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versão impressa ISSN 0120-4157


QUINTERO, Ángela; HENAO, María Eucaris; VILLAMIL, María Mercedes  e  LEON, Jairo. Changes in depression and loneliness after laughter therapy in institutionalized elders . Biomédica [online]. 2015, vol.35, n.1, pp.90-100. ISSN 0120-4157.

Introduction: Old age is a stage characterized by a number of factors, such as loneliness and depression, that have a negative effect on people´s lives. Objective: To evaluate the impact of laughter therapy on the level of depression and loneliness in a group of institutionalized elders. Materials and methods: Exploratory research with quasi-experimental design applying Yesavage depression scale and the ESTE scale of loneliness, both validated for Colombia. The target population consisted of 49 men and women who were 59 years old or over, and lived in the Gerontological Home ´´Colonia de Belencito´´ in the city of Medellín (Antioquia); they were contacted between April and July 2013, and they received eight sessions of laughter therapy performed by the group "Hospital Clowns" of the Mediclaun Foundation from Medellín. Results: There was a significant decrease in the level of depression especially in those with initial depression established (p<0,032). The most receptive were institutionalized elders who did not have a couple, they were between 65 and 75 years of age, and they belonged to socioeconomic level 2 and did not receive visits. No significant changes in the level of loneliness were recorded. Conclusion: The importance of laughter therapy in reducing the level of depression in elders is highlighted. These results agree with the statement indicating that the construct of loneliness is independent from depression.

Palavras-chave : Depression; loneliness; aged; laughter therapy; homes for the aged; geriatrics.

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