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Befriending carers of people with dementia: randomised controlled trial

Contact Information


Georgina Charlesworth



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.


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. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 336(7656), 1295–1297.





Conent Area

Georgina Charlesworth

EWB-Related Construct

(2) Life Satisfaction
(3) Positive Affect

Study Design

Species or Study Population

(5) RCT

Sex (%Female)


Age (Mean, SD)

68.0, 11.4

Younger Controls?


Longitudinal Data?


Sample Size



Befriending carers intervention

Ethnicity (%white)


Inclusion Criteria

The main inclusion criteria were that participants must be family carers aged 18 years or older, caring for a person with a primary progressive dementia. Carers should either be cohabiting with the PwD, or spending an average of 20 hours or more per week on care-related tasks such as supervision and assistance in activities of daily living (ADL).

Exclusion Criteria

Carers with significant congenital or acquired cognitive impairment were excluded, as were those with terminal illness. Carers of people in permanent residential, nursing or long-stay hospital accommodation were also excluded.

EWB Measures

(1) Euro-Qol 5 Dimensions (EQ5D).
(2) Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS)
(3) quality-adjusted life-years(QALYs)

Non-EWB Behavioral

(1) Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS)
(2) A two-item measure of emotional loneliness
(3) Carers Assessment of Difficulties Index (CADI)
(4) Mutual Communal
(5)Behaviours Scale (MCBS)
(6)Practitioner Assessment of Network Type (PANT) scale
(7)Brief Coping Orientation for Problem Experience (COPE
(8)List of Threatening Experiences
(9)Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS)
(10)Client Service Receipt Inventory (CSRI)
(11)the Caregiver Time Questionnaire,
(12) Caregiver Activity Schedule (CAS)
(13)Resource Utilization in Dementia (RUD)

Physiological Measures


Brain IMaging Modality

Brain IMaging Paradigm


Brain Region/Circuit


Biological Measures


Other Neural Measures

Data Availability?


Data Avalability Details


Diagnostic Measures

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