Adjunctive bright light in non-seasonal major depression: results from patient-reported symptom and well-being scales

Martiny K, Lunde M, Undén M, Dam H, Bech P. 

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2005 Jun;111(6):453-9. PubMed PMID: 15877712.


In this study, we tested the efficacy of bright light therapy as an adjunct to antidepressant treatment (sertraline) in patients with non-seasonal major depression.

In a randomized double-blind controlled trial, 102 patients were treated for 5 weeks with either white bright light (10.000 lx, 1 h/day) or red dim light (50 lx, 30 min/day). All patients received sertraline in a dosage of 50 mg daily. The self-assessment scales used were the Major Depression Inventory (MDI), the Psychological General Well-Being Scale (PGWB) and the Symptom Check List (SCL-90R).

On all three questionnaires the score differences between baseline and endpoint were greatest in the bright light group. On the SCL-90R, the difference reached statistical significance. Results and effect sizes are compared with results from Danish national population studies applying PGWB and SCL-90R.


The results advocate the use of bright light as an adjunct treatment of non-seasonal depression.

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