Increased daylight availability reduces length of hospitalisation in depressive patients

Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2016 Apr;266(3):277-80. doi: 10.1007/s00406-015-0601-5. Epub 2015 May 23.


In a retrospective study, hospital stay in two hospitals was compared for depressive patients. The mean amount of accumulated light impinging the patient's area was 86,145 lux/light period in Hospital Universitari Son Dureta and 258,909 lux/light period in Hospital Universitari Son Espases (~300 % increase). The median stay was 14 days (1q-3q 8-19, n = 101) and 11 (1q-3q 6-15, n = 106) days, respectively. The reduction was significant only for the entire group, though not for subgroups (p < 0.007). Although the light received was not individually measured, results point to a significant effect of light in the recovery time of depressive patients. Prospective studies are needed.

Keywords: Bright light; Depression; Length of hospitalisation.

MeSH terms

  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sunlight*
  • Time Factors