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, 6 (1), 93-99

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


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

Yuki Yoshikawa et al. Nurs Open.


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.


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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