HEALTH

Humour to combat anxiety and depression: a study shows why it works

An international analysis has shown how humour, used as a real hospital therapy, alleviates symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression in long-term chronic patients such as children who have just undergone surgery or even elderly people in nursing homes. The research was conducted internationally and published in the journal 'Brain and Behavior'. 

Basically, it was a review of the existing literature (quantitative, qualitative and mixed studies). Thus, in addition to existing papers, as many as 29 articles were included, involving 2964 participants, conducted in nine different countries, such as the United States, Australia, Italy, Turkey, South Korea, Iran, Israel, China and Germany.

The majority of patients, the study authors suggest, stated that humour therapy had positive effects in reducing anxiety and depression, compared to a small number of subjects who found this approach to be insignificant.

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Humor therapy works: a study proves it
An international analysis has shown how humor, used as a real hospital therapy, alleviates anxiety, stress and depression symptoms in long term chronic inpatients such as newly operated children or even elderly people in nursing homes.
Getty Images
Humor therapy works: a study proves it
The internationally conducted research is published in the journal 'Brain and Behavior'. Basically, it was a review of the existing literature (quantitative, qualitative and mixed studies). Thus, in addition to existing papers, 29 articles were included, involving 2964 participants, conducted in nine different countries, such as the United States, Australia, Italy, Turkey, South Korea, Iran, Israel, China and Germany.
Getty Images
Humour therapy works: a study proves it
The majority of patients, the study authors suggest, stated that humour therapy had positive effects in reducing anxiety and depression, in contrast to a small number of subjects who found this approach to be insignificant.
Getty Images
Humour therapy works: a study proves it
Specifically, the test subjects were, according to the note published by AGI on the subject, children undergoing surgery or anaesthesia, elderly people in nursing homes, patients suffering from Parkinson's disease, cancer, mental illness or on dialysis, retired women and university students.
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Humour therapy works: a study proves it
What this study can help do is specifically inform future research into the policies and practices of humour therapy to attempt to alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety. "As a simple and feasible complementary alternative therapy, humour therapy may represent a favourable alternative for physicians, nurses and patients in the future," wrote the researchers behind the analysis.
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19/04/2024
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