Relieving pain and distress symptoms in outpatient burn clinic: The contribution of a medical clown: The contribution of a medical clown

Yuval Krieger, Michelle Pachevsky, Yaron Shoham, Ron Biederko, Lena Novack, Orly Sarid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Context: High levels of pain and emotional distress characterize the experience of patients, at burn outpatient clinic and reflect on their accompanying persons and the medical personal. Objectives: To examine the effect of a medical clown presence on: the patients’ pain and distress levels as perceived by the patient and by their accompanying persons, and the emotional response of healthcare personnel. Methods: A yearlong prospective observational comparative study in the burn outpatient clinic, operating twice a week, with a medical clown's presence once a week [Exposure Group – EG] versus clinic without clown presence [Non exposure Group– NEG]. Patients and accompanying persons filled pain [WBS, VAS] and emotional distress [SUDS] questionnaires regarding the patient's experience: before (T1) and after treatment (T2). The clinic personnel filled SUDS at the beginning and the end of the clinic working hours. Results: Significantly lower WBS, VAS, and SUDS scores were reported at T2 in the EG as compared to the NEG both in patients and in the accompanying persons’ evaluations. Personnel SUDS were affected in a similar manner. Conclusion: Presence of a medical clown induced a positive atmosphere in the clinic. It is possible that the effect of humor through stress reduction mechanism lessened agony. Furthermore, the distraction the clown evoked played a role in the decrease of pain and emotional distress. We recommend implementing psychosocial oriented interventions such as those performed by a medical clown to improve the emotional atmosphere in the ambulatory clinic of patients, accompanying persons and healthcare personnel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-661
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Ambulatory
  • Burn clinic
  • Emotional distress
  • Medical clown
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine


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