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"For every minute that you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


photo of pediatric patient at UCLA taking part in Rx Laughter therapeutic project. Photo courtesy of Leslie Barton Photography for Rx Laughter




Through our research partnership projectmwith UCLA, we have confirmed preliminary indications of the potential health benefits of humor and comedy as part of pain management for children. We have also confirmed preliminary findings for comedy to bring improved quality of life and well being for adults in cancer treatment (see Thailand research below) As such, Rx Laughter has since implemented therapeutic care into treatment areas and mental health clincs (see Therapeutic care page ).

The specifics of our Research are promising and are a first step in what we hope will continue with follow up studies. Our cautiously optimistic goal is that physicians can confidently prescribe uplifting entertainment as a complementary healer much like acupuncture, yoga and meditation. Research will be vital toward this goal. Below are our Research projects thus far. With generous funding, so much more can be accomplished in multi year studies across disciplines.

1. Rx Laughter and The UCLA Semel Neuropsychiatric Institute, UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center and Mattel UCLA Children's Hospital join forces in lab research. Funded by a generous grant from Comedy Central

Thec medical journal scientific publication: http://rxlaughter.org/journal_article.html

UCLA Press Briefing: and Findings Summary Evidence-Based Journal of Complementary & Alternative Medicine - October, 2007 "Laughter, Humor and Pain Perception in Children" American Medical Association worldwide press briefing - February, 2002 "Laughter Tested as Pain Therapy for Children"

Findings from this multi-year collaborative research project suggest that pediatric patients who watch funny classic and contemporary films and television shows during a medical procedure are able to tolerate the pain of the procedure significantly longer. A surprising finding: They did not have to laugh out loud for the effect to be significant. The enjoyment of the humor was the most significant factor! ( 1999 to 2002).

The results of this pilot study suggests the value of funny videos for pediatric patients going through painful and uncomfortable procedures such as chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants, infusion treatments for immune deficiencies, surgical care, wound healing, juvenile arthritis treatments, dialysis, and neuromuscular illnesses.

This project was a collaboration between Rx Laughter and the The UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center, Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA, the UCLA Pediatric Pain Program, and the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Research Institute & Hospital. Conceptualized by Sherry Hilber the Founder of Rx Laughter. Co-developed and overseen by Margaret Stuber MD and Lonnie Zeltzer MD of UCLA and Sherry Hilber of Rx Laughter

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2. Rx Laughter and the Prince Mahavajiralongkorn Cancer Center:
(A Division of The National Cancer Institute in Thailand)

"Understanding the Effects of Humor Therapy on Patients' Self-Reports of
Pain, Comfort and Anxiety"

These findings are a result of a 2006 to 2007 collaborative research project between Rx Laughter and the Mahavajiralongkorn Cancer Center in Thailand for adults with cancer with academic support from graduate students at the Yale University School of Public Health.

Rx Laughter is especially helpful for the patients because they have virtually no other form of therapy or entertainment available to them in the hospital. It is cost effective, non invasive, painless and comforting. Letter from the Director of National Cancer Institute Hospital in Thailand:

The results of this study were analyzed by Fulbright Scholar Joy Bhosai, and Biostatistician Saki Miwa. Ms. Bhosai and Ms. Miwa were graduate students at the Yale University School of Public Health at the time of this project. We are greatly appreciative of their pro bono efforts throughout this project.

Based on these findings, we now look forward to helping more adults going thru treatments such as these at more cancer centers for under-served people worldwide. Overseen by Sherry Hilber, Founder of Rx Laughter and Joy Bhosai (now Joy Bhosai MD).

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More about the Thailand study:

Rx Laughter and the National Cancer Institute of Thailand partnered to help under-served adult inpatients receiving cancer treatments who lack resources for psychotherapy and in many cases are without a strong support system of family or friends. Offering comedy in support groups relieves stress and worry and helps them bond with each other and their nurses. Medical staff said that they were happier and less stressed knowing that their patients were having a good time. A surprising finding: Comedy helped the patients sleep better during the time that they were undergoing their medical treatments at the hospital which indicates that comedy can be used as pain management for adults in pain. The control group did not report the same effects.

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3. Positive Psychology Research Project - Italy & Chile: (Rx Laughter Consultsnt)

Rx Laughter consulted on the design of the Humor Stimulus for a 2 year cross cultural international research project in Italy and Chile being done by a PhD student in Psychology at the University of Rome, Sapienza. This project ran from 2010 to 2012. Rx Laughter consultant: Founder Sherry Hilber

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