A pilot of Brighter Outlook™ was run in Cornwall from February to the end of April 2009.
The aim of conducting the pilot was to ascertain the feasibility and benefit of delivering an innovative weather-based alert service as part of a care package for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
More than 100 people registered interest in the pilot, with 87 participating. Ages ranged from 19-76 years with an average age of 46.5 years (Fig. 1).
In order to measure the impact and effectiveness of the Brighter Outlook™ care package:
Overall, the findings of the pilot were extremely encouraging. Fig. 2 confirms the positive impact of the service. It shows that, prior to the pilot, the majority of participants' responses fell within the moderate-severe to severe depression (65.5%). Post-trial only a small minority fell within these categories of depression (4.9%) with the vast majority expressing mild to normal depressive symptoms (68.5%).
Results from the postal evaluation indicated that satisfaction levels were in the majority good to very good across all aspects of the service, with a minority reporting a neutral/not sure response and no one reporting feeling unsatisfied. Fig. 3 shows that 81% of participants found the light box and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy self-help material either helpful or very helpful in improving symptoms.
Overall participants viewed the service as being highly valuable, with the vast majority stating that it should be actively promoted and more widely available.