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Increased daylight availability reduces length of hospitalisation in depressive patients

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In a retrospective study, hospital stay in two hospitals was compared for depressive patients. The mean amount of accumulated light impinging the patient’s area was 86,145 lux/light period in Hospital Universitari Son Dureta and 258,909 lux/light period in Hospital Universitari Son Espases (~300 % increase). The median stay was 14 days (1q–3q 8–19, n = 101) and 11 (1q–3q 6–15, n = 106) days, respectively. The reduction was significant only for the entire group, though not for subgroups (p < 0.007). Although the light received was not individually measured, results point to a significant effect of light in the recovery time of depressive patients. Prospective studies are needed.

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We want to thank Mr Joan Tortell Marimón and to all the team of Clinical Documentation their help in the recovery of patient data.

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Correspondence to Francesca Canellas.

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Canellas, F., Mestre, L., Belber, M. et al. Increased daylight availability reduces length of hospitalisation in depressive patients. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 266, 277–280 (2016).

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  • Bright light
  • Depression
  • Length of hospitalisation