RED NOSES regularly releases short publications that draw together findings from the world of healthcare clowning research.

Research Nuggets are short summaries of research findings regarding very specific topics or healthcare clowning interventions. The Nuggets contain a mix of literature reviews and practical examples of how we work with different participants in different contexts – be it in the hospital, an elderly home, a refugee camp or even online.

Research at a Glance highlights findings from one or more healthcare clowning studies in a one-page format.

Research Nugget Series:

How arts and humour can support the mental health of hospitalised children and their parents

Hospitalisation can have a strong impact on the mental health of children and their parents. Medical treatments are often accompanied by anxiety, stress, and other negative emotions. RED NOSES offers different clowning formats, such as visiting hospitalised children at their bedsides, or accompanying them in the context of invasive medical procedures. These formats aim to provide them with moments of joy and relief from their health-related struggles.

The Research Nugget “Clowning in Hospitals” compiles findings from scientific studies that have investigated how clown visits impact the mental well-being of both hospitalised children and their parents.

Multiple studies show that the arts and clowning are not only beneficial in terms of decreasing stress and anxiety but are also able to increase positive emotions and cooperation with medical staff. Parents can also benefit from the clown visits, either by enjoying the clowning intervention themselves, or by seeing their children experiencing moments of joy and happiness. This Research Nugget provides scientific evidence that Healthcare Clowning interventions can successfully provide important mental health support to hospitalised children and their parents.

You can access the full Research Nugget here

How arts and humour can support the mental health of refugees and aid workers in crisis settings

The Research Nugget “Clowning in Emergency Contexts” analyses the mental hardship of people living and working in refugee contexts, and explains how creative and humorous activities including clowning can bring relief and mental support to people in crisis.

In this Research Nugget, we present evidence that the arts and clowning are beneficial not only to reduce mental health issues such as stress and anxiety, but also to improve feelings of self-esteem, confidence and mental health in general. Our Emergency Smile Programme was created specifically with the purpose of bringing a smile and emotional support to people involved in forced migration.

The Research Nugget also puts special attention on the stressors that affect a growing number of humanitarian workers in the field. Reports by International Organisations show that stress and burn out among aid workers is widespread and often overlooked. RED NOSES Humour Relief Workshop offers aid workers a safe space to relax, learn some stress-coping techniques and connect with their colleagues.

You can access the full  Research Nugget here

© RED NOSES International Office

Clowns & science

Our work at RED NOSES is strongly supported by scientific evidence regarding the power of humour. 

Through their artistic interventions, our clown artists have a positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of the people they work with, alleviating difficult emotions such as anxiety, fear, and stress. 

If you’d like to find out more about the science behind the art of clowning, visit our Research Database:

Research Database