Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Palliative treatment, Terminal care, Wit and humor in medicine, Cross-cultural counseling, Humor, Palliative care, Multicultural, End of life care


Some religions/people believe that a persons' core being, or spirit will cease to be at death, some believe in reincarnation, and others believe in eternal life. With the seriousness of one's spirit ending, transforming, or transitioning from this life to another, some believe it is a most solemn and serious time, where there is no room for humor. Others believe there are no boundaries to contain humor. It is part of life and death. The objective of this qualitative study was to explore how palliative care professionals in multicultural or monocultural dyads incorporated humor in their work. The narratives in this study offered positive and negative experiences of thirteen palliative care professionals. The study utilized an interview questionnaire guide, a demographic information questionnaire, and the Multidimensional Sense of Humor Scale developed by Dr. James A. Thorson and F. C. Powell (1993). A growing body of research is demonstrating that the use of humor in palliative care is both positive and normalizing for the client, allowing the client to continue to live while dying. Social workers are encouraged to be aware of cultural differences and actively to explore the diverse cultures of their clients.




iv, 99 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2009. Includes bibliographical references (p. 87-90)