Evaluation of a standardized humor group in a clinical setting: a feasibility study for older patients with depression.Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2013 Aug;28(8):850-7
Authors: Konradt B, Hirsch RD, Jonitz MF, Junglas K
BACKGROUND: Positive effects of humor on older patients with depressive symptoms have been repeatedly reported. Empirical evidence however is rare. We investigated the efficacy of a standardized humor therapy group in a clinical context especially for older depressed patients.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: An experimental group with treatment (49 patients) was compared with a control group with no treatment (50 patients) in a semi-randomized design. Included were patients with major depression according to ICD-10. A set of questionnaires (Geriatric Depression Scale, Short Form Health Survey, State-Trait-Cheerfulness Inventory, and Satisfaction with Life Scale) was administered pretreatment and posttreatment.
RESULTS: Both groups showed improvement for depression, suicidal tendency, state cheerfulness, and state bad mood. Only participants of the humor group showed changes of state seriousness and satisfaction with life (p < 0.05). Further trends could be demonstrated for higher changes in state cheerfulness and resilience for the humor group.
CONCLUSION: Our results indicate an additional benefit of this specific therapeutic intervention for older depressed patients.