent in northern latitudes, but few studies have been conducted at locations in the southern hemisphere. It is usually assessed by the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire (SPAQ). This study aimed to evaluate, through on-line questionnaire, the hypothesis that, in the Brazilian population, latitude and longitude influence SPAQ scores.

Methods: An advertisement was posted on a sleep medicine website inviting visitors to investigate seasonal patterns of behavior and mood, using a Brazilian Portuguese version of the SPAQ. The geographic coordinates of the place of residence of each respondent were analyzed as a continuous variable or distributed in quartiles of latitude and longitude. The psychometric properties of the SPAQ were assessed by reliability and factor analyses.

Results: Answers from 1001 respondents out of 1045 were considered eligible. High SPAQ scores were observed in 287 respondents, equally distributed among all latitude and longitude quartiles. Data collected in different seasons and during daylight saving time did not differ significantly in any of the scores for SPAQ dimensions. No correlations between SPAQ scores and latitude or longitude were observed. Psychometric properties of the SPAQ were preserved in all geographic locations.

Conclusion: The finding of similar SPAQ scores at a wide latitude range defies the concept of SAD symptoms as latitude or longitude-dependent phenomena. 


Keywords


Seasonality; Seasonal Affective Disorder; SPAQ; Depression; Psychometrics

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ISSN: 2357-9730 

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