Humor interventions could be effective in influencing people’s behavior around their health

Humor interventions could be effective in influencing people's behavior around their health

A systematic review of humor-based strategies to address public health priorities has recently been published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health . In conclusion, laughter can be the best medicine for a healthy life .

This systematic review analyzed 13 studies over the past 10 years in which humor had been used to communicate serious messages covering topics such as mental health, testicular and breast cancer self-exam, safe sex, skin cancer and drinking. excessive alcohol.

The power of humor

The study highlighted a number of factors that could affect the effectiveness of a humor-based message, including the level and type of perceived fear or threat, the "taboo" nature of the topic, and a person’s taste for humor. According to the researchers:

What we discovered is that humor can act as an effective vehicle for conveying messages that people may find fear-inducing or threatening. Humor, if used well, can be an emotional buffer that breaks some of that fear so that the underlying messages reach the audience and influence their behaviors and attitudes.

Monash Warwick Alliance Professor Helen Skouteris, Director of the Center of Excellence in Health Research in Preconception and Pregnancy (CRE HiPP) and Head of the Monash University Health and Social Care Unit within the Faculty of Public Health and Preventive Medicine argues that the study was an "encouraging first step" toward implementing humor-based messages more broadly in public health .

Image | Leonid Mamchenkov