Effects of befriending on depressive symptoms and distress: systematic review and meta-analysis

  title={Effects of befriending on depressive symptoms and distress: systematic review and meta-analysis},
  author={Nicola Mead and Helen E Lester and Carolyn A. Chew‐Graham and Linda Gask and Peter Bower},
  journal={British Journal of Psychiatry},
  pages={96 - 101}
Background High rates of emotional distress and depressive symptoms in the community can reflect difficult life events and social circumstances. There is a need for appropriate, low-cost, non-medical interventions for many individuals. Befriending is an emotional support intervention commonly offered by the voluntary sector. Aims To examine the effectiveness of befriending in the treatment of emotional distress and depressive symptoms. Method Systematic review of randomised trials of… 
Effectiveness of befriending interventions: a systematic review and meta-analysis
There was moderate quality evidence to support the use of befriending for the treatment of individuals with different physical and mental health conditions, although with a rather small effect size.
Preferences for befriending schemes: a survey of patients with severe mental illness
A substantial number of patients with SMI appear willing to take part in a befriending scheme and patients with lower SQOL are more likely to accept befriending, so that befriending schemes may be a realistic option to help patients with particularly low SQOL.
A variety of psychotherapies have been demonstrated to be efficacious and effective treatments for depression. The cost of psychotherapy, however, and its low availability in some contexts pose
One-to-one befriending for people with intellectual disability and symptoms of depression: protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial
This pilot study aims to assess the acceptability and feasibility of carrying out a full RCT of one-to-one befriending by volunteers for people with ID, compared with an active control group.
One-to-one volunteer befriending to reduce symptoms of depression in people with intellectual disability: a feasibility RCT
Evaluating befriending for people with intellectual disability could be explored through alternative study designs, such as observational studies, and the intervention might be acceptable, but modifications were suggested.
Loneliness: clinical import and interventions.
Assessments of loneliness are reviewed and there is increasing evidence for the potential efficacy of integrated interventions that combine (social) cognitive behavioral therapy with short-term adjunctive pharmacological treatments.
The impact of telephone-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy and befriending on mood disorders in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A randomized controlled trial.
Phone-administered CBT has been shown to be as effective as face-to-face CBT in reducing depression and anxiety and befriending can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms in people with COPD.
An exploration of the value and mechanisms of befriending for older adults in England
ABSTRACT Social isolation and loneliness in older adults are growing problems. Empirical research suggests that loneliness can lead to poorer health outcomes including higher mortality rates.


Befriending as an intervention for chronic depression among women in an inner city
Additional trials with less restricted intake conditions, and in more naturalistic general practice settings, might confirm volunteer befriending as a useful adjunct to current treatments.
Befriending as an intervention for chronic depression among women in an inner city
Fresh-start experiences and a standard attachment style were found to enhance chances of remission, with new severe stressors and markedly poor coping strategies liable to prevent it, with volunteer befriending continuing to play a role.
The Effect of Peer Support on Postpartum Depression: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial
  • C. Dennis
  • Psychology
    Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie
  • 2003
Telephone-based peer support may effectively decrease depressive symptomatology among new mothers and the high maternal satisfaction with, and acceptance of, the intervention suggests that a larger trial is feasible.
The effect of dyadic intervention on self‐efficacy, social support, and depression for men with prostate cancer
Urinary and sexual dysfunctions are side effects of radical prostatectomy (RP) for prostate cancer (PC) that contribute to depression. Despite the effectiveness of support groups at reducing
The clinical effectiveness of counselling in primary care: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Counselling is associated with modest improvement in short-term outcome compared with usual general practitioner care, and thus may be a useful addition to mental health services in primary care.
A clinical psychotherapy trial for adolescent depression comparing cognitive, family, and supportive therapy.
Cognitive behavior therapy is more efficacious than SBFT or NST for adolescent MDD in clinical settings, resulting in more rapid and complete treatment response.
Does befriending by trained lay workers improve psychological well-being and quality of life for carers of people with dementia, and at what cost? A randomised controlled trial.
'Access to a befriender facilitator' is neither an effective nor a cost-effective intervention in the support of carers of people with dementia, although there is a suggestion of cost-effectiveness for the care dyad (carer and care recipient).
An advocacy intervention program for women with abusive partners: Six-month follow-up
The 6-month follow-up findings of an experimental intervention designed to provide postshelter advocacy services to women with abusive partners reported increased social support, increased quality of life, less depression, less emotional attachment to their assailants, and an increased sense of personal power.
Teaching coping skills enhances quality of life more than peer support: results of a randomized trial with multiple sclerosis patients.
  • C. Schwartz
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association
  • 1999
Subgroup analyses revealed that patients with affective problems were more likely to benefit from the peer support intervention than the coping skills group in terms of reported depression, anxiety, use of avoidant coping, and some aspects of well-being.
Reducing emotional distress in people caring for patients receiving specialist palliative care
The intervention might have been too brief, and ongoing help might have had accruing benefits; or caring for a dying relative is extremely stressful and no amount of support is going to make it much better.