The Effect of Humor on Patient Comprehension in Written Educational Material
Holce, Paul L.
MetadataShow full item record
This research project explored the use of humorous comic pictures as a medium to increase the memorability of specific investigator identified concepts presented in a hypertension teaching pamphlet. Would the participants given the pamphlet with humorous cartoons have an increase in comprehension and thus better post-test scores? The method used in this quantitative study was quasiexperimental. A pretest/post-test control group design was used. Participants were veterans with hypertension who were contacted in the clinic of a rural Western Veterans Administration Medical Center. The control group's pamphlet used bold print to highlight chosen concepts. The experimental group had the same written material, with bold print, but the concepts were also presented in cartoons. Forty-nine people expressed interest in this study, 8 chose to complete the study. Five of the eight participants received the pamphlet with cartoons. Three of the participants, all with humorous pamphlets, obtained perfect scores on the pretest. The limited number of subjects prevented conclusions from being drawn. No statistical tests could be completed. While having participants with a history of high blood pressure intuitively seemed logical, in reality it proved counter-productive. The majority of participants in this study were already well educated regarding high blood pressure as evidenced by their pre-test scores. The goal of this study was to determine the effect of humor on the learning process. with the limited number of participants and their previous knowledge base of the content presented, no conclusions were drawn. A replication of this study should be undertaken. Participants should be of adult age. Emphasis should be placed on contacting newly diagnosed hypertensive clients for participation, but the diagnosis would not be a requirement for participation.