Low-intensity blue-enriched white light (750 lux) and standard bright light (10 000 lux) are equally effective in treating SAD. A randomized controlled study

Meesters, Ybe; Dekker, Vera; Schlangen, Luc J. M.; Bos, Elske H.; Ruiter, Martine J.
January 2011
BMC Psychiatry;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p17
Academic Journal
Background: Photoreceptor cells containing melanopsin play a role in the phase-shifting effects of short-wavelength light. In a previous study, we compared the standard light treatment (SLT) of SAD with treatment using shortwavelength blue-enriched white light (BLT). Both treatments used the same illuminance (10 000 lux) and were equally highly effective. It is still possible, however, that neither the newly-discovered photoreceptor cells, nor the biological clock play a major role in the therapeutic effects of light on SAD. Alternatively, these effects may at least be partly mediated by these receptor cells, which may have become saturated as a result of the high illuminances used in the therapy. This randomized controlled study compares the effects of low-intensity BLT to those of high-intensity SLT. Method: In a 22-day design, 22 patients suffering from a major depression with a seasonal pattern (SAD) were given light treatment (10 000 lux) for two weeks on workdays. Subjects were randomly assigned to either of the two conditions, with gender and age evenly distributed over the groups. Light treatment either consisted of 30 minutes SLT (5000°K) with the EnergyLight® (Philips, Consumer Lifestyle) with a vertical illuminance of 10 000 lux at eye position or BLT (17 000°K) with a vertical illuminance of 750 lux using a prototype of the EnergyLight® which emitted a higher proportion of short-wavelengths. All participants completed questionnaires concerning mood, activation and sleep quality on a daily basis. Mood and energy levels were also assessed on a weekly basis by means of the SIGH-SAD and other assessment tools. Results: On day 22, SIGH-SAD ratings were significantly lower than on day 1 (SLT 65.2% and BLT 76.4%). On the basis of all assessments no statistically significant differences were found between the two conditions. Conclusion: With sample size being small, conclusions can only be preliminary. Both treatment conditions were found to be highly effective. The therapeutic effects of low-intensity blue-enriched light were comparable to those of the standard light treatment. Saturation effects may play a role, even with a light intensity of 750 lux. The therapeutic effects of blue-enriched white light in the treatment of SAD at illuminances as low as 750 lux help bring light treatment for SAD within reach of standard workplace and educational lighting systems.


Related Articles

  • Planning and problem-solving training for patients with schizophrenia: a randomized controlled trial. Rodewald, Katlehn; Rentrop, Mirjam; Holt, Daniel V.; Roesch-Ely, Daniela; Backenstraß, Matthias; Funke, Joachim; Weisbrod, Matthias; Kaiser, Stefan // BMC Psychiatry;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p73 

    Background: The purpose of this study was to assess whether planning and problem-solving training is more effective in improving functional capacity in patients with schizophrenia than a training program addressing basic cognitive functions. Methods: Eighty-nine patients with schizophrenia were...

  • CHAMP: Cognitive behaviour therapy for health anxiety in medical patients, a randomised controlled trial. Tyrer, Peter; Cooper, Sylvia; Tyrer, Helen; Salkovskis, Paul; Crawford, Mike; Green, John; Smith, Georgina; Reid, Steven; Dupont, Simon; Murphy, David; Byford, Sarah; Wang, Duolao; Barrett, Barbara // BMC Psychiatry;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p99 

    Background: Abnormal health anxiety, also called hypochondriasis, has been successfully treated by cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) in patients recruited from primary care, but only one pilot trial has been carried out among those attending secondary medical clinics where health anxiety is...

  • The chronic care for age-related macular degeneration study (CHARMED): Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.  // Trials;2011, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p221 

    The article presents a research which examines whether the implementation of core elements of the Chronic Care Model (CCM) results in better visual acuity in patients suffering from neovascular age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD). It is reported that, the researchers have used multicenter...

  • Multifamily Group Psychoeducation and Cognitive Remediation for First-Episode Psychosis: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Breitborde, Nicholas J. K.; Moreno, Francisco A.; Mai-Dixon, Natalie; Peterson, Rachele; Durst, Linda; Bernstein, Beth; Byreddy, Seenaiah; McFarlane, William R. // BMC Psychiatry;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p1 

    Background: Multifamily group psychoeducation (MFG) has been shown to reduce relapse rates among individuals with first-episode psychosis. However, given the cognitive demands associated with participating in this intervention (e.g., learning and applying a structured problem-solving activity),...

  • Disrupting the rhythm of depression: design and protocol of a randomized controlled trial on preventing relapse using brief cognitive therapy with or without antidepressants. Bockting, Claudi L. H.; Elgersma, Hermien J.; van Rijsbergen, Gerard D.; de Jonge, Peter; Ormel, Johan; Buskens, Erik; Stant, A. Dennis; de Jong, Peter J.; Peeters, Frenk P. M. L.; Huibers, Marcus J. H.; Arntz, Arnoud; Muris, Peter; Nolen, Willem A.; Schene, Aart H.; Hollon, Steven D. // BMC Psychiatry;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p8 

    Background: Maintenance treatment with antidepressants is the leading strategy to prevent relapse and recurrence in patients with recurrent major depressive disorder (MDD) who have responded to acute treatment with antidepressants (AD). However, in clinical practice most patients (up to 70-80%)...

  • Meta-analytic comparison of randomized and nonrandomized studies of breast cancer surgery. Edwards, Janet P.; Kelly, Elizabeth J.; Lin, Yongtao; Lenders, Taryn; Ghali, William A.; Graham, Andrew J. // Canadian Journal of Surgery;Jun2012, Vol. 55 Issue 3, p155 

    Background: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are thought to provide the most accurate estimation of "true" treatment effect. The relative quality of effect estimates derived from nonrandomized studies (nRCTs) remains unclear, particularly in surgery, where the obstacles to performing...

  • Arginine and antioxidant supplement on performance in elderly male cyclists: a randomized controlled trial. Chen, Steve; Woosong Kim; Henning, Susanne M.; Carpenter, Catherine L.; Zhaoping Li // Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition;2010, Vol. 7, p13 

    Background: Human exercise capacity declines with advancing age. These changes often result in loss of physical fitness and more rapid senescence. Nitric oxide (NO) has been implicated in improvement of exercise capacity through vascular smooth muscle relaxation in both coronary and skeletal...

  • An appraisal of rehabilitation regimes used for improving functional outcome after total hip replacement surgery.  // SMARTT: Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation, Therapy & ;2012, Vol. 4 Issue 1, p5 

    The article presents a research which examines the literature with regard to the randomised controlled trials for studies of rehabilitation programmes used for improving functional outcome after total hip replacement surgery. According to the research, if carried out early then progressive...

  • Down with the Hierarchies. Stegenga, Jacob // Topoi;Oct2014, Vol. 33 Issue 2, p313 

    Evidence hierarchies are widely used to assess evidence in systematic reviews of medical studies. I give several arguments against the use of evidence hierarchies. The problems with evidence hierarchies are numerous, and include methodological shortcomings, philosophical problems, and formal...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics