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Women Health. 2001;34(3):93-112.

The effects of a multi-modal intervention trial of light, exercise, and vitamins on women's mood.

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University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.


The purpose of this study was to test the efficacy of a tri-modal intervention (LEVITY) to improve women's mood. This eight-week randomized experiment with a placebo-control group targeted women with symptoms of mild to moderate depression. Women in the intervention group were instructed to take a brisk 20-minute outdoor walk at target heart rate of 60% of maximum heart rate, to increase light exposure throughout the day and to take a specific vitamin regimen. Women in the control group took a daily placebo vitamin. The sample consisted of 112 women ages 19-78 who reported mild to moderate depressive symptoms. They were in otherwise good health and were not currently taking any mood-altering medication. Pre- and post-intervention assessment utilized live measures of mood: Center for Epidemiology Studies Depression Scale, Profile of Mood States, Depression-Happiness Scale, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and the General Well-Being Schedule. Analysis of covariance indicated that the intervention was effective in improving women's overall mood, self-esteem, and general sense of well-being and in decreasing symptoms on two measures of depression. Of particular note, the data from all five outcome measures supported the efficacy of the intervention. In addition, a high level of adherence to the intervention protocol was observed with two-thirds of the women reporting 100% adherence. Study implications suggest that this type of intervention may provide an effective, clinically manageable therapy for mild-to-moderately depressed women who prefer a self-directed approach or who have difficulties with the cost or side-effects of medication or psychotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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