Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría
versão impressa ISSN 0034-7450
SANCHEZ NARANJO, Julio César et al. Humor as a Strategy to Treat Children Hospitalized in Pediatric Units in Pereira (Colombia): Report of an Experience . rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2009, vol.38, n.1, pp. 99-113. ISSN 0034-7450.
Introduction : Pediatric patients are specially susceptible to stress. Humor has been used in many hospitals around the world as a strategy to decrease stress levels during hospitalization, specially in children. Methods : Periodic interventions were made in two intermediatecare pediatric units in a public hospital in Pereira, Colombia. The initial intervention was based on changes of the hospital environment by modifying the decoration of wards and implements used by the health workers. The groups, made up of volunteers, were trained in clown techniques, construction of characters, and personalized games . Results : 108 in-terventions were made in a period of 9 months with a mean of 12 interventions per month, during which the group worked with 648 children (72 children per month with 6 children per intervention), with ages between 2 months and 14 years. The favorable impact in hospital environment and the subjective sensation of welfare in the patients, their families and the health personnel is worth noting. Discussion and conclusions : The qualitative results of this intervention were as expected. The subjective opinion of health workers, patients and their families was satisfactory. This experience adds arguments to the discussion about the need to implement programs like this one in health institutions and to include laughter therapy in the curricula of health educational programs.
Palavras-chave : Mental health; laughter therapy; hospitalization; pediatrics.