University of Maryland, School of Nursing, Maryland 20850, USA
Throughout the literature, humor has demonstrated positive effects on memory and learning, as well as physiological and psychological well being. Research has described improvements in communication and trust through the use of humor in the nurse-patient relationship. The utilization of humor with certain populations, including those with anxiety disorders, cancer patients and mood disorders has also been widely described in the literature but little research has been conducted with humor use in patients’ recovery from substance use disorders. This population might benefit from the thoughtful applications of humor to promote laughter and mirth as well as learning recovery principles. A review of the humor theories, theoretical processes and humor styles are discussed for their use in individuals with substance use disorders, in particularly for early recovery engagement in 12 step programs and other recover support social networks. The application of humor in efforts to support recovery with substance use disorder patients is worth investigating further.
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