PurposeTo describe an exploratory pilot study to assess the methods used to evaluate an innovative program of comedy workshops for a small cohort of people recovering from substance misuse problems. The comedy workshops involved participants working with a professional comedian to explore, develop, write and finally perform a stand-up comedy routine drawing from their own personal experiencesDesign/methodology/approachThe impact of the program was gauged using questionnaires; i) the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale, ii) the Rosenberg Self- Esteem Scale, iii) the General Self-Efficacy iv) Scale and the Life Orientation Test-Revised and v) Eco-Mapping tool.FindingsTen participants began the program with four participants following through to public performance at an evening showcase event. The quantitative measures showed favourable results on three positive outcome measures; psychological well-being, self-esteem and self-efficacy. Participant’s number of social relationships and strength of relationships decreased following the intervention, however, relationships were more mutual and were characterised by less conflict following the workshop.Research limitations/implicationsThe small sample limits generalization of this study, but the methods for data collection were found to be feasible. Preliminary findings suggest that the workshops have a positive impact on recovery.Originality/valueThis paper describes an evaluation of an innovative programme of comedy workshops for people recovering from substance abuse problems. The preliminary findings point to a new hypothesis about recovery, that successful recovery might be characterized by a smaller social network, with stronger mutual bonds.
Mental Health and Social Inclusion – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 8, 2016