The Use of Humor to Promote Patient-centered Care

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Medical practitioners and scholars are increasingly seeing the need for patient-centered care (PCC) which emphasizes both medical and emotional needs, patients' reasons for seeking care, and the enhancement of the patient-provider relationship. This ethnographic report examines the use of humor as a means to promote PCC within a hospital unit designed to encourage therapeutic humor. The three distinct themes emerging from this study have implications regarding the use of humor to help facilitate PCC. The three themes are (a) taking a complete patient profile, (b) freeing patients from the label of "bad patient," and (c) de-emphasizing power disparities.

Keywords: Ethnography; Humor; Patient-centered Care; Therapeutic Humor

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2007

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