Monday, February 08, 2010

Befriending for depression

Over 500 charities in the U.K. offer befriending to people where volunteers meet up with people to go for walks, see films, play snooker and a host of other activities. Lack of social support is known to be a risk factor for depression and a team of researchers led by Nicola Mead from the University of Manchester reviewed 24 studies into the effects of befriending schemes on people's depression symptoms. They found that compared with usual care or no treatment befriending had a modest but significant effect on depression symptoms.

Mead, Nicola ... [et al] - Effects of befriending on depressive symptoms and distress: systematic review and meta-analysis British Journal of Psychiatry February 2010, 196(2), 96-101

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