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Am J Psychiatry. 2002 Apr;159(4):666-9.

An open trial of morning light therapy for treatment of antepartum depression.

Author information

1
Pychiatry Department, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA. doren1@mac.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

About 5% of pregnant women meet criteria for major depression. No pharmacotherapy is specifically approved for antepartum depression; novel treatment approaches may be welcome. The authors explored the use of morning bright light therapy for antepartum depression.

METHOD:

An open trial of bright light therapy in an A-B-A design was conducted for 3-5 weeks in 16 pregnant patients with major depression. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Seasonal Affective Disorders Version, was administered to assess changes in mood. A follow-up questionnaire was used to assess outcome after delivery.

RESULTS:

After 3 weeks of treatment, mean depression ratings improved by 49%. Benefits were seen through 5 weeks of treatment. There was no evidence of adverse effects of light therapy on pregnancy.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data provide evidence that morning light therapy has an antidepressant effect during pregnancy. A randomized controlled trial is warranted to test this alternative to medication.

PMID:
11925310
DOI:
10.1176/appi.ajp.159.4.666
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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