Medical clowns in Coronavirus wards: A milestone in further integration into Israeli hospitals

Deby Babis, Orly Korin, Uzi Ben-Shalom, Alejandro (Alex) Gruber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: During Covid-19, medical clowns disappeared from hospitals worldwide, ending their in-person visits. However, Israeli ‘Dream Doctors’ continued in children's wards and gained entrance to the Coronavirus wards. Methods: Using qualitative data from interviews and digital ethnography, the involvement of medical clowns in Coronavirus wards and their challenges were studied. Results: Medical clowns integrated mandatory protective gear and adapted their art: altering outfits, body language and interactivity. Spreading laughter and joy improved wards' ambience by uplifting patients', families' and staff's mood. Staff joined the clowns and loosened up in front of them. Reported need for this interaction was great and the clowns' intervention was crucial, leading to a successful trial in general wards, funded by one hospital. Conclusions: Additional working hours and direct payment increased medical clowning's integration in Israeli hospitals. Entering the general wards evolved from the clowns' involvement in the Coronavirus wards.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101742
Number of pages8
JournalComplementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Coronavirus wards
  • Medical clowns


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