Humour sans frontieres: the feasibility of providing clown care at a distance

Telemed J E Health. 2011 May;17(4):316-8. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2010.0166. Epub 2011 Apr 2.


Clown care has been shown to have health-related benefits and is a well-established part of the routine in many children's hospitals. However, children who have been admitted to general hospitals or who are being cared for at home cannot usually enjoy visits by Clown Doctors. Therefore, the aim of this work was to investigate whether an existing telemedicine network could be used to improve equity of access to humor for sick children, specifically those who are hospitalized away from the nearest clown-enabled hospital or who are being cared for at home. Using videoconferencing, we conducted regular clown outreach links from The Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane, Australia, to children in regional hospitals and to sick children in their homes. Using a program of performance, which was modified for delivery by videoconference, teleclowning was found to be feasible. Further work is required to determine whether the health-related benefits that accrue from in-person clowning are successfully translated to the video-based modality.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Child Welfare*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Laughter Therapy / methods*
  • Telemedicine / organization & administration*
  • United States
  • Video Recording
  • Wit and Humor as Topic*