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Light therapy: Methodological issues from an engineering perspective

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Author: Westerlaken, A.C. · Hoof, J. van · Aarts, M.P.J. · Wouters, E.J.M. · Schoutens, A.M.C. · Sinoo, M.M. · Aries, M.B.C.
Type:article
Date:2012
Source:Technology and Health Care, 20, 11-23
Identifier: 446379
Keywords: Vision · Healthy Living · Building Engineering & Civil Engineering · SR - Structural Reliability · TS - Technical Sciences

Abstract

Light therapy is increasingly administered and studied as a non-pharmacologic treatment for a variety of healthrelated problems, including treatment of people with dementia. Light therapy comes in a variety of ways, ranging from being exposed to daylight, to being exposed to light emitted by light boxes and ambient bright light. Light therapy is an area in medicine where medical sciences meet the realms of physics, engineering and technology. Therefore, it is paramount that attention is paid in the methodology of studies to the technical aspects in their full breadth. This paper provides an extensive introduction for non-technical researchers on how to describe and adjust their methodology when involved in lighting therapy research. A specific focus in this manuscript is on ambient bright light, as it is an emerging field within the domain of light therapy. The paper deals with how to (i) describe the lighting equipment, (ii) describe the light measurements, (iii) describe the building and interaction with daylight. Moreover, attention is paid to the uncertainty in standards and guidelines regarding light and lighting for older adults.