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, 6 (1), 93-99
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Beneficial Effect of Laughter Therapy on Physiological and Psychological Function in Elders

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Beneficial Effect of Laughter Therapy on Physiological and Psychological Function in Elders

Yuki Yoshikawa et al. Nurs Open.

Abstract

Aim: In the present study we investigated the effect of laughter therapy on physiological and psychological function in older people.

Design: An open-label trial.

Methods: Seventeen older people who regularly attended an elderly day care centre were recruited. Stand-up comedy as laughter therapy was performed once a week for 4 weeks. Parameters of physiological and psychological function were evaluated before and after laughter therapy.

Results: Laughter therapy intervention resulted in a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure and heart rate, accompanied by a significant increase in plasma concentration of serotonin and a significant decrease in salivary concentration of chromogranin A. Questionnaire surveys of SF-8, GDS-15, and Vitality Index demonstrated alleviation of depression and improvement of sociability and activity in older people. Laughter therapy could be expected to become a practical treatment to improve quality of life of older people in an elderly day care centre.

Keywords: SF‐8; blood pressure; geriatric depression scale (GDS); laughter therapy; quality of life (QOL); serotonin.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
(a) BP before and after intervention. (N = 17). (b) HR before and after intervention. (N = 17). (c) Percent change in plasma serotonin concentration after four performances of laughter therapy. (N = 16). (d) Concentration of salivary CgA before and after laughter therapy. (N = 16). (e) Correlation of percent change in plasma serotonin concentration with percent change in plasma NK activity. (N = 16). Values are expressed as mean ± SEM. * p < 0.05 versus Pre. Pre, the day before the first laughter therapy. Post, the day after the last laughter therapy.

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