The current study investigated the extent to which various types of humor are associated with high- and low-satisfaction doctor visits and whether male and female physicians and patients differ in their use of humor. A humor coding scheme, capable of distinguishing three categories (negative, positive, and general) and ten sub-types of humor, was validated against 92 audiotaped physician-patient primary care visits, half rated high and half rated low in satisfaction. Results revealed that physicians and patients used more light humor, more humor that relieves tension, more self-effacing humor, and more positive-function humor in high satisfaction than in low-satisfaction visits. In addition, the patients of female physicians used more humor than the patients of male physicians across levels of satisfaction. The results indicate a strong association between humor and satisfaction, and suggest ways in which humor and laughter help to maintain rapportin the physician-patient relationship.
- Patient satisfaction
- Physician-patient relationship
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health