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BEFRIENding for Depression, Anxiety and Social support in older adults living in Australian residential aged care facilities (BEFRIENDAS): randomised controlled trial protocol

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posted on 01.06.2021, 05:51 by C Doyle, S Bhar, C Bryant, B Dow, D Dunt, George Mnatzaganian, D O’Connor, J Ratcliffe, E You, AM Bagnall, G Major, R Harper, M Fearn
Background: This protocol describes an ongoing study of the impact of befriending on depression, anxiety and loneliness in older people living in residential aged care facilities in Australia. While systematic reviews of befriending have indicated positive benefits of befriending for people in a range of ages and settings, there have been no randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of befriending for older people living in residential aged care with depression and no studies of the cost effectiveness of befriending in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) in Australia. Methods and analysis: We are conducting a single blind pragmatic RCT comparing two groups of older people living in RACFs, one receiving an intervention consisting of weekly befriending for 4 months from a trained volunteer and the other receiving treatment as usual. Participants undergo eligibility screening for depression (GDS-15 ≥ 4) and cognitive impairment (GPCog ≥ 4) and assessments at three measurement time points: baseline prior to randomisation, 2 months post-baseline and 4 months post-baseline. The primary outcome measure is depression, and secondary outcome measures are anxiety, loneliness, social isolation and quality of life. The economic evaluation will take the form of a cost-utility analysis based on the outcome of quality of life. The primary and secondary outcomes will be analysed using negative binomial and logistic regressions utilizing the Generalised Estimating Equations approach. Discussion: To our knowledge, this is the first RCT evaluating the effectiveness of befriending on older people with depression living in residential aged care. It is expected that the befriending intervention will reduce the severity of depression symptoms experienced by older people living in residential aged care. If the intervention proves effective it may be incorporated into volunteer training programs and adopted as a way of supporting older people’s mental health. Trial registration: Trial registered with the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry (ANZCTR) Number: ACTRN12619000676112, registered 06/05/2019 – retrospectively registered.

History

Publication Date

01/12/2021

Journal

BMC Geriatrics

Volume

21

Issue

1

Article Number

305

Pagination

(p. 305)

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC

ISSN

1471-2318

Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

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