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Who accesses befriending services near the end of life?: baseline results from a wait-list controlled trial (ELSA) of a volunteer befriending service in the last year of life

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Palliative Medicine
Issue number6
Number of pages1
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date11/05/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Background: Volunteers are central to the provision of much end of life care, but their impact is little understood. Volunteer befriending services could work to reduce isolation, meet emotional needs and maintain a sense of community

The primary aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of receiving care from a volunteer service plus usual care at improving quality of life than usual care alone for adults in the last year of life. Here we provide descriptive
baseline data on trial participants.

Study participants: Patients (estimated to be in their last year of life) referred to volunteer befriending services across 11 end of life care providers in England.

Study design and methods: A wait-list controlled trial, with participants randomly allocated to intervention (immediate receipt of volunteering intervention) or wait list arm (four week wait for intervention). Data collection
at baseline, 4, 8 (12) weeks: WHO QOL BREF, Loneliness scale, mMOS-SS, social networks. Intention to treat analysis includes fitting a linear mixed effect model to each outcome variable at 4, 8 and 12 weeks. ISRCTN 12929812