Quarterly scientific journal

The use of humor in the care of psychiatric patients

Aggeliki Statharou , Chrysodimitra Galatou , Evangelia Kotrotsiou


Humor is defined as a state of good spirit, exhibited with a smile or laughter, as a response to external stimuli. It constitutes a special form of human communication as well as a form of social conduct. The word «humor» appears for the first time in Hippocrates' writings. Psychology considers humor as one of the most powerful weapons against depression and disappointment. In psychiatric therapeutics humor serves many purposes, thereby acting as a supplement, not a substitute to treatment received. Purpose: of this article is to highlight the positive effects of humor in humans, health professionals and patient. Material and method: An extensive literature search databases such as Medline, Pub Med, Wikipedia, Cinahl, Medscape, with key words: humor, psychiatric patient, care, humor scales Results: Humor is an interpersonal process which facilitates and promotes expression and exchange of views; however it requires prudence, cautiousness and respect to patients' personality and sensitive issues. Humor is not innate, it is acquired and it can be learning and taught. Conclusion: The correct use of humor in therapeutic practice, contributes to the development of a therapeutic relationship between patient and healthcare professional as well as a sense of trust between them.

Keywords: Humor, psychiatric patient, care, humor scales

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