Objectives. The paper reviews studies on effectiveness and tolerability of phototherapy in non-seasonal affective disorders.
Review. Efficacy of phototherapy (involving exposure to bright, white light) was confirmed in the treatment of seasonal affective disorders. This non-pharmacological treatment method is well-tolerated, relatively safe and simple to use. Its side effects are rare. The method provides a viable alternative for patients who cannot accept or tolerate medication, or in whom pharmacotherapy may be contraindicated.
Conclusions. More and more reports are published on the use of phototherapy also in non-seasonal depression, either as monotherapy or as an adjuvant to conventional antidepressants. The results are inconclusive. Further research is needed to explain the doubts.