Development of guidelines to facilitate improved support of South Asian carers by primary health care teams
Baker, Mark R
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Background—Evidence based guidelines are regarded as an appropriate basis for providing effective health care, but few guidelines incorporate the views of users such as carers. Aim—To develop guidelines to assist primary health care teams (PHCTs) in their work with carers within South Asian communities. Methods—The guidelines were drawn up by a development group consisting of members of teams in areas with South Asian communities (Leicester and Bradford). The teams were invited to make their recommendations based on a systematic review of literature on minority ethnic carers and the findings of a study of the needs and experiences of local South Asian carers. A grading system was devised to enable the teams and a group of expert peer reviewers to assess the quality of evidence in support of each recommendation. Results—The teams agreed seven recommendations, graded according to available evidence and strength of opinion. External peer review supported the PHCTs' interpretation of evidence and their recommendations. The recommendations included consideration of communication and information for carers, coordination of care within teams, and recognition by team members of the roles of carers and their cultural and religious beliefs. Conclusion—There are particular steps that PHCTs can take to improve their support of South Asian carers. It is possible to develop guidelines that take users' views into account and incorporate evidence from qualitative studies.