Introduction Stroke events deeply affect not only the stroke survivor but also often the quality of life and physical and psychological health of the family and friends who care for them. There is a need for further information about the unmet needs of these informal carers in order to develop support services and interventions. The primary objective of this review is to report and synthesise the research describing the unmet needs of carers of stroke survivors.
Methods and analysis A systematic review of quantitative and qualitative studies that report on the unmet needs of carers will be conducted. The following databases will be searched for relevant articles: MEDLINE, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Allied and Complementary Medicine Database and Scopus. No publication date constraints will be applied. Studies will be limited to those published in English and conducted among humans. Eligible studies will report on the unmet needs of informal carers of stroke survivors, defined as family members, friends and other unpaid caregivers. Studies which focus on formal, clinical or medical caregivers will be excluded. A narrative synthesis and pooled analysis of the main outcomes will be reported.
Ethics and dissemination This review will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. Our findings are expected to provide new insights into the unmet needs of stroke survivors’ carers. Knowledge about the unmet needs of carers will inform the development and refinement of interventions and services to address these needs and better support carers of stroke survivors. The findings of this systematic review will be disseminated publicly and in peer-reviewed journals and may be the topic of research presentations.
Trial registration number CRD42017067391.
- qualitative research
- quantitative research
- systematic review
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Contributors AMJD is the guarantor of the review, performed preliminary data searches and data extraction, conducted quality assessments and drafted the systematic review paper. AMJD, ALB, NS, AG, OW, AT, PM and BB assisted in writing the protocol. All authors contributed to the design and conception of this review, approved the final manuscript and will offer critical revisions for the review manuscript.
Funding This work was supported by a project grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia (GNT1045840) and partnership support from the Cancer Council NSW to BB. BB is supported by an Australian NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (GNT1063206) and a Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle Gladys M Brawn Career Development Fellowship. AMJD is supported by a Research Training Program (RTP), University of Newcastle PhD Scholarship. ALB is supported by an Australian NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship and a Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle Gladys M Brawn Senior Research Fellowship. NS is an Australian NHMRC Career Development/National Heart Foundation (NHF) cofunded by the Career Development/Future Leader Fellow APPS1110629/100827.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.