Date of Conferral







William Tetu


The purpose of this research was to address a gap in the literature concerning the experiences of dementia caregivers who use laughter therapy as a coping strategy to manage their caregiving stress. Dementia caregiving involves high levels of stress, depression, and anxiety, which can cause both psychological and physical health problems for caregivers. It is, therefore, critical to identify effective coping strategies to mitigate caregiving stress. Laughter therapy is an inexpensive and readily available coping strategy that can help manage this stress. The current study used a phenomenological qualitative approach to address the research question. The transactional model of stress and coping by Lazarus and Folkman (1984) was used as a guide. Seven caregivers participated in the semistructured face-to-face interviews and provided in-depth responses that revealed their experiences and insights regarding caregiving stress and laughter therapy. Coding analysis of the data collected generated 4 major themes: specific stressful caregiving experiences, learning opportunities from caregiving, laugher therapy benefits, and other coping strategies used. All the caregivers reported benefits in the use of laughter therapy in managing their caregiving stress. Stress management has consistently been a force for positive social change by addressing effective coping strategies that improve health and contribute to a good quality of life. Dementia caregivers could use the findings from this study to decide whether laughter therapy would be an effective, appropriate coping strategy for them.