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Q What is the comparative efficacy and safety of light therapy and fluoxetine for seasonal affective disorder?
Multicentre randomised controlled trial.
Follow up period:
Eight weeks (treatment period only).
Four mood disorder clinics in Canada; September to February from 2000 to 2003.
Ninety six adult outpatients with a seasonal (winter onset) pattern of major depressive disorder (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV) and a score of ⩾23 on the 24-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) or ⩾20 on the 17-item HDRS. Main exclusions: pregnancy or risk of pregnancy; lactation; high risk of suicide; organic mental disorders; serious medical or psychiatric comorbidity; retinal disease; previous light therapy or fluoxetine; formal psychotherapy (current or within the past 3 months); shift work or travelling south during the study.
10 000-lux light treatment (applied for 30 minutes each morning) plus placebo capsule versus fluoxetine (20 mg/day) plus placebo light treatment (100-lux).
Depressive symptoms (24-item HDRS); clinical response (⩾50% reduction from baseline in …
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