The information needs of informal carers: An analysis of the use of the Micro-Moment Time Line Interview

Frank Odhiambo, Janet Harrison, Mark Hepworth


Informal carers and the contribution that they make in caring for people in the community is now recognised by government. The publication of the National Strategy for Carers attests to this. This paper presents the findings of a study into informal carers in Leicestershire, commissioned by Leicestershire Social Services Department. Specifically, the paper focuses on the use of the Sense-Making approach to study the informal carers' information needs. Sense-Making theory is explained and a discussion of the development and administration of the micro-timeline interview is given. Sample data derived form the interviews are reviewed followed by a discussion of the acceptability and appropriateness of the Sense-Making method in the context of understanding informal carers' information needs. The paper concludes that the Sense making methodology is an appropriate technique to use with this population.


sense-making theory; information needs;

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