Results of the ABC ‘ buddy project’ whereby students were paid to befriend worryingly inactive youngsters with a psychotic disorder
background Psychology students (‘buddies’) could earn € 25,- by visiting a patient, on one afternoon or evening per week, in order to provide friendship and engage the patient in a joint activity. An additional sum of € 20,- was made available to finance the joint activity.
aim To find out whether this activity and social participation of patients who had a buddy increased more than in patients without a buddy.
method In a quasi-experimental study 28 young, worryingly inactive patients who had a buddy were matched individually with patients without a buddy. Measurements were taken prior to the buddy contacts and after a period of 18 months. General functioning was used as a secondary outcome measure, in addition to the measure of activities and social participation.
results No patients in either group showed any improvement in activity, participation level and general functioning.
conclusion Recruiting and paying buddies to befriend and stimulate worryingly inactive youngsters with a psychotic disorder did not increase the youngsters’ activity, their social participation or their general functioning.