Scoping the evidence on the use and effectiveness of decision aids in adult social care
This study will assess the research evidence about, and current availability of, online decision aids in adult social care.
- Louise Overton, Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology, University of Birmingham
We know from our own research and that of others that older people who pay privately for their social care (known as self-funders) can find the process challenging. They often do not know where to start when thinking about care or who to talk to. Finances are a major worry, but people can be reluctant to seek help from a financial adviser, in part because they do not know what a financial adviser can offer. People who work in adult social care are also uncertain about what financial advisers can offer; this means they are not confident to help self-funders prepare to have constructive conversations about paying for care.
One way of helping people to have constructive conversations and to make informed choices is to use a decision aid. Decision aids are available in many formats but have common aims: to inform people about options; encourage engagement in decisions; and help people think about what is important to them. They are used widely in health care but we do not know how they are used in adult social care.
This research aims to search the published literature to determine what is known about decision aids in adult social care, and investigate the current availability of online decision aids on adult social care-related websites.
What we will do
- A rapid scoping review to map current evidence on: the type of decision aids used in adult social care; who they are aimed at; the format and presentation of decision aids; the topics they cover; and their effectiveness.
- A search of 50-60 local council and other relevant websites to explore the extent to which decision aids are available and accessible to assist older people (including self-funders) and their carers to think about social care and paying for care.
- Engage the financial and adult social care sectors in discussions about decision aids for people paying for adult social care.