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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:864739. doi: 10.1155/2015/864739. Epub 2015 May 24.

Laughter and Stress Relief in Cancer Patients: A Pilot Study.

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Department of Nursing, ASAN Medical Center, Seoul 138-736, Republic of Korea.
Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 43-Gil Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul 138-736, Republic of Korea.


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a therapeutic laughter program and the number of program sessions on anxiety, depression, and stress in breast cancer patients. A randomized controlled trial was conducted involving 31 patients who received four sessions of therapeutic laughter program comprised and 29 who were assigned to the no-program control group. Scores for anxiety, depression, and stress were measured using an 11-point numerical rating scale. While no change was detected in the control group, the program group reported reductions of 1.94, 1.84, and 2.06 points for anxiety, depression, and stress, respectively (p < 0.01, p < 0.01, and p < 0.01). Scores decreased significantly after the first therapeutic laughter session (p < 0.05, p < 0.01, and p < 0.01). As the therapeutic laughter program was effective after only a single session in reducing anxiety, depression, and stress in breast cancer patients, it could be recommended as a first-line complementary/alternative therapy.

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