The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 2, No 2 (2014)

Benefits and barriers of clown care: A qualitative phenomenographical study of parents with children in clown care services

Amil Kusain Jr Perez Tan,Eija Metsälä,Leena Hannula


Clowning is a form of humour. It is an art form that invites play, interaction, and laughter. Clown Care is a programme in hospitals and medical centres involving visits from specially trained hospital clowns. The aim of this paper is to describe the benefits and barriers associated with the clown care programme. A qualitative phenomenographical study was performed using a semi-structured in-depth interview of twelve parents with children receiving clown care in various hospital wards in a Finnish University Hospital for children. Clown care creates a positive emotional state, promotes interaction between parents and child, and fosters affirmative environmental conditions. Barriers include psychological and emotional state, severity of medical condition, developmental level, and timing and context. The findings suggest that clown care integration in the care for family and child is useful in the promotion of emotional and psychosocial well-being.


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