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.