The Effect of Humorous Stimuli on Alleviating Pain during Mammography: A Preliminary Study


Mammography is widely performed as a standardized procedure for breast cancer screening; however, women often feel some degree of pain during this procedure. Currently, there are limited options available for alleviating pain related to mammography. A non-medicinal approach to the alleviation of pain involves the effects of laughter on physical and psychological wellbeing. We therefore examined the possibility that humorous stimuli would alleviate the physical burden on women undergoing mammography. We assessed 29 women, 15 women received only conventional mammography (neutral group), while 14 women (humor group) watched a funny video during the same examination. The intensity of pain experienced during mammography was assessed by visual analogue scale (VAS) and the VAS results showed a statistically significant difference (P = 0.007) between the two groups, with the humor group experiencing less pain. In an additional experiment, 14 women in the humor group also underwent conventional mammography without exposure to the funny video and pain was assessed by VAS. We found that the pain experienced during conventional mammography without the funny video was significantly greater than the pain experienced during the same mammography but with the funny video (P = 0.047). These findings suggested the possibility of alleviating pain during mammography by humorous stimuli.

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Lee, Y. and Uchiyama, M. (2015) The Effect of Humorous Stimuli on Alleviating Pain during Mammography: A Preliminary Study. Health, 7, 659-664. doi: 10.4236/health.2015.76078.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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