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BACKGROUND: A more comprehensive understanding and measurement of adult social care need could contribute to efforts to develop more effective, holistic personalised care, particularly for those with Multiple Long Term Conditions. Progress in this area faces the challenge of a lack of clarity in the literature relating to how social care need is assessed and coded within variables included in primary care databases. AIM: To explore how social care need is assessed and coded within variables included in primary care databases. DESIGN & SETTING: An exploratory rapid scoping review of peer-reviewed articles and grey literature. METHOD: Articles were screened and extracted onto a charting sheet and findings were summarised descriptively. Articles were included if published in English, related to primary care and social care using data from national primary care databases. RESULTS: The search yielded 4,010 articles. Twenty-seven were included. Six articles used the term 'social care need', although related terminology was identified including 'need factors', 'social support' and 'social care support'. Articles mainly focused on specific components of social care need, including levels of social care usage/service utilisation and costs incurred to social care, primary care and other providers in addressing needs. A limited range of database variables were found measuring social care need. CONCLUSION: Further research is needed on how social care need has been defined in a UK context and captured in primary care big databases. There is potential scope to broaden the definition of social care need, which captures social service needs and wider social needs.

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Journal article



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primary care big data, social care, social care need