Having A Laugh

Posted on: 04 April 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

When it comes to discussing the serious things in life, like being ill, men are likely to joke and laugh their way through it according to new research by the British Pharmaceutical Conference.

When it comes to discussing the serious things in life, like being ill, men are likely to joke and laugh their way through it according to new research by the British Pharmaceutical Conference.

Research conducted by the Welsh School of Pharmacy in Cardiff looked at how men interacted when they discussed health issues such as their use of pharmacies and various illnesses, including headaches, stomach upsets and testicular cancer.

Detailed analysis of the focus groups found that humour was used in a number of ways to illustrate or reinforce points made during the discussion. For example, 'one-liners' using sarcasm and teasing were used when discussing causes and management of a range of illnesses and ailments such as headache, low mood, stomach upset and testicular cancer.

In total seven focus groups were conducted during the course of the study involving a total of thirty-seven relatively healthy and active men aged from 18 to 65 years. The groups consisted of males from pre-existing work or social groups, so all members of each group knew each other and were more comfortable talking in each others company.

Researcher Dr David John believes that the research supports conclusions made from earlier studies which suggested that men use disparagement, joking and other types of humour such as sarcasm to discuss personal or sensitive issues with each other that otherwise could be difficult to mention deal with.

"Men are notorious for sticking their heads in the sand when it comes to talking about health issues and treating ill health," commented Dr. John. "However, this research indicates that men in pre-existing social groups, when they talk about health and illness with each other, are more comfortable communicating their views, experiences and suggestions through the use of jokes and humour."

Dr John said that the research has implications for the way health professionals communicate with men suggesting that the use of humour could be an effective way of directing health messages to men.

Share with friends



Rating:

You need to be signed in to rate.