Effect of Bright Light Exposure on Depression and Agitation in Older Adults with Dementia

Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2016 Sep;37(9):660-667. doi: 10.1080/01612840.2016.1183736. Epub 2016 Jun 2.


This study examined the effects of bright light exposure on three measures of depression and four measures of agitation in persons with dementia residing in long-term care. Using a randomized controlled design, participants were randomly assigned to receive either bright light (n = 30) or low intensity light (n = 30) for eight weeks. Bright light exposure was associated with significant improvement in depression and agitation, while participants receiving low intensity light displayed higher levels of depression and agitation or no significant change. Findings support the use of bright light exposure to reduce depression and agitation in this population.