Australian social work research on ageing and aged care: a scoping review
Hughes, M, Bigby, C & Tilbury, C 2018, 'Australian social work research on ageing and aged care: a scoping review', Journal of Social Work, vol. 18. no. 4, pp. 431-450.
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Little is known about the quantity, nature and range of Australian social work research on ageing and aged care. This scoping review involved a comprehensive search of seven online bibliographic databases. The review identified 108 peer-reviewed journal articles, published between January 2007 and June 2014, that reported Australian social work research on ageing and aged care.
The average number of authors per paper was 2.10 with most social work researchers co-authoring papers with non-social workers. The main topics of research focus were health and rehabilitation, elder abuse, asset management, community services and caregiving, housing and residential aged care, and ageing with an intellectual disability. The findings highlight the contribution social work researchers make to multidisciplinary gerontological research, and to understanding the lived experiences of older people and the provision of services. However, they also point to the relative paucity of research focusing on direct social work practice with older people, and the little evidence of the participation of older people and carers in the design and delivery of research.
The findings indicate the need for capacity-building strategies, such as developing networks of Australian social work researchers on ageing and aged care, to improve research outputs in this area.