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Chronobiol Int. 2011 Nov;28(9):834-40. doi: 10.3109/07420528.2011.611603. Epub 2011 Sep 21.

Validating the use of wrist-level light monitoring for in-hospital circadian studies.

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Department of Anaesthesiology, University of Auckland, New Zealand.


This clinical methods comparison study describes the difference between light levels measured at the wrist (Actiwatch-L) and at the eye (Daysimeter) in a postoperative in-patient population. The mean difference between the two devices was less than 10 lux at light levels less than 5000 lux. Agreement between the devices was found to decrease as eye-level light exposure increased. Measurements at eye level of 5000 lux or more corresponded to a difference between the devices of greater than 100 lux. Agreement between the eye- and wrist-level light measurements also appears to be influenced by time of day. During the day, the measurement differences were on average 50 lux higher at eye level, whereas at night they were on average 50 lux lower. Although the wrist-level monitor was found to underestimate light exposure at higher light levels, it was well tolerated by participants in the clinical setting. In contrast, the eye-level monitor was cumbersome and uncomfortable for the patients to wear. This study provides light-exposure data on patients in real conditions in the clinical environment. The results show that wrist-level monitoring provides an adequate estimate of light exposure for in-hospital circadian studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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