A framework for understanding user requirements for an information service : defining the needs of informal carers

2008-10-10T11:24:17Z (GMT) by Mark Hepworth
The aim of this research was to develop a conceptual framework that would help to collect and understand the information needs of a target community. Many information behaviour frameworks already exist, however; although they share some features, they tend to focus on different aspects of the person and their interaction with information. It was proposed that a synthesis of these frameworks could lead to a comprehensive framework. Previous research was analysed and an initial framework defined. This was piloted and adapted and then applied to data on informal carers. This led to further adaptation. Informal carers are people who care for another person, generally a relative, for more than fourteen hours per week and are not paid for this. The data stemmed from 2 sixty interviews that were transcribed and coded. This paper presents the data on informal carers and their information experience using the final framework. This serves to demonstrate how the framework sensitizes the researcher to certain types of significant data, enables the organization of the data, indicates the relationships between different types of data and, overall, helps to provide a rich picture of the target community’s information needs. In conclusion the paper discusses the differences and advantages of the framework in relation to previous work and also the limitations of the study and possible further research.