Humor as a Healthcare Professional Intervention


Preview this course before you buy: Click to view the CE course eBook

Course release date: 8/27/2021

About the Course:
Research indicates that humor helps humans cope with stressful life events and provides them with strength to cope with difficult situations. The purpose of this education program is to provide healthcare professionals with information about the impact of humor on disease processes and how to appropriately engage in humorous interchanges with patients, families, colleagues, and healthcare providers.

Learning Outcomes
After completing this course, the learner will be able to:
  • Define terms related to humor.
  • Explain the impact of humor and laughter on disease processes. 
  • Discuss the use of humor as a complementary therapy.
  • Explain how humor may be used as a coping mechanism.
  • Discuss how to appropriately engage in humorous interchanges with patients, families, colleagues, and healthcare providers.

About the Authors:
Mary Bennett, DNS, APRN, is a professor and director of the Western Kentucky University School of Nursing. She has been a faculty member for 27 years, teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her clinical work is as a family nurse practitioner in the primary care setting. Dr. Bennett’s primary research focus is testing the effects of various complementary therapies on physiological and psychological outcomes, using psychoneuroimmunology as the underlying theory. Her dissertation was on the effect of laughter on stress and the activity of natural killer cells. Since then, she has examined the effects of laughter, massage therapy, relaxation therapy, and music therapy on stress and immune function. Other areas of research interest are examining barriers to pre-nursing and nursing student success and the care of the end-of-life patient. Dr. Bennett has received research funding and awards from Rush University, Indiana State University, Western Kentucky University, and the Lambda Sigma and Kappa Theta chapters of Sigma Theta Tau International. She has presented her research at national and international conferences such as the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society conference and the International Society for Humor Studies conference. Dr. Bennett’s research has been published in numerous journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Oncology Nursing Forum, Psycho-Oncology, Evidenced-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Journal of Biological Research for Nursing, Brain Behavior and Immunity, BioPsychoSocial Medicine, and Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing.

Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, is an instructor in nursing and psychology at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels. Dr. Wilson has a PhD in health psychology with a focus in psychoneuroimmunology and a master’s in holistic nursing. Dr. Wilson has worked in nursing for many years, gaining expertise in public health, mental health nursing, obstetrics, epidemiology, breastfeeding trends, wellness, behavioral influence on immunity, and nursing education. Dr. Wilson has a private practice as a holistic nurse and over 100 publications, including peer-reviewed research articles. She has over 150 professional and peer-reviewed presentations. She is a lifelong learner now seeking graduate studies in physics. Dr. Wilson is an internationally known speaker on stress, health, immune function, and self-care. Dr. Wilson was recognized by the American Holistic Nurses Association as the 2017-2018 Holistic Nurse of the Year.