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Public Health Article

The impact of volunteer mentoring schemes on carers of people with dementia and volunteer mentors: A systematic review



Review Quality Rating: 8 (strong)

Citation: Smith R, & Greenwood N. (2014). The impact of volunteer mentoring schemes on carers of people with dementia and volunteer mentors: A systematic review. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, 29(1), 8-17.

Evidence Summary PubMed LinkOut

Abstract

This systematic review aims to examine the differences and similarities between the various types of volunteer mentoring (befriending, mentoring and peer support) and to identify the benefits for carers and volunteers. Literature searching was performed using 8 electronic databases, gray literature, and reference list searching of relevant systematic reviews. Searches were carried out in January 2013. Four studies fitted the inclusion criteria, with 3 investigating peer support and 1 befriending for carers. Quantitative findings highlighted a weak but statistically significant (P =.04) reduction in depression after 6 months of befriending. Qualitative findings highlighted the value carers placed on the volunteer mentors' experiential similarity. Matching was not essential for the development of successful volunteer mentoring relationships. In conclusion, the lack of need for matching and the importance of experiential similarity deserve further investigation. However, this review highlights a lack of demonstrated efficacy of volunteer mentoring for carers of people with dementia.


Keywords

Adults (20-59 years), Adult's Health (men's health, women's health), Community, Senior Health, Seniors (60+ years), Social Support (e.g., counseling, case management, outreach programs)

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