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Humour : quels regards portés par les professionnels et étudiants manipulateurs en électroradiologie médicale ?

Abstract : Objectives: Although many scientific studies have focused on humour in the care relationship, we thought it would be a good idea to interview radiographers, whose role illustrates the dichotomy between humanity and sophisticated healthcare techniques. We intended to highlight the need to introduce humour – an essential part of communication with the patient – in the technical environment of this profession. We collected data on how practitioners perceive humour in their day-to-day practice, and then compared the results with the abstract opinions the radiographer students have on using humour in their future practice. This study thus reports on the comparison between the students’ expectations and the reality of radiographers in the field, dealing with the extent to which it is relevant to introduce a more personal approach in healthcare through humour and laugher.

Methods: Sample. One thousand and fifty-two people participated in this study, among whom 641 radiographer practitioners (161 men and 480 women) and 411 students (89 men and 322 women). Concerning inclusion criteria for the ‘practitioners’ group, all radiographer graduates from mainland France and the overseas French départements working in conventional radiology, interventional radiology, CT-scan, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear medicine and/or radiation therapy units, were invited to participate. For the ‘students’ group, the undergraduate first-, second- or third-year students were solicited. No exclusion criteria were specified.
Material. This study included an initial phase of quantitative research based on a questionnaire made up of closed-ended questions, conducted from November 12, 2015 to January 31, 2016; and a second qualitative phase based on a questionnaire made up of open-ended questions, conducted from November 27, 2015 to February 17, 2016. The questionnaires were developed using the review of the available literature, as well as the findings of a great number of studies on the place of humour in the care relationship. During the first phase, both practitioners and students had to answer using four Likert-type scales related to the positive impact of humour, the negative impact of humour, the perception of humour as a value, and the acceptance of a training module on using humour. The statistical analysis of the quantitative data was performed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS.23.0) software, as well as parametric tests (MANOVA, ANOVA, Student's t test), after logarithmic transformations (Log10) of raw data, if necessary. Only the practitioners were involved in the second phase because a minimum professional experience was required in order for the expected answers to be relevant. The respondents’ answers to the open-ended questions were recorded and analysed.

Results: The students were more prone than the practitioners to consider humour as a way of building trust with the patient, as a technique to distract the patient during intimate or invasive care, and as a way of alleviating nervousness inherent in the beneficiary/carer hierarchy. The practitioners more than students tended to consider humour as a way of creating a relaxed ambiance between colleagues and health practitioners, and as a defence mechanism against occupational stress. While students more often mentioned the benefit of humour in relation to the patient, practitioners essentially mentioned the benefits of humour in their relationships to their colleagues or for themselves. When it came to considering humour as inadequate, undignified or as reflecting a denial of the patient's sufferings, this humour practice was judged less negative by the practitioners than by the students. Nonetheless, the practitioners warned about the significant context-dependency of humour, as well as against the risk of affecting the patient. Overall, the opinions of both groups on humour were rather positive. Indeed, they considered it to be of significant value, whether in the private or occupational context. While both groups’ assessments of humour as an important personal value were similar, the practitioners paid more attention than students to humour in the occupational context. As the attitudes towards humour were predominantly positive, both groups claimed they were interested in the introduction of a vocational training programme to improve the therapeutic management of patients, discuss their experiences, overcome their shyness or merely satisfy their curiosity. The students were more inclined than the practitioners to consider an initial training module as more relevant.

Conclusions: The findings of this study have proven the need to include a human factor, namely humour, in the technical environment of the radiography profession. After concluding that humour is of personal and professional value for practitioners and students, we are now considering the possibility of establishing a training module on humour within the initial or ongoing education framework to prevent it being used in a harmful way.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01580901
Contributor : Etienne Cordier <>
Submitted on : Sunday, September 3, 2017 - 3:36:08 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 10:58:02 PM

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Étienne Cordier, Sophie Lantheaume, Ladislav Motak, Karine Eve. Humour : quels regards portés par les professionnels et étudiants manipulateurs en électroradiologie médicale ?. Annales Médico-Psychologiques, Revue Psychiatrique, Elsevier Masson, 2017, ⟨10.1016/j.amp.2017.06.004⟩. ⟨hal-01580901⟩

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