Evidence based merrimentBMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b5098 (Published 07 December 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b5098
- David Isaacs, clinical professor in paediatric infectious diseases1,
- Stephen Isaacs, consultant child psychiatrist2,
- Dominic Fitzgerald, senior staff physician in respiratory medicine1
- 1Children’s Hospital at Westmead and University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2145, Australia
- 2Waltham Forest Child and Family Consultation Service, London, UK
Medical humour has a long history, but is short on evidence. The ancient Greeks introduced the world to bodily fluids called the four humours. You would think that a philosophy based on blood, choler, phlegm, and melancholy was no laughing matter.
What is the evidence that medical humour benefits staff or patients? We performed a systematic revue, but it was not funny. We propose a randomised controlled trial of medical humour.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service funded a pilot study. Hospital staff completed a standardised questionnaire about the role of humour in their department.
The department of surgery expressed an interest in side-splitting jokes.
The ophthalmology …