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Clinical Usefulness of Bright White Light Therapy for Depressive Symptoms in Cancer Survivors: Results from a Series of Personalized (N-of-1) Trials

Clinical Usefulness of Bright White Light Therapy for Depressive Symptoms in Cancer Survivors: Results from a Series of Personalized (N-of-1) Trials


Title: Clinical Usefulness of Bright White Light Therapy for Depressive Symptoms in Cancer Survivors: Results from a Series of Personalized (N-of-1) Trials
Author: Kronish, Ian M.
Cheung, Ying Kuen
Julian, Jacob
Parsons, Faith
Lee, Jenny
Yoon, Sunmoo
Valdimarsdottir, Heidis
Green, Paige
Suls, Jerry
Hershman, Dawn L.
... 1 more authors Show all authors
Date: 2019-12-30
Language: English
Scope: 10
University/Institute: Háskólinn í Reykjavík
Reykjavik University
School: Samfélagssvið (HR)
School of Social Sciences (RU)
Department: Sálfræðideild (HR)
Department of Psychology (RU)
Series: Healthcare;8(1)
ISSN: 2227-9032 (eISSN)
DOI: 10.3390/healthcare8010010
Subject: Depression; Cancer survivors; Bright white light therapy; N-of-1 trials; Personalized medicine; Þunglyndi; Ljósameðferð; Krabbameinssjúklingar
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/2160

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Citation:

Kronish, I. M., Cheung, Y. K., Julian, J., Parsons, F., Lee, J., Yoon, S., Valdimarsdottir, H., Green, P., Suls, J., Hershman, D. L., & Davidson, K. W. (2020). Clinical Usefulness of Bright White Light Therapy for Depressive Symptoms in Cancer Survivors: Results from a Series of Personalized (N-of-1) Trials. HEALTHCARE, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8010010

Abstract:

Purpose: Little is known about the effectiveness of bright white light therapy (BWL) for depressive symptoms in cancer survivors, many of whom prefer non-pharmacological treatments. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of BWL versus dim red light therapy (DRL) on depressive symptoms within individual cancer survivors using personalized (N-of-1) trials. Methods: Cancer survivors with at least mild depressive symptoms were randomized to one of two treatment sequences consisting of counterbalanced crossover comparisons of three-weeks of lightbox-delivered BWL (intervention) or DRL (sham) for 30 min each morning across 12 weeks. A smartphone application guided cancer survivors through the treatment sequence and facilitated data collection. Cancer survivors tracked end-of-day depressive symptoms (primary outcome) and fatigue using visual analog scales. Within-patient effects of BWL were assessed using an autoregressive model with adjustment for linear time trends. Results: Eight of nine cancer survivors completed the 12-week protocol. Two survivors reported significantly (i.e., p < 0.05) lower depressive symptoms (-1.3 +/- 0.5 and -1.30 +/- 0.9 points on a 10-point scale), five reported no difference in depressive symptoms, and one reported higher depressive symptoms (+1.7 +/- 0.6 points) with BWL versus DRL. Eight of nine cancer survivors recommended personalized trials of BWL to others. Conclusions: There were heterogeneous effects of three-week BWL on self-reported depressive symptoms among cancer survivors, with some finding a benefit but others finding no benefit or even harm. Implications for Cancer Survivors: Personalized trials can help cancer survivors learn if BWL is helpful for improving their depressive symptoms.

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This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution(CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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