Navigation Links
Humor as effective as medication in treating agitation in dementia
Date:9/21/2011

Humour therapy is as effective as widely used antipsychotic drugs in managing agitation in patients with dementia and avoids serious drug side effects, a new study shows.

The first major study of the impact of humour therapy on mood, agitation, behavioural disturbances and social engagement in dementia patients found both short term and persisting decrease in agitation, according to lead researcher, Dr Lee-Fay Low, a Research Fellow in the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales.

The SMILE study across 36 Australian residential aged care facilities involved the recruitment and training of a staff member to act as a "LaughterBoss" who worked with a humour practitioner with comedic and improvisation skills not unlike "Clown Doctors" used in hospitals to aid recovery and lift mood in children.

Jean-Paul Bell, the key humour therapist in the SMILE study, has set up the Arts Health Institute (AHI) to train humour practitioners and aged care staff. The AHI's core program, Play Up, provides a playful relationship with residents and staff in aged care, focusing particularly with people with dementia. The AHI is now focused on translating the knowledge of the SMILE study into residential aged care and continues to work with UNSW's Dementia Collaborative Research Centre to roll out the program nationally.

Dementia rates are expected to double to in the next 20 years in Australia to about 450,000, mainly due to an ageing population. About 6.5 per cent of people over 65 and 22 per cent of people over 85 have dementia an umbrella term used to describe up to 60 different conditions causing similar neurodegenerative changes in the brain.

Between 70 and 80 per cent of people suffering from dementia are troubled by agitation, a problem for both patients with the disease and their carers.

"Agitated behaviours include physical and verbal aggression, wandering, screaming and repetitive behaviours and questions. This is challenging for staff and often indicates unmet needs and distress in the residents of aged care facilities," says Dr Low.

The SMILE study found a 20 per cent reduction in agitation using humour therapy, an improvement comparable to the common use of anti-psychotic drugs.

"This shows humour therapy should be considered before medication for agitation, particularly taking into account its side effects."

A major 2009 study for the UK Department of Health found serious side effects of antipsychotics, including thousands of deaths and strokes, linked to the use of these drugs in dementia and recommended a reduction in medication rates and specialised training for carers in non-drug therapies.

In the SMILE study agitation decreased not only during the 12 week humour therapy program, but remained lower at 26 week follow up. Happiness and positive behaviours rose over the 12 weeks of the program, however, dropped as soon as humour practitioner visits ceased.

The SMILE Study results will be presented at the National Dementia Research Forum 2011 on the 22nd and 23rd September.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Lee-Fay Low
LF.Low@unsw.edu.au
61-293-852-599
University of New South Wales
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New Breast Cancer Book Offers Humor Filled Look at Being Thirty-Something, Single And Getting Through Diagnosis
2. Low forms of cyclin E reduce breast cancer drugs effectiveness
3. Gastric Banding Most Effective for Obese Teens
4. Neuroimaging study may pave way for effective Alzheimers treatments
5. China Cord Blood Corporation Warrant Registration Statement Declared Effective by SEC
6. Charging less for more effective treatments could reduce health care costs while improving health
7. Split-course palliative radiotherapy confirmed as effective treatment for advanced NSCLC
8. New drug for kidney transplant recipients effective in humans
9. Two Sepsis Treatments Look Equally Effective
10. Mammogram Plus MRI Seems Cost-Effective in High-Risk Women
11. Mammogram Plus MRI Cost-Effective in High-Risk Women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to ... to save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the ... teacher of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches a class ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of ... announced today its plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 ... Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Asante, a nationally recognized ... have expanded their existing home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October ... a joint venture home health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at Children’s National Health System ... of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) Oct. 12-15. Chaired by ... Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and Stephen P. Hunger, M.D., Chief of the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... In the United States, single-family home ... states—like New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas, Virginia, Connecticut, and California—the average is ... low property-tax rates, which contributes to the relatively lower cost of living in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... , Sept. 19, 2017 HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device company developing ... of targeted tissues, announced three leadership team developments today:   ... ... ... Veteran medical device executive Josh Stopek ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... KALAMAZOO, Mich. , Sept. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... and OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy of Kalamazoo, Mich. ... a strategic hub service that expedites and streamlines patient ... spirometer, Spiro PD 2.0, and wellness management services.  ... a medical device used to measure lung function for ...
(Date:9/13/2017)... , Sept. 13, 2017   OrthoAtlanta has ... the Atlanta Football Host Committee (AFHC) for the 2018 College ... Jan. 8, 2018, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, ... of the AFHC "I,m In" campaign, participating in many activities ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: