Korean J Adult Nurs.  2014 Feb;26(1):34-45. 10.7475/kjan.2014.26.1.34.

Effect of the Laughter Therapy Combined with Cognitive Reinforcement Program for the Elderly with Mild Cognitive Impairment

  • 1Department of Nursing, Dongyang University, Yeongju, Korea. 93eunjoo@hanmail.net
  • 2Division of Nursing Science, College of Health Sciences, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of laughter therapy and cognitive reinforcement program on self-efficacy, depression and cognitive functions of the elderly with mild cognitive impairments (MCI).
The study design was a non-equivalent control group pre and posttest design. Thirty-six subjects over the age of 65 with a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment were assigned either to a treatment or a comparison group. Data were collected from February 7 to March 27, 2012 in the dementia supporting center. An eight week treatment program that included laughter therapy coupled with a cognitive reinforcing program including hand exercise, laughter dance routine, laughter technic and cognitive training for attention, memory, orientation and execution skill.
MoCA-K (t=-6.86, p<.001) and Stroop test CW correct (t=-2.54, p=.008), self-efficacy (t=-3.62, p=.001) in the treatment group were significantly higher than those of the comparison group. Reported depression (t=2.29, p=.014), Stroop test CW error (U=53.50, p<.001) in the treatment group was significantly less than the comparison group.
In this study, the treatment was effective in improving self-efficacy, cognitive function and reducing depression in the elderly with MCI.

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