Authors: Hilari K, Behn N, James K, Northcott S, Marshall J, Thomas S, Simpson A, Moss B, Flood C, McVicker S, Goldsmith K
Title: Supporting wellbeing through peer-befriending (SUPERB) for people with aphasia: A feasibility randomised controlled trial
Source: Clinical Rehabilitation 2021 35(8): 1151-1163
Year: 2021
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 08/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - Y
Baseline comparability - Y
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - Y
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - Y
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

OBJECTIVE: To determine the feasibility and acceptability of peer-befriending, for people with aphasia. DESIGN: Single-blind, parallel-group feasibility randomised controlled trial comparing usual care to usual care + peer-befriending. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: People with aphasia post-stroke and low levels of distress, recruited from 5 NHS Hospitals and linked community services; their significant others; and 10 befrienders recruited from community. INTERVENTION: Six 1-hour peer-befriending visits over three months. MAIN MEASURES: Feasibility parameters included proportion eligible of those screened; proportion consented; missing data; consent and attrition rates. Acceptability was explored through qualitative interviews. Outcomes for participants and significant others were measured at baseline, 4- and 10-months; for peer-befrienders before training and after one/two cycles of befriending. RESULTS: Of 738 patients identified, 75 were eligible of 89 fully screened (84%), 62 consented (83% of eligible) and 56 randomised. Attrition was 16%. Adherence was high (93% attended 2 sessions, 81% all six). The difference at 10 months on the GHQ-12 was 1.23 points on average lower/better in the intervention arm (95% CI 0.17, -2.63). There was an 88% decrease in the odds of GHQ-12 caseness (95% CI 0.01, 1.01). Fourty-eight significant others and 10 peer-befrienders took part. Procedures and outcome measures were acceptable. Serious adverse events were few (n = 10, none for significant others and peer-befrienders) and unrelated. CONCLUSIONS: SUPERB peer-befriending for people with aphasia post-stroke experiencing low levels of distress was feasible. There was preliminary evidence of benefit in terms of depression. Peer-befriending is a suitable intervention to explore further in a definitive trial.

Access: Open Access