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Review: bright light therapy and dawn simulation reduce symptom severity in seasonal affective disorder

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 Q Is light therapy efficacious for treatment of mood disorders?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★☆☆ Psychiatry ★★★★★☆☆ Mental health ★★★★★★☆


Embedded ImageData sources:

Medline (1975 to July 2003), Cochrane Library, and bibliographies of relevant reviews and studies.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

English language randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of adults 18–65 years of age who had a diagnosis of mood disorder based on DSM-III, DSM-III-R, DSM-IV, Research Diagnostic Criteria, or the Rosenthal criteria and were in the acute phase of treatment. Treatment conditions had to meet the following minimum dose criteria: bright light therapy for seasonal affective disorder (⩾4 d of ⩾3000 lux-h) v placebo (⩽300 lux); dawn simulation (increasing light exposure from 0 to 200–300 lux over 1–2.5 h) vs placebo …

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  • For correspondence: Dr R N Golden, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

  • Source of funding: no external funding.