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Clown humour: the perceptions of doctors, nurses, parents and children

Clown humour: the perceptions of doctors, nurses, parents and children
Clown humour: the perceptions of doctors, nurses, parents and children
Clowns have entertained people for millennia. However, the use of humour as a therapy is receiving increasing attention from healthcare professionals who are interested in both the psychological and physical effects on patients’ wellbeing. Nevertheless, there is however a paucity of English-language empirical data to underpin the use of clown humour in children’s health-care settings.

The primary objective of this study was to elicit the perceptions of doctors, nurses, parents and children regarding the efficacy of performances by Theodora Trust Special Clowns to sick children in a children’s hospital in the south of England. Participants included 49 children, 43 parents/carers, 17 doctors and 93 other health-care staff.

A questionnaire was used that employed a mixture of closed and attitudinal Likert-type questions, and descriptive statistics were calculated of how individual groups of respondents view the efficacy of clown doctor humour delivered to sick children in hospital.

The majority of children indicated that they liked playing with clowns during their hospital stay, and the majority of parents agreed that the presence of clown doctors has a positive impact on sick children and their families. The majority of the paediatricians who participated also agreed that the presence of clown doctors has a positive impact on sick children and their families during a hospital stay. However, six of them revealed that they did not personally like clowns.

Among the other health-care staff, a large majority agreed that clown doctors have a positive impact on the child and family and that the clown encounter was helpful to the sick child, although 22 did not personally like clowns.

The results show that the parents and children are enthusiastic about the presence of clown doctors in clinical environments where sick children are cared for. The majority of health care professionals including paediatricians are supportive of clown doctor activities for children, despite some of their own personal prejudices.
clown humour, children's healthcare, questionnaire design
1753-1594
174-179
Battrick, Cath
ee8b269a-6c67-49b3-a2e4-0925ef0394f2
Glasper, Edward Alan
381a920c-2ec2-40d4-a205-13869ff7c920
Prudhoe, Gill
636be372-fdb7-4d7e-9bc6-253fe06bdf95
Weaver, Katy
71eeae1c-3166-4384-ba1a-56db1dcb3aca
Battrick, Cath
ee8b269a-6c67-49b3-a2e4-0925ef0394f2
Glasper, Edward Alan
381a920c-2ec2-40d4-a205-13869ff7c920
Prudhoe, Gill
636be372-fdb7-4d7e-9bc6-253fe06bdf95
Weaver, Katy
71eeae1c-3166-4384-ba1a-56db1dcb3aca

Battrick, Cath, Glasper, Edward Alan, Prudhoe, Gill and Weaver, Katy (2007) Clown humour: the perceptions of doctors, nurses, parents and children. Journal of Children's and Young People's Nursing, 1 (4), 174-179.

Record type: Article

Abstract

Clowns have entertained people for millennia. However, the use of humour as a therapy is receiving increasing attention from healthcare professionals who are interested in both the psychological and physical effects on patients’ wellbeing. Nevertheless, there is however a paucity of English-language empirical data to underpin the use of clown humour in children’s health-care settings.

The primary objective of this study was to elicit the perceptions of doctors, nurses, parents and children regarding the efficacy of performances by Theodora Trust Special Clowns to sick children in a children’s hospital in the south of England. Participants included 49 children, 43 parents/carers, 17 doctors and 93 other health-care staff.

A questionnaire was used that employed a mixture of closed and attitudinal Likert-type questions, and descriptive statistics were calculated of how individual groups of respondents view the efficacy of clown doctor humour delivered to sick children in hospital.

The majority of children indicated that they liked playing with clowns during their hospital stay, and the majority of parents agreed that the presence of clown doctors has a positive impact on sick children and their families. The majority of the paediatricians who participated also agreed that the presence of clown doctors has a positive impact on sick children and their families during a hospital stay. However, six of them revealed that they did not personally like clowns.

Among the other health-care staff, a large majority agreed that clown doctors have a positive impact on the child and family and that the clown encounter was helpful to the sick child, although 22 did not personally like clowns.

The results show that the parents and children are enthusiastic about the presence of clown doctors in clinical environments where sick children are cared for. The majority of health care professionals including paediatricians are supportive of clown doctor activities for children, despite some of their own personal prejudices.

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More information

Published date: August 2007
Keywords: clown humour, children's healthcare, questionnaire design

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 48152
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/48152
ISSN: 1753-1594
PURE UUID: 6f2ba85d-4e76-42aa-9b96-3a464f4f1563

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Aug 2007
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 20:57

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Contributors

Author: Cath Battrick
Author: Edward Alan Glasper
Author: Gill Prudhoe
Author: Katy Weaver

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