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Pilot study to examine the effects of indoor daylight exposure on depression and other neuropsychiatric symptoms in people living with dementia in long-term care communities

Authors Konis K, Mack WJ, Schneider EL

Received 10 February 2018

Accepted for publication 6 April 2018

Published 30 May 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 1071—1077


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Kyle Konis,1 Wendy J Mack,2 Edward L Schneider3–5

1USC School of Architecture, 2Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, 3Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, 4Department of Internal Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, 5Department of Biological Sciences, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Abstract: A 12-week study was conducted in eight dementia care communities involving 77 participants addressing the hypothesis that an intervention of increasing indoor exposure to daylight will reduce depression and other neuropsychiatric symptoms. At four communities, staff were enlisted to increase daylight exposure by taking participants to a perimeter room with daylight exposure for socialization in the morning (8:00–10:00 AM) each day. At the other four communities, a control group were taken to a similar sized area without daylight for socialization under typical electrical lighting conditions. Participants in the daylight intervention experienced an average decrease over the trial in the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Nursing Home Version (NPI-NH) scores (p=0.33) and the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD) scores (p=0.025), while the control participants showed average but nonsignificant increases in both NPI-NH (p=0.33) and CSDD (p=0.13). Difference in outcome changes of the intervention group achieved statistical significance for CSDD (p=0.01) but not for NPI-NH (p=0.17). Our results suggest that increased exposure to daylight can reduce depression in people living with dementia.

Keywords: dementia, daylight, depression, memory care communities

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