Effect of humour therapy on psychotropic medication use in nursing homes

Jerome B.Y. Leow*, Lisa Pont, Lee Fay Low

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of Play Up humour therapy on antipsychotic, benzodiazepine and antidepressant use in Australian nursing homes. Methods: Play Up is a humour therapy program that has been implemented in Australian nursing homes. This study was an uncontrolled retrospective review of psychotropic medication charts of 406 residents in thirty-three nursing homes before and after 12 weeks of participation in Play Up. Prevalence and mean daily equivalent doses of psychotropic medication use were analysed. Results: There were significant reductions from before to after the Play Up program in the prevalence of any psychotropic medication use, antipsychotic use and benzodiazepine use (P = 0.001, 0.02, 0.007, respectively). Mean daily dose equivalents of pro re nata (PRN) antipsychotics and PRN benzodiazepines significantly reduced over time (P = 0.007; P = 0.001). Conclusions: Play Up was associated with an overall decline in the use of psychotropic medications. Further trials are required to confirm and better define this association.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E7-E12
Number of pages6
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • aged care
  • humour therapy
  • nursing homes
  • psychosocial interventions
  • psychotropics


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of humour therapy on psychotropic medication use in nursing homes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this