Assessing the Impact of Clown Therapy in a Palliative Care Unit: A Prospective, Descriptive Study (OUPS)


Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nīmes




Palliative Care


Other: Clown therapy

Study type


Funder types



2015-A00719-40 (Other Identifier)

Details and patient eligibility


The main objective of this study was to assess changes in the quality of life of patients in a Palliative Care Unit via the symptoms by the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS) before and one hour after the passage of a clown therapist .

Full description

The secondary objectives of this study are to evaluate before versus after the intervention of clowns therapists: A. Changes in the quality of life at two days after the intervention (using the ESAS). B. The quality of life two days after the intervention via the McGill Quality of Life Questionnaire. C. The quality of life of patients after the intervention as assessed by semi-structured interviews conducted by the department psychologist. D. The quality of life of caregivers after the intervention as assessed by semi-structured interviews conducted by the department psychologist. E. Employee satisfaction at the end of the intervention period in the department and after debriefing as assessed by semi-structured interviews conducted by the department psychologist.


30 patients




18+ years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • The patient must have given his/her informed and signed consent
  • The patient must be insured or beneficiary of a health insurance plan
  • Patient receiving palliative care, ie with a severe and progressive disease bringing into play vital prognosis, in advanced or terminal phase
  • Clinically stable patients, regardless of disease type. The existence of clinical symptoms (pain, discomfort, etc.) found at recruitment by the investigator and not affecting the mental clarity of the subject, does not justify the exclusion of the patient
  • Absence of cognitive disorders; since the protocol provides a clinical interview covering in particular his/her quality of life, included patients will be able to express their feelings
  • In addition, patients who have undergone this type of intervention (clown therapist) will not be excluded from this study.

Exclusion criteria

  • The patient is participating in another study
  • The patient is an adult under judicial protection
  • The patient refuses to sign the consent
  • It is impossible to correctly inform the patient
  • Patient with an inability to fill our protocol assessment scales
  • Patients under treatment known to reduce the level of awareness
  • Patients with major cognitive impairment
  • Patients with symptoms that bring into question their level of awareness
  • Patients with significant risk factors and who should benefit from personalized monitoring from the team (clinically unstable patients, emergency situations, agitated patients, dementia, etc ...).
  • Patient is unable to submit to the continuity of the study.

Trial design

Primary purpose

Supportive Care



Interventional model

Single Group Assignment


None (Open label)

30 participants in 1 patient group

The study population
Experimental group
The study population consists of adult patients treated in the Palliative Care Unit of the University Hospital of Nimes, regardless of their original condition. In 2013 the proportion of stays connected with diagnostics for cancer was 70.16%. Intervention: Clown therapy
Other: Clown therapy

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from

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