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


Journal Article

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.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.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.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.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Oren, DA; Wisner, KL; Spinelli, M; Epperson, CN; Peindl, KS; Terman, JS; Terman, M

Published Date

  • April 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 159 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 666 - 669

PubMed ID

  • 11925310

Pubmed Central ID

  • 11925310

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1535-7228

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-953X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1176/appi.ajp.159.4.666


  • eng