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

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2005 Jun;111(6):453-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2005.00532.x.


Objective: 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.

Method: 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).

Results: 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.

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

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / therapy*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Light*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Phototherapy / methods*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Sertraline / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Sertraline