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|Title:||SAGE telephone counselling|
|Authors:||Ko, S.M. |
|Citation:||Ko, S.M., Helen, B.L. (1996). SAGE telephone counselling. Stress Medicine 12 (4) : 261-265. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-1700(199610)12:43.0.CO;2-O|
|Abstract:||The Singapore Action Group of Elders (SAGE) offers a toll-free helpline telephone counselling service for anyone in the community with problems concerning the elderly. The objective of this prospective study is to assess the effectiveness of telephone counselling by trained volunteers. From an initial pool of 50 consecutive callers who agreed to participate in the study, 34 (six men, 28 women) successfully completed the 1-month period. Each caller was rated for psychological distress using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAD Scale) at weeks 0, 1 and 4. The age range of the callers was 36-76 years, with a mean of 54.9 ± 9.8 years and a mode of 50 years. The average number of problems per caller was 2.1. Twenty-five (73.5 per cent) had psychological problems while 15 (44.1 per cent) had health-related complaints. The other problems were interpersonal, financial and social. The mean anxiety scores were 12.8 ± 5.4, 9.2 ± 6.5 and 6.9 ± 6.5 at weeks 0, 1 and 4 respectively, while the corresponding mean depression scores were 11.8 ± 6.0, 9.2 ± 6.1 and 6.9 ± 5.8 and the mean HAD Scale scores 24.6 ± 10.9, 18.4 ± 12.3 and 13.8 ± 12.1. The decrease in these scores was statistically significant between weeks 0 and 1 (p < 0.0005), between weeks 1 and 4 (p < 0.0005) and between weeks 0 and 4 (p < 0.00001). The average duration of each counselling session was 24.5 minutes and the total duration for each caller over the 1-month study was 73.5 minutes. As well as its effectiveness, other advantages of telephone counselling are discussed.|
|Source Title:||Stress Medicine|
|Appears in Collections:||Staff Publications|
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