Effectiveness of humor intervention for patients with schizophrenia: a randomized controlled trial

J Psychiatr Res. 2014 Dec:59:174-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2014.09.010. Epub 2014 Sep 19.


Objective: The primary aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the possible therapeutic effects of a 10-session humor intervention program in improving rehabilitative outcomes and the effects of the intervention on patients' sense of humor among patients with schizophrenia.

Method: Thirty subjects were randomly assigned into either the intervention (humor skill training) group (n = 15) or the control (doing handwork) group (n = 15). The results were analyzed using descriptive statistics, t-tests and ANOVA.

Findings: Repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) tests were conducted to examine the differences across conditions and time. A group by time interaction effect was observed on all of the outcomes, except positive symptoms of PANSS. The time main effect was also significant on the total score (p < 0.005) and the negative symptoms score (p < 0.001) of the PANSS.

Conclusions: The implementation of humor skill training in a mental health service can improve rehabilitative outcomes and sense of humor for schizophrenia patients who were in the rehabilitation stage.

Keywords: China; Humor skill training; Schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laughter Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Schizophrenia / rehabilitation*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wit and Humor as Topic*