Rx Laughter Research: In 1999, we conceptualized, raised seed funding for and partnered with UCLA's Margaret Stuber MD and Lonnie Zeltzer MD on a medical lab research project at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center, Mattel Children's Hospital and The Semel Neuropsychiatric Institute studying how comedy can help children who were having a painful medical procedure. Our results, published in ECAM in 2007 were surprising: Simply put, when the children enjoyed funny, uplifting clips, they were able to tolerate the painful medical procedure better. The most interesting finding was that the children did not have to laugh out loud to reap the emotional and physical benefits of comedy. The enjoyment of the humorous videos was enough to produce the beneficial results! The children were able to go through the medical procedure with less pain - and their anxiety decreased. While preliminary, these results were solid enough for an outside scientific peer-reviewed medical board to approve it for publication in the international medical journal Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Medicine, October 2007. Laughter, Humor and Pain Perception in Children: A Pilot Study* -- Stuber et al. 6 (2): 271 -- Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (*We apologize for formatting problems when downloading this link. We are working on fixing it. Thank you for your understanding)
Below are a few of our completed international research projects. These were all collaborations with respected researchers at medical or academic centers. Some of our future research projects are on the News/Project Updates page. All are geared toward children and adults.
As with our past research projects described below, we continue to be interested in researching how humor can potentially improve immune function and reduce pain and anxiety. As a result, doctors and other health care professionals can incorporate this information into concrete use for patients undergoing medical procedures and as part of surgical healing and recovery.
Consultant for Positive Psychology Research Project - Italy & Chile:
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 runs from 2010 to 2012.
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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
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Rx Laughter and the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive
Cancer Center Lab Research:
Journal of Complementary & Alternative Medicine - October, 2007
"Laughter, Humor and Pain Perception in Children"
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.
The Leadership of the Research Team:
Margaret Stuber MD & Lonnie Zeltzer MD of the UCLA Jonsson Cancer
Center, Semel Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Mattel Children's
Hospital @UCLA, Sherry Dunay Hilber, the Project Director and Founder
of Rx Laughter.
Lisa Libman Mintzer Ph.D., Marleen Castaneda, Dorie Glover Ph.D.,
This project was funded by an unrestricted grant from Comedy Central.
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