The literature review was conducted in the following manner:

  1. A search of Deakin University's library journal databases was conducted for journal articles. The searches were restricted to refereed journal articles as the database possessed that limiting capability.

  2. A review of publications held in the Deakin University library for references on community needle and syringe disposal issues.

  3. Personal communication was made to various personnel who have demonstrated expertise/experience in community needle and syringe disposal issues to ascertain their understanding of the latest literature on this topic.
The literature searches and interviews were conducted with the express purpose of determining:
  1. Current and best-practice disposal of N&S.
  2. Community concerns in relation to discarded N&S in public areas.
  3. Issues and barriers for disposal of N&S.
  4. Hazards associated with disposal of N&S.
Notes: The literature review initially focussed on refereed articles published post 2000 and of studies/data relevant to developed countries (so that extrapolations could be made to Australian conditions). However, given the dearth of publications, those from earlier dates were also referred if they provided the only relevant information (ie., there were no later studies/publications).

It should also be noted that several articles reviewed provided an overview analysis of existing literature – as most of these were published in peer review journals, the conclusions contained within were accepted.

Several publications referred to the term "sharp", rather than N&S. When this has been done, the original term is used. NSP was also referred to as needle exchange programs, in these instances the term NSP has been used.