Carers identified?

3.1 Rationale and methodology

Page last updated: 2010

As part of the current project, the Department of Health and Ageing requested an update of a previous review related to the 'Identifying the Carer' project. This review was undertaken of international literature and focussed on current policies and good practice protocols in regard to the process of identification and to determine the nature of the information sought by carers at the time of admission to services.

The literature search encompassed both peer–reviewed journals and other published literature. The search methodology incorporated the following elements.

  • Electronic database searches. Subject and text words were used in searching databases for relevant research concerning Carer identification with English language limits and a publication date from 1990 to present (2010) being applied.
  • Internet searches. A search was made of internet resources in Australia and internationally using search criteria, such as Carers, carer identification, hidden carers, carer rights and provision of information to carers of people with mental illness.
  • Scanning of reference lists. Reference lists of publications (primary studies and reviews) found through database searches were scanned to identify further studies for consideration.
  • Grey literature and conference proceedings. The internet was also searched for examples of recent conference proceedings that discussed the topic.
The review strategy involved a detailed examination of the material that had been identified as part of the search strategy. In this stage, the literature was excluded if the subject matter was insufficiently described and therefore the documentation did not contribute important information to the project.

Key words used in the literature search were:

  • carer
  • carer identification
  • carer recognition
  • mental health
  • carer information.