Implementation of a manual-based training of humor abilities in patients with depression: a pilot study

Psychiatry Res. 2011 Apr 30;186(2-3):454-7. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2010.10.009. Epub 2010 Nov 11.


Humor and laughter can positively influence mood, promote optimism and lead to a change of perspective. Six patients with major depression participated in a group training program specifically designed to enhance humor abilities. After 8 weeks of training, short-term mood improvement was observed and the patients considered themselves more capable of using humor as a coping strategy. Acquired humor skills also helped to sustain the patients' motivation throughout the training period. In light of these encouraging findings, further studies to compare the effectiveness of the humor training with the effectiveness of other types of intervention and to assess its potential long-term effects seem warranted.

MeSH terms

  • Depression / psychology*
  • Depression / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Musculoskeletal Manipulations / methods*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychometrics
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wit and Humor as Topic*