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Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2011 Jul;11(3):267-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0594.2010.00680.x. Epub 2011 Jan 17.

Effects of laughter therapy on depression, cognition and sleep among the community-dwelling elderly.

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  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu, Korea.

Abstract

AIM:

To investigate the effects of laughter therapy on depression, cognitive function, quality of life, and sleep of the elderly in a community.

METHODS:

Between July and September 2007, the total study sample consisted of 109 subjects aged over 65 divided into two groups; 48 subjects in the laughter therapy group and 61 subjects in the control group. The subjects in the laughter therapy group underwent laughter therapy four times over 1 month. We compared Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Short-Form Health Survey-36 (SF-36), Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) between the two groups before and after laughter therapy.

RESULTS:

There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics between the two groups. Before laughter therapy, the GDS scores were 7.98 ± 3.58 and 8.08 ± 3.96; the MMSE scores were 23.81 ± 3.90 and 22.74 ± 4.00; total scores of SF-36 were 54.77 ± 17.63 and 52.54 ± 21.31; the ISI scores were 8.00 ± 6.29 and 8.36 ± 6.38; the PSQI scores were 6.98 ± 3.41 and 7.38 ± 3.70 in laughter therapy group and control groups, respectively. After laughter therapy, the GDS scores were 6.94 ± 3.19 (P=0.027) and 8.43 ± 3.44 (P=0.422); the MMSE scores were 24.63 ± 3.53 (P=0.168) and 23.70 ± 3.85 (P=0.068); total scores of SF-36 were 52.24 ± 17.63 (P=0.347) and 50.32 ± 19.66 (P=0.392); the ISI scores were 7.58 ± 5.38 (P=0.327) and 9.31 ± 6.35 (P=0.019); the PSQI scores were 6.04 ± 2.35 (P=0.019) and 7.30 ± 3.74 (P=0.847) in both groups, respectively.

CONCLUSION:

Laughter therapy is considered to be useful, cost-effective and easily-accessible intervention that has positive effects on depression, insomnia, and sleep quality in the elderly.

© 2011 Japan Geriatrics Society.

PMID:
21241447
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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