A systematic review was conducted of 13 studies, assessing the past use of humor for communicating topics of physical and psychological illness, including skin cancer and binge drinking.
Published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, researchers from Monash University unveiled that laughter may be more effective for health than previously known.
“The systematic review was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines,” the journal report reads.
“Thirteen studies were included in the review. Mental health, breast and testicular cancer self-examination, safe sex, skin cancer and binge drinking public health issues were targeted,” the report also states.
“Humor-based strategies were used to influence health attitudes and behaviors, encourage interpersonal sharing to indirectly affect health behavior, and investigate the level of threat and humor associated with positive outcomes.”
Researchers concluded the following, “Methodologies varied limiting comparability, although overall results indicate that humor-based health promotion strategies may be a useful tool for increasing awareness and help-seeking behavior for public health priorities, particularly those associated with stigma.”