Society for Medical Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
Post-acute care sites for rehabilitation may exist in stand-alone facilities or housed within a hospital. The road to recovery for a patient in post-acute care can range from days to weeks while they undergo medical rehabilitation. Alongside continued monitoring of any lingering medical conditions, the in-house facility this study takes place in serves to provide patients with physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy with the goal of restoring their abilities to complete activities activities of daily living (ADLs), i.e., eating, bathing, and grooming, and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), i.e., shopping, preparing food, and using transportation. The aim of this pilot study is to assess how humor is used in medical rehabilitation settings when therapists work with patients undergoing medical rehabilitation within the United States. Tan (2018:7) describes care work as a "dialogic process and reiterative "dance" between the wills, desires, expectations, and capacities of care workers and clients." How do therapists (physical, speech, and occupational) define humor? When and why do they employ humor during treatments as a form of care giving? Therapists are typically assigned to work with specific patients until they are discharged. This creates the opportunity to establish a working relationship during their rehabilitation and to develop a level of rapport as well. Bearing this in mind, how do therapists in an urban, in-house hospital rehabilitation department assess what types of humor, if any at all, are appropriate to use with patients?