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J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2012 Feb;13(2):100-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2011.05.006. Epub 2011 Jun 16.

Light therapy for seniors in long term care.

Author information

1
Department of Architectural Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To investigate the effects of light therapy on cognition, depression, sleep, and circadian rhythms in a general, nonselected population of seniors living in a long term care facility.

DESIGN:

A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

SETTING:

The experiment took place at a long term care facility in Pennsylvania.

PARTICIPANTS:

Study participants (15 treatment, 13 placebo) were residents receiving either personal care or skilled nursing care.

INTERVENTION:

Treatment consisted of approximately 400 lux of blue light administered for 30 minutes per day, Monday through Friday, for 4 weeks. The placebo was approximately 75 lux of red light generated from the same device.

MEASUREMENTS:

Behavioral assessments were made using the MicroCog Assessment of Cognitive Functioning, Geriatric Depression Scale, and Profile of Mood States. Daytime sleepiness was evaluated using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale.

RESULTS:

Three of the 4 composite scores from the MicroCog as well as the mean Tension/Anxiety score from the Profile of Mood States showed a significant treatment versus placebo effect.

CONCLUSION:

Blue light treatment led to significant cognitive improvements compared with placebo red light and may be a promising environmental intervention to reduce cognitive symptoms in elderly, long-term care residents.

PMID:
21683660
DOI:
10.1016/j.jamda.2011.05.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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