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The effects of humor therapy on nursing home residents measured using observational methods: the SMILE cluster randomized trial

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Objectives

    To evaluate the effects of humor therapy assessed using observational methods on agitation, engagement, positive behaviors, affect, and contentment.

    Design

    Single-blind cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Setting

    A total of 35 Sydney nursing homes.

    Participants

    All eligible residents within geographically defined areas within each nursing home were invited to participate.

    Intervention

    Professional “ElderClowns” provided 9 to 12 weekly humor therapy sessions, augmented by resident engagement by trained staff “LaughterBosses.” Controls received usual care.

    Measurements

    The Behavior Engagement Affect Measure (BEAM) touchpad observational tool was used to capture real-time behavioral data. The tool assesses the duration in seconds of agitation, positive behavior toward others, engagement, and affect (angry, anxious, happy, neutral, sad).

    Results

    Seventeen nursing homes (189 residents) received the intervention and 18 homes (209 residents) received usual care. Over 26 weeks, in comparison with controls, the humor therapy group decreased in duration of high agitation (effect size = 0.168 and 0.129 at 13 and 26 weeks, respectively) and increased in duration of happiness (effect size = 0.4 and 0.236 at 13 and 26 weeks, respectively).

    Conclusion

    We confirmed that humor therapy decreases agitation and also showed that it increases happiness. Researchers may consider evaluating impacts of nonpharmaceutical interventions on positive outcomes. Computer-assisted observational measures should be considered, particularly for residents with dementia and when the reliability of staff is uncertain.

Authors


  •   Low, Lee-Fay (external author)
  •   Goodenough, Belinda J.
  •   Fletcher, Jennifer (external author)
  •   Xu, Kenny (external author)
  •   Casey, Anne-Nicole (external author)
  •   Chenoweth, Lynn (external author)
  •   Fleming, Richard
  •   Spitzer, Peter (external author)
  •   Bell, Jean-Paul (external author)
  •   Brodaty, Henry (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2014

Citation


  • Low, L., Goodenough, B., Fletcher, J., Xu, K., Casey, A., Chenoweth, L., Fleming, R., Spitzer, P., Bell, J. & Brodaty, H. (2014). The effects of humor therapy on nursing home residents measured using observational methods: the SMILE cluster randomized trial. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA): long-term care: management, applied research and clinical issues, 15 (8), 564-569.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84905058272

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/2071

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 5

Start Page


  • 564

End Page


  • 569

Volume


  • 15

Issue


  • 8

Place Of Publication


  • United States

Abstract


  • Objectives

    To evaluate the effects of humor therapy assessed using observational methods on agitation, engagement, positive behaviors, affect, and contentment.

    Design

    Single-blind cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Setting

    A total of 35 Sydney nursing homes.

    Participants

    All eligible residents within geographically defined areas within each nursing home were invited to participate.

    Intervention

    Professional “ElderClowns” provided 9 to 12 weekly humor therapy sessions, augmented by resident engagement by trained staff “LaughterBosses.” Controls received usual care.

    Measurements

    The Behavior Engagement Affect Measure (BEAM) touchpad observational tool was used to capture real-time behavioral data. The tool assesses the duration in seconds of agitation, positive behavior toward others, engagement, and affect (angry, anxious, happy, neutral, sad).

    Results

    Seventeen nursing homes (189 residents) received the intervention and 18 homes (209 residents) received usual care. Over 26 weeks, in comparison with controls, the humor therapy group decreased in duration of high agitation (effect size = 0.168 and 0.129 at 13 and 26 weeks, respectively) and increased in duration of happiness (effect size = 0.4 and 0.236 at 13 and 26 weeks, respectively).

    Conclusion

    We confirmed that humor therapy decreases agitation and also showed that it increases happiness. Researchers may consider evaluating impacts of nonpharmaceutical interventions on positive outcomes. Computer-assisted observational measures should be considered, particularly for residents with dementia and when the reliability of staff is uncertain.

Authors


  •   Low, Lee-Fay (external author)
  •   Goodenough, Belinda J.
  •   Fletcher, Jennifer (external author)
  •   Xu, Kenny (external author)
  •   Casey, Anne-Nicole (external author)
  •   Chenoweth, Lynn (external author)
  •   Fleming, Richard
  •   Spitzer, Peter (external author)
  •   Bell, Jean-Paul (external author)
  •   Brodaty, Henry (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2014

Citation


  • Low, L., Goodenough, B., Fletcher, J., Xu, K., Casey, A., Chenoweth, L., Fleming, R., Spitzer, P., Bell, J. & Brodaty, H. (2014). The effects of humor therapy on nursing home residents measured using observational methods: the SMILE cluster randomized trial. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA): long-term care: management, applied research and clinical issues, 15 (8), 564-569.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84905058272

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/2071

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 5

Start Page


  • 564

End Page


  • 569

Volume


  • 15

Issue


  • 8

Place Of Publication


  • United States