Befriending carers of people with dementia: randomised controlled trial

Georgina Charlesworth* (Corresponding Author), Lee Shepstone, Edward Wilson, Shirley Reynolds, Miranda Mugford, David Price, Ian Harvey, Fiona Poland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of a voluntary sector based befriending scheme in improving psychological wellbeing and quality of life for family carers of people with dementia.

Design: Single blind randomised controlled trial.

Setting: Community settings in East Anglia and London.

Participants: 236 family carers of people with primary progressive dementia.

Intervention: Contact with a befriender facilitator and offer of match with a trained lay volunteer befriender compared with no befriender facilitator contact; all participants continued to receive “usual care.”

Main outcome measures: Carers’ mood (hospital anxiety and depression scale—depression) and health related quality of life (EuroQoL) at 15 months post-randomisation.

Results: The intention to treat analysis showed no benefit for the intervention “access to a befriender facilitator” on the primary outcome measure or on any of the secondary outcome measures.

Conclusions: In common with many carers’ services, befriending schemes are not taken up by all carers, and providing access to a befriending scheme is not effective in improving wellbeing.

Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN08130075.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1295
Number of pages6
JournalThe BMJ
Issue number7656
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

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    Charlesworth, G., Shepstone, L., Wilson, E., Reynolds, S., Mugford, M., Price, D., Harvey, I., & Poland, F. (2008). Befriending carers of people with dementia: randomised controlled trial. The BMJ, 336(7656), [1295].