Laughter yoga versus group exercise program in elderly depressed women: a randomized controlled trial.
Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2010 Sep 16. Epub 2010 Sep 16. PMID: 20848578
Department of Counseling, School of Psychology&Training Sciences, Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehran, Iran.
BACKGROUND: Laughter Yoga founded by M. Kataria is a combination of unconditioned laughter and yogic breathing. Its effect on mental and physical aspects of healthy individuals was shown to be beneficial. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of Kataria's Laughter Yoga and group exercise therapy in decreasing depression and increasing life satisfaction in older adult women of a cultural community of Tehran, Iran. METHODS: Seventy depressed old women who were members of a cultural community of Tehran were chosen by Geriatric depression scale (score > 10). After completion of Life Satisfaction Scale pre-test and demographic questionnaire, subjects were randomized into three groups of laughter therapy, exercise therapy, and control. Subsequently, depression post-test and life satisfaction post-test were done for all three groups. The data wereanalyzed using analysis of covariance and Bonferroni's correction. RESULTS: Sixty subjects completed the study. The analysis revealed a significant difference in decrease in depression scores of both Laughter Yoga and exercise therapy group in comparison to control group (p < 0.001 and p < 0.01, respectively). There was no significant difference between Laughter Yoga and exercise therapy groups. The increase in life satisfaction of Laughter Yoga group showed a significant difference in comparison with control group (p < 0.001). No significant difference was found between exercise therapy and either control or Laughter Yoga group. CONCLUSION: Our findings showed that Laughter Yoga is at least as effective as group exercise program in improvement of depression and life satisfaction of elderly depressed women. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley&Sons, Ltd.