The ComedyCures Foundation collaborated with the mental health platform, Neolth, to determine if using comedy in a self-care app can improve mental health in patients with advanced cancer.
Participants (31 women) used the Neolth app for eight weeks from September 2021 to November 2021, watching at least one ComedyCures video and practicing two relaxation practices each week. Seventeen videos were offered created by ComedyCures comedians. Survey instruments of perceived stress, anxiety, depression, and self-efficacy were administered at the start (Week 0), at the midpoint (Week 4) and at the end of the study (Week 8). Acceptability and adherence (to determine feasibility) was measured using engagement rates.
Perceived stress decreased by 15.1%, depression by 18.1% and anxiety by 9.7%. Self-efficacy increased by 7.6%.
Dr Claire Wheeler, Study Co-Investigator and Neolth CMO confirmed: "All 31 patients enrolled at the midway point completed this unpaid study. This retention rate is remarkable because the women were dealing with life-threatening metastasis, chemo, relationship and/or financial issues during the pandemic.”
The pilot study author conclude: “The results suggest delivering therapeutic comedy and other relaxation strategies, remotely, present a scalable approach to supporting mental health in a quick, affordable way, with few time constraints."