Sunday, 5 August 2018

Don't make me laugh!

Roger Watson, Editor

Being older and attending day care is no joke, nothing to laugh about - you may think. The aim of this study from Japan by Yoshikawa  et al. (2018) was to: 'the effect of laughter therapy on physiological and psychological function in older people.' To achieve this 17 older people attended 'Stand‐up comedy as laughter therapy was performed once a week for 4 weeks.'

Laughter therapy had beneficial effects including reduction in blood pressure and lower levels of depression. Cognitive status was not altered. The authors conclude: 'These data strongly suggest beneficial effects of laughter therapy on physiological and psychological functions, although laughter did not affect cognitive function. The present study supports the therapeutic advantage of laughter therapy and raises the possibility of a new approach to promote physical and mental health in older people.

Reference

Yoshikawa Y, Ohmaki E, Kawahata H, Maekawa Y, Ogihara T, Morishita R, Aoki M (2018) Beneficial effect of laughter therapy on physiological and psychological function in the elderly Nursing Open DOI: 10.1002/nop2.190

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