Carers are crucial to the care system. There is now a wealth of national and international material and research about carers. However, it is fragmented, disparate, lacks accessibility and utility which in turn
The primary focus of this timely project was a comprehensive scoping review of carer-related knowledge. The review had two complementary purposes:
The scoping review showed that national and international knowledge and evidence about carers is extensive, varied and has many sources. Searches were undertaken between June and December 2016. A total of 3,434 references were captured from 10 electronic bibliographic databases, the JiscMail carer research email discussion list, and miscellaneous other searches through following reference lists. The three most productive databases were Social Care Online, HMIC and Web of Science); together these accounted for more than 60 per cent of all references captured.
Classification of the materials led to the identification of 17 ‘types’ of knowledge resources – the leading category (accounting for almost 70% of citations) being ‘Journal Articles’. Analysis of the resources adopted a thematic approach and facilitated a mapping of the parameters and content of the existing research and other knowledge resources; 62 themes were identified which in turn were classified into four categories:
Full scoping review
Carer Research and Knowledge Exchange Network (CAREN) developed from the scoping review of carer-related research and is a freely accessible knowledge exchange resource. The resources within this network are organised into 62 themes.
SCIE: Understanding Carers’ Hub
The scoping review underpins, together with associated Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) material and work on carers, in SCIE’s freely available ‘Understanding carers’ hub.