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The process of analysing and synthesising the material was also more complex, with many different research goals and research models to include.
Not only did the content of the material have to be analysed and evaluated in terms of research methods and findings, but also the context of the material and all of its interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral dimensions had to be understood.
The literature search that was carried out focused on accessing both published material and grey literature that related to the topics and issues that were identified by the commissioners, the expert panel and key informants.
To address the breadth of research and debate across different service sectors, professional and agency boundaries and academic disciplines makes the searching process more complex, given that the review needs to locate material across a wide range of different professional, academic and organisational bodies of knowledge.
In the case of this literature review, material had to be searched for which would reflect different forms of integration, including: This review, therefore, had to be broad in its scope and range, choosing keywords to search with to reflect the different words and terms used in different disciplines.
Furthermore, it was recognised that older people accessed the support that they needed from a wide range of statutory, independent and voluntary sector services.
When so many staff, services, sectors and agencies are involved it was felt that it was all too easy for gaps in care, fragmentation of care, lack of co-ordination between services, or duplication of services to occur.The search was limited to English language articles as the health and social care context tends to differ quite markedly between different countries.A different search process was needed for ‘grey literature’, i.e.Key informants were identified by the research team through discussion with the commissioners and from their own networking.Material was retrieved from both electronic databases and from the grey literature.In the discussion of the review findings, we outline the strategies that have been explored and then we attempt to identify the issues that remain unanswered.Finding and analysing literature is particularly difficult where integrated care is concerned.A wide range of electronic databases were searched to reflect the wide scope of integrated care, e.g.databases covering health management, nursing, medicine and social care.This literature review was designed to support and expand this activity, by providing a foundation for enquiry and analysis, identifying key concepts and definitions, and informing the development of the questions that the empirical study would seek to answer.Discussions with the commissioning team identified a number of key issues that they wished to address.