Summary: Humor therapy might alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The comprehensive study comprised 29 diverse studies from nine countries, involving 2,964 participants with depression, anxiety, or both. While most participants reported a decrease in their symptoms, some felt the effect was insignificant.
This lends support to the idea that humor therapy could become a viable and accessible complementary alternative therapy for clinicians and patients alike.
An analysis of 29 studies across nine countries reveals humor therapy’s potential in alleviating depression and anxiety symptoms.
Participants of the study ranged from children undergoing surgery to older individuals in nursing homes and people with various chronic conditions.
Although the impact was deemed insignificant by some, the majority felt that humor therapy lessened their symptoms.
An analysis of published studies suggests that humor therapy may lessen symptoms of depression and anxiety.
For the analysis, which is published in Brain and Behavior, investigators identified 29 relevant studies that included a total of 2,964 participants and were conducted in nine different countries.
Participants had depression or anxiety and included children undergoing surgery or anesthesia; older people in nursing homes; patients with Parkinson’s disease, cancer, mental illness, or receiving dialysis; retired women; and college students.
Examples of humor therapy included medical clowns and laughter therapy/yoga.
Most participants thought humor therapy lessened their depression and anxiety, but some considered the effect to be insignificant.
“As a simple and feasible complementary alternative therapy, humor therapy may provide a favorable alternative for clinicians, nurses, and patients in the future,” the authors wrote.
About this depression research news
Author: Sara Henning-Stout Source: Wiley Contact: Sara Henning-Stout – Wiley Image: The image is credited to Neuroscience News
The impact of humor therapy on people suffering from depression or anxiety: An integrative literature review
To identify and synthesize existing research on the effectiveness and feasibility of multiform humor therapy on people suffering from depression or anxiety, with the hope of benefiting future research.
An integrative literature review of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed studies was performed. The PubMed, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Embase, and CINAHL databases were searched up to March 2022. Two independent reviewers conducted each stage of the review process, by assessing eligibility using preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analyses (PRISMA) and quality appraisal using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool, and data extraction.
In this integrative review, 29 papers were included, containing 2964 participants across a diverse range of studies, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. The articles were from the United States, Australia, Italy, Turkey, South Korea, Iran, Israel, China, and Germany. The findings indicated that most of the subjects thought humor therapy was effective in improving depression and anxiety while a few participants considered the effect insignificant. However, more high-quality studies will be needed to confirm these conclusions.
This review collated and summarized findings from studies examining the impact of humor therapy (medical clowns, laughter therapy/yoga) on people with depression or anxiety, including children undergoing surgery or anesthesia, older people in nursing homes, patients with Parkinson’s disease, cancer, mental illness, and undergoing dialysis, retired women, and college students. The results from this review may help inform future research, policy, and practice in humor therapy to improve people’s symptoms of depression and anxiety.
This systematic review objectively evaluated the effect of humor therapy on depression and anxiety. As a simple and feasible complementary alternative therapy, humor therapy may provide a favorable alternative for clinicians, nurses, and patients in the future.