Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Assignments
- Annotated Bibliography
- Analyzing a Scholarly Journal Article
- Group Presentations
- Dealing with Nervousness
- Using Visual Aids
- Grading Someone Else's Paper
- Types of Structured Group Activities
- Group Project Survival Skills
- Leading a Class Discussion
- Multiple Book Review Essay
- Reviewing Collected Works
- Writing a Case Analysis Paper
- Writing a Case Study
- About Informed Consent
- Writing Field Notes
- Writing a Policy Memo
- Writing a Reflective Paper
- Writing a Research Proposal
A case study research paper examines a person, place, event, condition, phenomenon, or other type of subject of analysis in order to extrapolate key themes and results that help predict future trends, illuminate previously hidden issues that can be applied to practice, and/or provide a means for understanding an important research problem with greater clarity. A case study research paper usually examines a single subject of analysis, but case study papers can also be designed as a comparative investigation that shows relationships between two or more subjects. The methods used to study a case can rest within a quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method investigative paradigm.
Case Studies. [email protected] Colorado State University; Mills, Albert J. , Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010 ; “What is a Case Study?” In Swanborn, Peter G. Case Study Research: What, Why and How? London: SAGE, 2010.
How to Approach Writing a Case Study Research Paper
General information about how to choose a topic to investigate can be found under the " Choosing a Research Problem " tab in the Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper writing guide. Review this page because it may help you identify a subject of analysis that can be investigated using a case study design.
However, identifying a case to investigate involves more than choosing the research problem . A case study encompasses a problem contextualized around the application of in-depth analysis, interpretation, and discussion, often resulting in specific recommendations for action or for improving existing conditions. As Seawright and Gerring note, practical considerations such as time and access to information can influence case selection, but these issues should not be the sole factors used in describing the methodological justification for identifying a particular case to study. Given this, selecting a case includes considering the following:
- The case represents an unusual or atypical example of a research problem that requires more in-depth analysis? Cases often represent a topic that rests on the fringes of prior investigations because the case may provide new ways of understanding the research problem. For example, if the research problem is to identify strategies to improve policies that support girl's access to secondary education in predominantly Muslim nations, you could consider using Azerbaijan as a case study rather than selecting a more obvious nation in the Middle East. Doing so may reveal important new insights into recommending how governments in other predominantly Muslim nations can formulate policies that support improved access to education for girls.
- The case provides important insight or illuminate a previously hidden problem? In-depth analysis of a case can be based on the hypothesis that the case study will reveal trends or issues that have not been exposed in prior research or will reveal new and important implications for practice. For example, anecdotal evidence may suggest drug use among homeless veterans is related to their patterns of travel throughout the day. Assuming prior studies have not looked at individual travel choices as a way to study access to illicit drug use, a case study that observes a homeless veteran could reveal how issues of personal mobility choices facilitate regular access to illicit drugs. Note that it is important to conduct a thorough literature review to ensure that your assumption about the need to reveal new insights or previously hidden problems is valid and evidence-based.
- The case challenges and offers a counter-point to prevailing assumptions? Over time, research on any given topic can fall into a trap of developing assumptions based on outdated studies that are still applied to new or changing conditions or the idea that something should simply be accepted as "common sense," even though the issue has not been thoroughly tested in current practice. A case study analysis may offer an opportunity to gather evidence that challenges prevailing assumptions about a research problem and provide a new set of recommendations applied to practice that have not been tested previously. For example, perhaps there has been a long practice among scholars to apply a particular theory in explaining the relationship between two subjects of analysis. Your case could challenge this assumption by applying an innovative theoretical framework [perhaps borrowed from another discipline] to explore whether this approach offers new ways of understanding the research problem. Taking a contrarian stance is one of the most important ways that new knowledge and understanding develops from existing literature.
- The case provides an opportunity to pursue action leading to the resolution of a problem? Another way to think about choosing a case to study is to consider how the results from investigating a particular case may result in findings that reveal ways in which to resolve an existing or emerging problem. For example, studying the case of an unforeseen incident, such as a fatal accident at a railroad crossing, can reveal hidden issues that could be applied to preventative measures that contribute to reducing the chance of accidents in the future. In this example, a case study investigating the accident could lead to a better understanding of where to strategically locate additional signals at other railroad crossings so as to better warn drivers of an approaching train, particularly when visibility is hindered by heavy rain, fog, or at night.
- The case offers a new direction in future research? A case study can be used as a tool for an exploratory investigation that highlights the need for further research about the problem. A case can be used when there are few studies that help predict an outcome or that establish a clear understanding about how best to proceed in addressing a problem. For example, after conducting a thorough literature review [very important!], you discover that little research exists showing the ways in which women contribute to promoting water conservation in rural communities of east central Africa. A case study of how women contribute to saving water in a rural village of Uganda can lay the foundation for understanding the need for more thorough research that documents how women in their roles as cooks and family caregivers think about water as a valuable resource within their community. This example of a case study could also point to the need for scholars to build new theoretical frameworks around the topic [e.g., applying feminist theories of work and family to the issue of water conservation].
Eisenhardt, Kathleen M. “Building Theories from Case Study Research.” Academy of Management Review 14 (October 1989): 532-550; Emmel, Nick. Sampling and Choosing Cases in Qualitative Research: A Realist Approach . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2013; Gerring, John. “What Is a Case Study and What Is It Good for?” American Political Science Review 98 (May 2004): 341-354; Mills, Albert J. , Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010; Seawright, Jason and John Gerring. "Case Selection Techniques in Case Study Research." Political Research Quarterly 61 (June 2008): 294-308.
Structure and Writing Style
The purpose of a paper in the social sciences designed around a case study is to thoroughly investigate a subject of analysis in order to reveal a new understanding about the research problem and, in so doing, contributing new knowledge to what is already known from previous studies. In applied social sciences disciplines [e.g., education, social work, public administration, etc.], case studies may also be used to reveal best practices, highlight key programs, or investigate interesting aspects of professional work.
In general, the structure of a case study research paper is not all that different from a standard college-level research paper. However, there are subtle differences you should be aware of. Here are the key elements to organizing and writing a case study research paper.
As with any research paper, your introduction should serve as a roadmap for your readers to ascertain the scope and purpose of your study . The introduction to a case study research paper, however, should not only describe the research problem and its significance, but you should also succinctly describe why the case is being used and how it relates to addressing the problem. The two elements should be linked. With this in mind, a good introduction answers these four questions:
- What is being studied? Describe the research problem and describe the subject of analysis [the case] you have chosen to address the problem. Explain how they are linked and what elements of the case will help to expand knowledge and understanding about the problem.
- Why is this topic important to investigate? Describe the significance of the research problem and state why a case study design and the subject of analysis that the paper is designed around is appropriate in addressing the problem.
- What did we know about this topic before I did this study? Provide background that helps lead the reader into the more in-depth literature review to follow. If applicable, summarize prior case study research applied to the research problem and why it fails to adequately address the problem. Describe why your case will be useful. If no prior case studies have been used to address the research problem, explain why you have selected this subject of analysis.
- How will this study advance new knowledge or new ways of understanding? Explain why your case study will be suitable in helping to expand knowledge and understanding about the research problem.
Each of these questions should be addressed in no more than a few paragraphs. Exceptions to this can be when you are addressing a complex research problem or subject of analysis that requires more in-depth background information.
II. Literature Review
The literature review for a case study research paper is generally structured the same as it is for any college-level research paper. The difference, however, is that the literature review is focused on providing background information and enabling historical interpretation of the subject of analysis in relation to the research problem the case is intended to address . This includes synthesizing studies that help to:
- Place relevant works in the context of their contribution to understanding the case study being investigated . This would involve summarizing studies that have used a similar subject of analysis to investigate the research problem. If there is literature using the same or a very similar case to study, you need to explain why duplicating past research is important [e.g., conditions have changed; prior studies were conducted long ago, etc.].
- Describe the relationship each work has to the others under consideration that informs the reader why this case is applicable . Your literature review should include a description of any works that support using the case to investigate the research problem and the underlying research questions.
- Identify new ways to interpret prior research using the case study . If applicable, review any research that has examined the research problem using a different research design. Explain how your use of a case study design may reveal new knowledge or a new perspective or that can redirect research in an important new direction.
- Resolve conflicts amongst seemingly contradictory previous studies . This refers to synthesizing any literature that points to unresolved issues of concern about the research problem and describing how the subject of analysis that forms the case study can help resolve these existing contradictions.
- Point the way in fulfilling a need for additional research . Your review should examine any literature that lays a foundation for understanding why your case study design and the subject of analysis around which you have designed your study may reveal a new way of approaching the research problem or offer a perspective that points to the need for additional research.
- Expose any gaps that exist in the literature that the case study could help to fill . Summarize any literature that not only shows how your subject of analysis contributes to understanding the research problem, but how your case contributes to a new way of understanding the problem that prior research has failed to do.
- Locate your own research within the context of existing literature [very important!] . Collectively, your literature review should always place your case study within the larger domain of prior research about the problem. The overarching purpose of reviewing pertinent literature in a case study paper is to demonstrate that you have thoroughly identified and synthesized prior studies in relation to explaining the relevance of the case in addressing the research problem.
In this section, you explain why you selected a particular case [i.e., subject of analysis] and the strategy you used to identify and ultimately decide that your case was appropriate in addressing the research problem. The way you describe the methods used varies depending on the type of subject of analysis that constitutes your case study.
If your subject of analysis is an incident or event . In the social and behavioral sciences, the event or incident that represents the case to be studied is usually bounded by time and place, with a clear beginning and end and with an identifiable location or position relative to its surroundings. The subject of analysis can be a rare or critical event or it can focus on a typical or regular event. The purpose of studying a rare event is to illuminate new ways of thinking about the broader research problem or to test a hypothesis. Critical incident case studies must describe the method by which you identified the event and explain the process by which you determined the validity of this case to inform broader perspectives about the research problem or to reveal new findings. However, the event does not have to be a rare or uniquely significant to support new thinking about the research problem or to challenge an existing hypothesis. For example, Walo, Bull, and Breen conducted a case study to identify and evaluate the direct and indirect economic benefits and costs of a local sports event in the City of Lismore, New South Wales, Australia. The purpose of their study was to provide new insights from measuring the impact of a typical local sports event that prior studies could not measure well because they focused on large "mega-events." Whether the event is rare or not, the methods section should include an explanation of the following characteristics of the event: a) when did it take place; b) what were the underlying circumstances leading to the event; and, c) what were the consequences of the event in relation to the research problem.
If your subject of analysis is a person. Explain why you selected this particular individual to be studied and describe what experiences they have had that provide an opportunity to advance new understandings about the research problem. Mention any background about this person which might help the reader understand the significance of their experiences that make them worthy of study. This includes describing the relationships this person has had with other people, institutions, and/or events that support using them as the subject for a case study research paper. It is particularly important to differentiate the person as the subject of analysis from others and to succinctly explain how the person relates to examining the research problem [e.g., why is one politician in a particular local election used to show an increase in voter turnout from any other candidate running in the election]. Note that these issues apply to a specific group of people used as a case study unit of analysis [e.g., a classroom of students].
If your subject of analysis is a place. In general, a case study that investigates a place suggests a subject of analysis that is unique or special in some way and that this uniqueness can be used to build new understanding or knowledge about the research problem. A case study of a place must not only describe its various attributes relevant to the research problem [e.g., physical, social, historical, cultural, economic, political], but you must state the method by which you determined that this place will illuminate new understandings about the research problem. It is also important to articulate why a particular place as the case for study is being used if similar places also exist [i.e., if you are studying patterns of homeless encampments of veterans in open spaces, explain why you are studying Echo Park in Los Angeles rather than Griffith Park?]. If applicable, describe what type of human activity involving this place makes it a good choice to study [e.g., prior research suggests Echo Park has more homeless veterans].
If your subject of analysis is a phenomenon. A phenomenon refers to a fact, occurrence, or circumstance that can be studied or observed but with the cause or explanation to be in question. In this sense, a phenomenon that forms your subject of analysis can encompass anything that can be observed or presumed to exist but is not fully understood. In the social and behavioral sciences, the case usually focuses on human interaction within a complex physical, social, economic, cultural, or political system. For example, the phenomenon could be the observation that many vehicles used by ISIS fighters are small trucks with English language advertisements on them. The research problem could be that ISIS fighters are difficult to combat because they are highly mobile. The research questions could be how and by what means are these vehicles used by ISIS being supplied to the militants and how might supply lines to these vehicles be cut off? How might knowing the suppliers of these trucks reveal larger networks of collaborators and financial support? A case study of a phenomenon most often encompasses an in-depth analysis of a cause and effect that is grounded in an interactive relationship between people and their environment in some way.
NOTE: The choice of the case or set of cases to study cannot appear random. Evidence that supports the method by which you identified and chose your subject of analysis should clearly support investigation of the research problem and linked to key findings from your literature review. Be sure to cite any studies that helped you determine that the case you chose was appropriate for examining the problem.
The main elements of your discussion section are generally the same as any research paper, but centered around interpreting and drawing conclusions about the key findings from your analysis of the case study. Note that a general social sciences research paper may contain a separate section to report findings. However, in a paper designed around a case study, it is common to combine a description of the results with the discussion about their implications. The objectives of your discussion section should include the following:
Reiterate the Research Problem/State the Major Findings Briefly reiterate the research problem you are investigating and explain why the subject of analysis around which you designed the case study were used. You should then describe the findings revealed from your study of the case using direct, declarative, and succinct proclamation of the study results. Highlight any findings that were unexpected or especially profound.
Explain the Meaning of the Findings and Why They are Important Systematically explain the meaning of your case study findings and why you believe they are important. Begin this part of the section by repeating what you consider to be your most important or surprising finding first, then systematically review each finding. Be sure to thoroughly extrapolate what your analysis of the case can tell the reader about situations or conditions beyond the actual case that was studied while, at the same time, being careful not to misconstrue or conflate a finding that undermines the external validity of your conclusions.
Relate the Findings to Similar Studies No study in the social sciences is so novel or possesses such a restricted focus that it has absolutely no relation to previously published research. The discussion section should relate your case study results to those found in other studies, particularly if questions raised from prior studies served as the motivation for choosing your subject of analysis. This is important because comparing and contrasting the findings of other studies helps support the overall importance of your results and it highlights how and in what ways your case study design and the subject of analysis differs from prior research about the topic.
Consider Alternative Explanations of the Findings Remember that the purpose of social science research is to discover and not to prove. When writing the discussion section, you should carefully consider all possible explanations revealed by the case study results, rather than just those that fit your hypothesis or prior assumptions and biases. Be alert to what the in-depth analysis of the case may reveal about the research problem, including offering a contrarian perspective to what scholars have stated in prior research if that is how the findings can be interpreted from your case.
Acknowledge the Study's Limitations You can state the study's limitations in the conclusion section of your paper but describing the limitations of your subject of analysis in the discussion section provides an opportunity to identify the limitations and explain why they are not significant. This part of the discussion section should also note any unanswered questions or issues your case study could not address. More detailed information about how to document any limitations to your research can be found here .
Suggest Areas for Further Research Although your case study may offer important insights about the research problem, there are likely additional questions related to the problem that remain unanswered or findings that unexpectedly revealed themselves as a result of your in-depth analysis of the case. Be sure that the recommendations for further research are linked to the research problem and that you explain why your recommendations are valid in other contexts and based on the original assumptions of your study.
As with any research paper, you should summarize your conclusion in clear, simple language; emphasize how the findings from your case study differs from or supports prior research and why. Do not simply reiterate the discussion section. Provide a synthesis of key findings presented in the paper to show how these converge to address the research problem. If you haven't already done so in the discussion section, be sure to document the limitations of your case study and any need for further research.
The function of your paper's conclusion is to: 1) reiterate the main argument supported by the findings from your case study; 2) state clearly the context, background, and necessity of pursuing the research problem using a case study design in relation to an issue, controversy, or a gap found from reviewing the literature; and, 3) provide a place to persuasively and succinctly restate the significance of your research problem, given that the reader has now been presented with in-depth information about the topic.
Consider the following points to help ensure your conclusion is appropriate:
- If the argument or purpose of your paper is complex, you may need to summarize these points for your reader.
- If prior to your conclusion, you have not yet explained the significance of your findings or if you are proceeding inductively, use the conclusion of your paper to describe your main points and explain their significance.
- Move from a detailed to a general level of consideration of the case study's findings that returns the topic to the context provided by the introduction or within a new context that emerges from your case study findings.
Note that, depending on the discipline you are writing in or the preferences of your professor, the concluding paragraph may contain your final reflections on the evidence presented as it applies to practice or on the essay's central research problem. However, the nature of being introspective about the subject of analysis you have investigated will depend on whether you are explicitly asked to express your observations in this way.
Problems to Avoid
Overgeneralization One of the goals of a case study is to lay a foundation for understanding broader trends and issues applied to similar circumstances. However, be careful when drawing conclusions from your case study. They must be evidence-based and grounded in the results of the study; otherwise, it is merely speculation. Looking at a prior example, it would be incorrect to state that a factor in improving girls access to education in Azerbaijan and the policy implications this may have for improving access in other Muslim nations is due to girls access to social media if there is no documentary evidence from your case study to indicate this. There may be anecdotal evidence that retention rates were better for girls who were engaged with social media, but this observation would only point to the need for further research and would not be a definitive finding if this was not a part of your original research agenda.
Failure to Document Limitations No case is going to reveal all that needs to be understood about a research problem. Therefore, just as you have to clearly state the limitations of a general research study , you must describe the specific limitations inherent in the subject of analysis. For example, the case of studying how women conceptualize the need for water conservation in a village in Uganda could have limited application in other cultural contexts or in areas where fresh water from rivers or lakes is plentiful and, therefore, conservation is understood more in terms of managing access rather than preserving access to a scarce resource.
Failure to Extrapolate All Possible Implications Just as you don't want to over-generalize from your case study findings, you also have to be thorough in the consideration of all possible outcomes or recommendations derived from your findings. If you do not, your reader may question the validity of your analysis, particularly if you failed to document an obvious outcome from your case study research. For example, in the case of studying the accident at the railroad crossing to evaluate where and what types of warning signals should be located, you failed to take into consideration speed limit signage as well as warning signals. When designing your case study, be sure you have thoroughly addressed all aspects of the problem and do not leave gaps in your analysis that leave the reader questioning the results.
Case Studies. [email protected] Colorado State University; Gerring, John. Case Study Research: Principles and Practices . New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007; Merriam, Sharan B. Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in Education . Rev. ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1998; Miller, Lisa L. “The Use of Case Studies in Law and Social Science Research.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 14 (2018): TBD; Mills, Albert J., Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010; Putney, LeAnn Grogan. "Case Study." In Encyclopedia of Research Design , Neil J. Salkind, editor. (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010), pp. 116-120; Simons, Helen. Case Study Research in Practice . London: SAGE Publications, 2009; Kratochwill, Thomas R. and Joel R. Levin, editors. Single-Case Research Design and Analysis: New Development for Psychology and Education . Hilldsale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1992; Swanborn, Peter G. Case Study Research: What, Why and How? London : SAGE, 2010; Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research: Design and Methods . 6th edition. Los Angeles, CA, SAGE Publications, 2014; Walo, Maree, Adrian Bull, and Helen Breen. “Achieving Economic Benefits at Local Events: A Case Study of a Local Sports Event.” Festival Management and Event Tourism 4 (1996): 95-106.
At Least Five Misconceptions about Case Study Research
Social science case studies are often perceived as limited in their ability to create new knowledge because they are not randomly selected and findings cannot be generalized to larger populations. Flyvbjerg examines five misunderstandings about case study research and systematically "corrects" each one. To quote, these are:
Misunderstanding 1 : General, theoretical [context-independent] knowledge is more valuable than concrete, practical [context-dependent] knowledge. Misunderstanding 2 : One cannot generalize on the basis of an individual case; therefore, the case study cannot contribute to scientific development. Misunderstanding 3 : The case study is most useful for generating hypotheses; that is, in the first stage of a total research process, whereas other methods are more suitable for hypotheses testing and theory building. Misunderstanding 4 : The case study contains a bias toward verification, that is, a tendency to confirm the researcher’s preconceived notions. Misunderstanding 5 : It is often difficult to summarize and develop general propositions and theories on the basis of specific case studies [p. 221].
While writing your paper, think introspectively about how you addressed these misconceptions because to do so can help you strengthen the validity and reliability of your research by clarifying issues of case selection, the testing and challenging of existing assumptions, the interpretation of key findings, and the summation of case outcomes. Think of a case study research paper as a complete, in-depth narrative about the specific properties and key characteristics of your subject of analysis applied to the research problem.
Flyvbjerg, Bent. “Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research.” Qualitative Inquiry 12 (April 2006): 219-245.
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- Reporting stAndards for research in PedIatric Dentistry (RAPID) : an expert consensus-based statement
- Improving the reporting quality of reliability generalization meta-analyses: The REGEMA checklist
- Evaluation of post-introduction COVID- 19 vaccine effectiveness: Summary of interim guidance of the World Health Organization
- Journal article reporting standards for quantitative research in psychology: The APA Publications and Communications Board task force report
- Guidelines for Reporting Trial Protocols and Completed Trials Modified Due to the COVID- 19 Pandemic and Other Extenuating Circumstances: The CONSERVE 2021 Statement
- Describing deprescribing trials better: an elaboration of the CONSORT statement
- Comprehensive reporting of pelvic floor muscle training for urinary incontinence: CERT-PFMT
- International Olympic Committee Consensus Statement: Methods for Recording and Reporting of Epidemiological Data on Injury and Illness in Sports 2020 (Including the STROBE Extension for Sports Injury and Illness Surveillance (STROBE-SIIS))
- RIGHT for Acupuncture: An Extension of the RIGHT Statement for Clinical Practice Guidelines on Acupuncture
- The APOSTEL 2.0 Recommendations for Reporting Quantitative Optical Coherence Tomography Studies
- Room Indirect Calorimetry Operating and Reporting Standards (RICORS 1.0): A Guide to Conducting and Reporting Human Whole -Room Calorimeter Studies
- COSMIN reporting guideline for studies on measurement properties of patient-reported outcome measures
- Ensuring best practice in genomics education and evaluation: reporting item standards for education and its evaluation in genomics (RISE 2 Genomics)
- A Consensus -Based Checklist for Reporting of Survey Studies (CROSS)
- CONSORT extension for the reporting of randomised controlled trials conducted using cohorts and routinely collected data (CONSORT-ROUTINE) : checklist with explanation and elaboration
- Preferred reporting items for journal and conference abstracts of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of diagnostic test accuracy studies (PRISMA-DTA for Abstracts): checklist, explanation, and elaboration
- An analysis of preclinical efficacy testing of antivenoms for sub -Saharan Africa: Inadequate independent scrutiny and poor-quality reporting are barriers to improving snakebite treatment and management
- Artificial intelligence in dental research: Checklist for authors, reviewers, readers
- EULAR recommendations for the reporting of ultrasound studies in rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs)
- PRIASE 2021 guidelines for reporting animal studies in Endodontology: a consensus-based development
- The reporting checklist for public versions of guidelines: RIGHT-PVG
- SQUIRE-EDU (Standards for QUality Improvement Reporting Excellence in Education): Publication Guidelines for Educational Improvement
- PRISMA-S : an extension to the PRISMA Statement for Reporting Literature Searches in Systematic Reviews
- Anaesthesia Case Report (ACRE) checklist: a tool to promote high-quality reporting of cases in peri-operative practice
- Strengthening tRansparent reporting of reseArch on uNfinished nursing CARE : The RANCARE guideline
- Journal article reporting standards for qualitative primary, qualitative meta-analytic, and mixed methods research in psychology: The APA Publications and Communications Board task force report
- Defining Group Care Programs: An Index of Reporting Standards
- Stakeholder analysis in health innovation planning processes: A systematic scoping review
- PRISMA extension for moxibustion 2020: recommendations, explanation, and elaboration
- PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta -Analyses) Extension for Chinese Herbal Medicines 2020 (PRISMA-CHM 2020)
- Reporting gaps in immunization costing studies: Recommendations for improving the practice
- The RIGHT Extension Statement for Traditional Chinese Medicine: Development, Recommendations, and Explanation
- Proposed Requirements for Cardiovascular Imaging -Related Machine Learning Evaluation (PRIME) : A Checklist: Reviewed by the American College of Cardiology Healthcare Innovation Council
- Benefit -Risk Assessment of Vaccines. Part II : Proposal Towards Consolidated Standards of Reporting Quantitative Benefit -Risk Models Applied to Vaccines (BRIVAC)
- BIAS : Transparent reporting of biomedical image analysis challenges
- Minimum information about clinical artificial intelligence modeling: the MI-CLAIM checklist
- STrengthening the Reporting Of Pharmacogenetic Studies: Development of the STROPS guideline
- TIDieR-Placebo : a guide and checklist for reporting placebo and sham controls
- Guidelines for clinical trial protocols for interventions involving artificial intelligence: the SPIRIT-AI Extension
- Reporting guidelines for clinical trial reports for interventions involving artificial intelligence: the CONSORT-AI Extension
- The IDEAL Reporting Guidelines: A Delphi Consensus Statement Stage specific recommendations for reporting the evaluation of surgical innovation
- The adaptive designs CONSORT extension (ACE) statement: a checklist with explanation and elaboration guideline for reporting randomised trials that use an adaptive design
- Reporting Guideline for Priority Setting of Health Research (REPRISE)
- Transparent Reporting of Multivariable Prediction Models in Journal and Conference Abstracts: TRIPOD for Abstracts
- Consensus on the reporting and experimental design of clinical and cognitive-behavioural neurofeedback studies (CRED-nf checklist)
- PRICE 2020 guidelines for reporting case reports in Endodontics: a consensus-based development
- PRIRATE 2020 guidelines for reporting randomized trials in Endodontics: a consensus-based development
- Guidance for reporting intervention development studies in health research (GUIDED) : an evidence-based consensus study
- Standard Protocol Items for Clinical Trials with Traditional Chinese Medicine 2018: Recommendations, Explanation and Elaboration (SPIRIT-TCM Extension 2018)
- SPIRIT extension and elaboration for n-of-1 trials: SPENT 2019 checklist
- Standards for reporting interventions in clinical trials of cupping (STRICTOC) : extending the CONSORT statement
- Pa CIR : A tool to enhance pharmacist patient care intervention reporting
- Synthesis without meta-analysis (SWiM) in systematic reviews: reporting guideline
- Guidelines for reporting case studies and series on drug-induced QT interval prolongation and its complications following acute overdose
- Criteria for describing and evaluating training interventions in healthcare professions – CRe-DEPTH
- CONSORT extension for reporting N-of- 1 trials for traditional Chinese medicine (CENT for TCM) : Recommendations, explanation and elaboration
- Reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses of acupuncture: the PRISMA for acupuncture checklist
- Consolidated criteria for strengthening reporting of health research involving indigenous peoples: the CONSIDER statement
- Checklist for the preparation and review of pain clinical trial publications: a pain-specific supplement to CONSORT
- Reporting guidelines on remotely collected electronic mood data in mood disorder (e MOOD)-recommendations
- CONSORT 2010 statement: extension to randomised crossover trials
- Reporting of Multi -Arm Parallel -Group Randomized Trials: Extension of the CONSORT 2010 Statement
- Microbiology Investigation Criteria for Reporting Objectively (MICRO) : a framework for the reporting and interpretation of clinical microbiology data
- Core Outcome Set -STAndardised Protocol Items: the COS-STAP Statement
- The Reporting on ERAS Compliance, Outcomes, and Elements Research (RECOvER) Checklist: A Joint Statement by the ERAS ® and ERAS ® USA Societies
- Reporting of stepped wedge cluster randomised trials: extension of the CONSORT 2010 statement with explanation and elaboration
- Improving reporting of Meta -Ethnography : The e MERGe Reporting Guidance
- The Reporting Items for Patent Landscapes statement
- Reporting guidelines on how to write a complete and transparent abstract for overviews of systematic reviews of health care interventions
- The reporting of studies conducted using observational routinely collected health data statement for pharmacoepidemiology (RECORD-PE)
- PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) : Checklist and Explanation
- Systems Perspective of Amazon Mechanical Turk for Organizational Research: Review and Recommendations
- ESPACOMP Medication Adherence Reporting Guideline (EMERGE)
- Reporting randomised trials of social and psychological interventions: the CONSORT-SPI 2018 Extension
- Reporting guidelines for implementation research on nurturing care interventions designed to promote early childhood development
- Strengthening the reporting of empirical simulation studies: Introducing the STRESS guidelines
- TIDieR-PHP : a reporting guideline for population health and policy interventions
- Guidelines for Inclusion of Patient -Reported Outcomes in Clinical Trial Protocols: The SPIRIT-PRO Extension
- Preferred Reporting Items for a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Diagnostic Test Accuracy Studies: The PRISMA-DTA Statement
- Structural brain development: A review of methodological approaches and best practices
- Improving the Development, Monitoring and Reporting of Stroke Rehabilitation Research: Consensus -Based Core Recommendations from the Stroke Recovery and Rehabilitation Roundtable
- Variability in the Reporting of Serum Urate and Flares in Gout Clinical Trials: Need for Minimum Reporting Requirements
- Methodology of assessment and reporting of safety in anti-malarial treatment efficacy studies of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in pregnancy: a systematic literature review
- Standards for UNiversal reporting of patient Decision Aid Evaluation studies: the development of SUNDAE Checklist
- Consideration of Sex Differences in Design and Reporting of Experimental Arterial Pathology Studies -Statement From ATVB Council
- Guidelines for the Content of Statistical Analysis Plans in Clinical Trials
- RECORDS : Improved reporting of Monte Carlo Radiation transport studies: Report of the AAPM Research Committee Task Group 268
- Ten simple rules for neuroimaging meta-analysis
- CONSORT-Equity 2017 extension and elaboration for better reporting of health equity in randomised trials
- Preferred Reporting Items for Overviews of systematic reviews including harms checklist: A pilot tool to be used for balanced reporting of benefits and harms
- Reporting Guidelines for the Use of Expert Judgement in Model -Based Economic Evaluations
- Standards for reporting chronic periodontitis prevalence and severity in epidemiologic studies: Proposed standards from the Joint EU / USA Periodontal Epidemiology Working Group
- Graphics and statistics for cardiology: designing effective tables for presentation and publication
- Guidelines for reporting meta-epidemiological methodology research
- Reporting to Improve Reproducibility and Facilitate Validity Assessment for Healthcare Database Studies V1.0
- Characteristics of funding of clinical trials: cross-sectional survey and proposed guidance
- Guidelines for Reporting on Latent Trajectory Studies (GRoLTS)
- AMWA ‒ EMWA ‒ ISMPP Joint Position Statement on the Role of Professional Medical Writers
- STROCSS 2021: Strengthening the reporting of cohort, cross-sectional and case-control studies in surgery
- Unique identification of research resources in the biomedical literature: the Resource Identification Initiative (RRID)
- Checklist for One Health Epidemiological Reporting of Evidence (COHERE)
- STARD for Abstracts: essential items for reporting diagnostic accuracy studies in journal or conference abstracts
- GRIPP 2 reporting checklists: tools to improve reporting of patient and public involvement in research
- Single organ cutaneous vasculitis: Case definition & guidelines for data collection, analysis, and presentation of immunization safety data
- Improving the reporting of clinical trials of infertility treatments (IMPRINT) : modifying the CONSORT statement
- Improving the reporting of therapeutic exercise interventions in rehabilitation research
- Guidance to develop individual dose recommendations for patients on chronic hemodialysis
- A literature review of applied adaptive design methodology within the field of oncology in randomised controlled trials and a proposed extension to the CONSORT guidelines
- AHRQ Series on Complex Intervention Systematic Reviews – Paper 6: PRISMA-CI Extension Statement & Checklist
- Adaptation of the CARE Guidelines for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Publications: Efforts To Improve the Impact of Case Reports
- A review of published analyses of case-cohort studies and recommendations for future reporting
- Guidelines for reporting evaluations based on observational methodology
- Reporting and Guidelines in Propensity Score Analysis: A Systematic Review of Cancer and Cancer Surgical Studies
- Minimum Information for Studies Evaluating Biologics in Orthopaedics (MIBO) : Platelet -Rich Plasma and Mesenchymal Stem Cells
- CONSORT 2010 statement: extension checklist for reporting within person randomised trials
- CONSORT Extension for Chinese Herbal Medicine Formulas 2017: Recommendations, Explanation, and Elaboration
- Methods and processes of developing the strengthening the reporting of observational studies in epidemiology – veterinary (STROBE-Vet) statement
- CONSORT 2010 Statement: updated guidelines for reporting parallel group randomised trials
- STARD 2015: An Updated List of Essential Items for Reporting Diagnostic Accuracy Studies
- SPIRIT 2013 Statement: Defining standard protocol items for clinical trials
- Best Practices in Data Analysis and Sharing in Neuroimaging using MRI
- Latent Class Analysis: An example for reporting results
- Guidelines for Developing and Reporting Machine Learning Predictive Models in Biomedical Research: A Multidisciplinary View
- Clarity in Reporting Terminology and Definitions of Set End Points in Resistance Training
- An introduction to using Bayesian linear regression with clinical data
- Making economic evaluations more helpful for treatment choices in haemophilia
- Guideline for Reporting Interventions on Spinal Manipulative Therapy: Consensus on Interventions Reporting Criteria List for Spinal Manipulative Therapy (CIRCLe SMT)
- Guidance on Conducting and REporting DElphi Studies (CREDES) in palliative care: Recommendations based on a methodological systematic review
- STARD-BLCM : Standards for the Reporting of Diagnostic accuracy studies that use Bayesian Latent Class Models
- A Reporting Tool for Practice Guidelines in Health Care: The RIGHT Statement
- The AGREE Reporting Checklist: a tool to improve reporting of clinical practice guidelines
- The REFLECT statement: methods and processes of creating reporting guidelines for randomized controlled trials for livestock and food safety by modifying the CONSORT statement
- Reporting Items for Updated Clinical Guidelines: Checklist for the Reporting of Updated Guidelines (CheckUp)
- Preferred Reporting Items for the Development of Evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines in Traditional Medicine (PRIDE-CPG-TM) : Explanation and elaboration
- Standards for Reporting Implementation Studies (StaRI) Statement
- The PROCESS 2020 Guideline: Updating Consensus Preferred Reporting Of CasE Series in Surgery (PROCESS) Guidelines
- Consensus on Exercise Reporting Template (CERT) : Modified Delphi Study
- Development of the Anatomical Quality Assurance (AQUA) Checklist: guidelines for reporting original anatomical studies
- CONSORT 2010 statement: extension to randomised pilot and feasibility trials
- Core Outcome Set -STAndards for Reporting: The COS-STAR Statement
- Improving the reporting quality of nonrandomized evaluations of behavioral and public health interventions: the TREND statement
- Evaluation of response after pre-operative radiotherapy in soft tissue sarcomas; the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer -Soft Tissue and Bone Sarcoma Group (EORTC-STBSG) and Imaging Group recommendations for radiological examination and reporting with an emphasis on magnetic resonance imaging
- Standardization of pathologic evaluation and reporting of postneoadjuvant specimens in clinical trials of breast cancer: recommendations from an international working group
- Image-guided Tumor Ablation: Standardization of Terminology and Reporting Criteria—A 10 -Year Update
- Irreversible Electroporation (IRE) : Standardization of Terminology and Reporting Criteria for Analysis and Comparison
- Recommendations for improving the quality of reporting clinical electrochemotherapy studies based on qualitative systematic review
- METastasis Reporting and Data System for Prostate Cancer: Practical Guidelines for Acquisition, Interpretation, and Reporting of Whole-body Magnetic Resonance Imaging-based Evaluations of Multiorgan Involvement in Advanced Prostate Cancer
- Reporting Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Men on Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer: The PRECISE Recommendations -A Report of a European School of Oncology Task Force
- Transcription factor HIF 1A: downstream targets, associated pathways, polymorphic hypoxia response element (HRE) sites, and initiative for standardization of reporting in scientific literature
- Eliciting the child’s voice in adverse event reporting in oncology trials: Cognitive interview findings from the Pediatric Patient -Reported Outcomes version of the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events initiative
- CONSISE statement on the reporting of Seroepidemiologic Studies for influenza (ROSES-I statement): an extension of the STROBE statement
- REporting recommendations for tumour MARKer prognostic studies (REMARK)
- Recommendations to improve adverse event reporting in clinical trial publications: a joint pharmaceutical industry/journal editor perspective
- Reporting studies on time to diagnosis: proposal of a guideline by an international panel (REST)
- A Checklist for Reporting Valuation Studies of Multi -Attribute Utility -Based Instruments (CREATE)
- Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology for Newborn Infection (STROBE-NI) : an extension of the STROBE statement for neonatal infection research
- The SCARE 2020 Guideline: Updating Consensus Surgical CAse REport (SCARE) Guidelines
- Development and validation of the guideline for reporting evidence-based practice educational interventions and teaching (GREET)
- Using theory of change to design and evaluate public health interventions: a systematic review
- Homeopathic clinical case reports: Development of a supplement (HOM-CASE) to the CARE clinical case reporting guideline
- Reporting Guidelines for Health Care Simulation Research: Extensions to the CONSORT and STROBE Statements
- Guidelines for Reporting Articles on Psychiatry and Heart rate variability (GRAPH) : recommendations to advance research communication
- RAMESES II reporting standards for realist evaluations
- Guidelines for Accurate and Transparent Health Estimates Reporting: the GATHER statement
- Medical abortion reporting of efficacy: the MARE guidelines.
- Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology—Nutritional Epidemiology (STROBE-nut) : An Extension of the STROBE Statement
- Sex and Gender Equity in Research: rationale for the SAGER guidelines and recommended use
- The Single -Case Reporting Guideline In BEhavioural Interventions (SCRIBE) 2016 Statement
- Consensus on Recording Deep Endometriosis Surgery: the CORDES statement
- Developing the Clarity and Openness in Reporting: E3-based (CORE) reference user manual for creation of clinical study reports in the era of clinical trial transparency
- SCCT guidelines for the interpretation and reporting of coronary CT angiography: a report of the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography Guidelines Committee
- Definition and classification of intraoperative complications (CLASSIC) : Delphi study and pilot evaluation
- Improving research practice in rat orthotopic and partial orthotopic liver transplantation: a review, recommendation, and publication guide
- Methodology used in studies reporting chronic kidney disease prevalence: a systematic literature review
- Standardized outcomes reporting in metabolic and bariatric surgery
- Consensus guidelines on plasma cell myeloma minimal residual disease analysis and reporting
- Specifying the target difference in the primary outcome for a randomised controlled trial: guidance for researchers
- Transparent reporting of data quality in distributed data networks
- Quality of methods reporting in animal models of colitis
- Guidelines for reporting of health interventions using mobile phones: mobile health (mHealth) evidence reporting and assessment (m ERA) checklist
- Quality of pain intensity assessment reporting: ACTTION systematic review and recommendations
- An extension of STARD statements for reporting diagnostic accuracy studies on liver fibrosis tests: the Liver -FibroSTARD standards
- STROBE-AMS : recommendations to optimise reporting of epidemiological studies on antimicrobial resistance and informing improvement in antimicrobial stewardship
- Reporting guidelines for population pharmacokinetic analyses
- Recommendations for the improved effectiveness and reporting of telemedicine programs in developing countries: results of a systematic literature review
- Guidelines for the reporting of treatment trials for alcohol use disorders
- Development of the Standards of Reporting of Neurological Disorders (STROND) checklist: A guideline for the reporting of incidence and prevalence studies in neuroepidemiology
- A review of 40 years of enteric antimicrobial resistance research in Eastern Africa: what can be done better?
- Ensuring consistent reporting of clinical pharmacy services to enhance reproducibility in practice: an improved version of DEPICT
- RiGoR: reporting guidelines to address common sources of bias in risk model development
- Reporting standards for guideline-based performance measures
- Utstein-style guidelines on uniform reporting of in-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation in dogs and cats
- Guidelines for reporting embedded recruitment trials
- PRISMA harms checklist: improving harms reporting in systematic reviews
- Developing a methodological framework for organisational case studies: a rapid review and consensus development process
- The PRISMA 2020 statement: An updated guideline for reporting systematic reviews
- The Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) Statement: guidelines for reporting observational studies
- A checklist to improve reporting of group-based behaviour-change interventions
- The REporting of studies Conducted using Observational Routinely-collected health Data (RECORD) Statement
- Preferred reporting items for studies mapping onto preference-based outcome measures: The MAPS statement
- A call for transparent reporting to optimize the predictive value of preclinical research
- Guidelines for uniform reporting of body fluid biomarker studies in neurologic disorders
- The PRISMA Extension Statement for Reporting of Systematic Reviews Incorporating Network Meta-analyses of Health Care Interventions: Checklist and Explanations
- Setting number of decimal places for reporting risk ratios: rule of four
- Too many digits: the presentation of numerical data
- The CONSORT Statement: Application within and adaptations for orthodontic trials
- A structured approach to documenting a search strategy for publication: a 12 step guideline for authors
- Standards of reporting for MRI-targeted biopsy studies (START) of the prostate: recommendations from an International Working Group
- Standardized reporting guidelines for emergency department syncope risk-stratification research
- Designing and reporting case series in plastic surgery
- Disaster medicine reporting: the need for new guidelines and the CONFIDE statement
- Development and validation of reporting guidelines for studies involving data linkage
- A reporting guide for studies on individual differences in traffic safety
- Translating trial-based molecular monitoring into clinical practice: importance of international standards and practical considerations for community practitioners
- Canadian Association of Gastroenterology consensus guidelines on safety and quality indicators in endoscopy
- A tool to analyze the transferability of health promotion interventions
- A new manner of reporting pressure results after glaucoma surgery
- Do the media provide transparent health information? A cross-cultural comparison of public information about the HPV vaccine
- Recommendations for the reporting of foot and ankle models
- An introduction to standardized clinical nomenclature for dysmorphic features: the Elements of Morphology project
- Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology for Respondent -Driven Sampling Studies: ‘ STROBE-RDS ’ Statement.
- CONSORT extension for reporting N-of- 1 trials (CENT) 2015 Statement
- A protocol format for the preparation, registration and publication of systematic reviews of animal intervention studies
- Reporting standards for literature searches and report inclusion criteria: making research syntheses more transparent and easy to replicate
- Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta -Analyses of individual participant data: the PRISMA-IPD Statement
- Evaluating complex interventions in end of life care: the MORECare statement on good practice generated by a synthesis of transparent expert consultations and systematic reviews
- Biospecimen reporting for improved study quality (BRISQ)
- Developing a guideline to standardize the citation of bioresources in journal articles (CoBRA)
- Reporting Guidelines for Clinical Pharmacokinetic Studies: The Clin PK Statement
- Using the spinal cord injury common data elements
- Guidelines for assessment of bone microstructure in rodents using micro-computed tomography
- Instrumental variable methods in comparative safety and effectiveness research
- Protecting the power of interventions through proper reporting
- Reporting of data from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest has to involve emergency medical dispatching – taking the recommendations on reporting OHCA the Utstein style a step further
- A position paper on standardizing the nonneoplastic kidney biopsy report
- Using qualitative methods for attribute development for discrete choice experiments: issues and recommendations
- Reporting of interaction
- Head, neck, and brain tumor embolization guidelines
- Reporting outcomes of back pain trials: a modified Delphi study
- A common language in neoadjuvant breast cancer clinical trials: proposals for standard definitions and endpoints
- Viscerotropic disease: case definition and guidelines for collection, analysis, and presentation of immunization safety data
- Diarrhea: case definition and guidelines for collection, analysis, and presentation of immunization safety data
- Immunization site pain: case definition and guidelines for collection, analysis, and presentation of immunization safety data
- Can the Brighton Collaboration case definitions be used to improve the quality of Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) reporting? Anaphylaxis as a case study
- Definitions, methodological and statistical issues for phase 3 clinical trials in chronic myeloid leukemia: a proposal by the European LeukemiaNet
- A new standardized format for reporting hearing outcome in clinical trials
- A consensus approach toward the standardization of back pain definitions for use in prevalence studies
- A proposed taxonomy of terms to guide the clinical trial recruitment process
- Minimum data elements for research reports on CFS
- Reporting standards for angiographic evaluation and endovascular treatment of cerebral arteriovenous malformations
- How to report low-level laser therapy (LLLT) /photomedicine dose and beam parameters in clinical and laboratory studies
- Common data elements for posttraumatic stress disorder research
- American College of Medical Genetics standards and guidelines for interpretation and reporting of postnatal constitutional copy number variants
- Completeness of reporting of radiation therapy planning, dose, and delivery in veterinary radiation oncology manuscripts from 2005 to 2010
- Criteria for Reporting the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions in healthcare: revised guideline (CReDECI 2)
- Transparent reporting of a multivariable prediction model for individual prognosis or diagnosis (TRIPOD) : The TRIPOD statement
- Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta -Analysis Protocols (PRISMA-P) 2015 statement
- Reporting guidance for violence risk assessment predictive validity studies: the RAGEE Statement
- Standards for reporting qualitative research: a synthesis of recommendations
- A systematic review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of animal experiments with guidelines for reporting
- Systematic reviews and meta-analysis of preclinical studies: why perform them and how to appraise them critically
- Guidelines for reporting case studies on extracorporeal treatments in poisonings: methodology
- Reporting standards for studies of diagnostic test accuracy in dementia: The STARDdem Initiative.
- Strengthening the reporting of molecular epidemiology for infectious diseases (STROME-ID) : an extension of the STROBE statement
- Better reporting of interventions: template for intervention description and replication (TIDieR) checklist and guide
- Launch of a checklist for reporting longitudinal observational drug studies in rheumatology: a EULAR extension of STROBE guidelines based on experience from biologics registries
- Better reporting of harms in randomized trials: an extension of the CONSORT Statement
- The CARE Guidelines: Consensus-based Clinical Case Reporting Guideline Development
- Documenting Clinical and Laboratory Images in Publications: The CLIP Principles
- ICMJE : Uniform Format for Disclosure of Competing Interests in ICMJE Journals
- Selection and presentation of imaging figures in the medical literature
- Neuroimaging standards for research into small vessel disease and its contribution to ageing and neurodegeneration
- Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic Reviews. Chapter 5 – Standards for Reporting Systematic Reviews
- Systematic Reviews. CRD ’s guidance for undertaking reviews in health care
- The Hu GENet ™ Hu GE Review Handbook, version 1.0. Guidelines for systematic review and meta-analysis of gene disease association studies
- Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions Version 6.1
- Writing for Publication in Veterinary Medicine. A Practical Guide for Researchers and Clinicians
- Publication of population data for forensic purposes
- Publication of population data of linearly inherited DNA markers in the International Journal of Legal Medicine
- Proposed definitions and criteria for reporting time frame, outcome, and complications for clinical orthopedic studies in veterinary medicine
- Recommended guidelines for the conduct and evaluation of prognostic studies in veterinary oncology
- Update of the stroke therapy academic industry roundtable preclinical recommendations
- Good laboratory practice: preventing introduction of bias at the bench
- Consensus-based reporting standards for diagnostic test accuracy studies for paratuberculosis in ruminants
- A gold standard publication checklist to improve the quality of animal studies, to fully integrate the Three Rs, and to make systematic reviews more feasible
- The ARRIVE Guidelines 2.0: updated guidelines for reporting animal research
- International Society for Medical Publication Professionals Code of Ethics
- Proposed best practice for statisticians in the reporting and publication of pharmaceutical industry-sponsored clinical trials
- What should be done to tackle ghostwriting in the medical literature?
- Electrodermal activity at acupoints: literature review and recommendations for reporting clinical trials
- Systematic review to determine best practice reporting guidelines for AFO interventions in studies involving children with cerebral palsy
- EANM Dosimetry Committee guidance document: good practice of clinical dosimetry reporting
- ASAS recommendations for collecting, analysing and reporting NSAID intake in clinical trials/epidemiological studies in axial spondyloarthritis
- International Spinal Cord Injury Core Data Set (version 3.0) – including standardization of reporting
- Risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism after stopping treatment in cohort studies: recommendation for acceptable rates and standardized reporting
- The importance of uniform venous terminology in reports on varicose veins
- Recommendations for reporting perioperative transoesophageal echo studies
- Guidelines for reporting an f MRI study
- Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance guidelines for reporting cardiovascular magnetic resonance examinations
- Criteria for evaluation of novel markers of cardiovascular risk
- American Society of Transplantation recommendations for screening, monitoring and reporting of infectious complications in immunosuppression trials in recipients of organ transplantation
- Research reporting standards for radioembolization of hepatic malignancies
- Research reporting standards for image-guided ablation of bone and soft tissue tumors
- EANM procedure guidelines for brain neurotransmission SPECT using I-labelled dopamine transporter ligands, version 2
- Transcatheter Therapy for Hepatic Malignancy: Standardization of Terminology and Reporting Criteria
- Reporting standards for percutaneous thermal ablation of renal cell carcinoma
- Research reporting standards for percutaneous vertebral augmentation
- Reporting standards for percutaneous interventions in dialysis access
- Reporting standards for clinical evaluation of new peripheral arterial revascularization devices
- Guidelines for the reporting of renal artery revascularization in clinical trials
- Reporting standards for carotid interventions from the Society for Vascular Surgery
- Reporting standards for carotid artery angioplasty and stent placement
- Standardized definitions and clinical endpoints in carotid artery and supra-aortic trunk revascularization trials
- Setting the standards for reporting ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Endovascular repair compared with operative repair of traumatic rupture of the thoracic aorta: a nonsystematic review and a plea for trauma-specific reporting guidelines
- Reporting standards for thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR)
- Research reporting standards for endovascular treatment of pelvic venous insufficiency
- Reporting standards for endovascular treatment of pulmonary embolism
- Reporting Standards for Endovascular Repair of Saccular Intracranial Cerebral Aneurysms
- Trial design and reporting standards for intra-arterial cerebral thrombolysis for acute ischemic stroke
- Target registration and target positioning errors in computer-assisted neurosurgery: proposal for a standardized reporting of error assessment
- Recommended guidelines for reporting on emergency medical dispatch when conducting research in emergency medicine: the Utstein style
- Recommended guidelines for reviewing, reporting, and conducting research on post-resuscitation care: the Utstein style
- Utstein-style guidelines for uniform reporting of laboratory CPR research
- Recommendations for uniform reporting of data following major trauma–the Utstein style
- Recommended guidelines for reviewing, reporting, and conducting research on in-hospital resuscitation: the in-hospital ‘Utstein style’
- Standardization of uveitis nomenclature for reporting clinical data. Results of the First International Workshop
- EACTS / ESCVS best practice guidelines for reporting treatment results in the thoracic aorta
- Consensus statement: Defining minimal criteria for reporting the systemic inflammatory response to cardiopulmonary bypass
- Guidelines for reporting data and outcomes for the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation
- Recommendations for reporting morbid events after heart valve surgery
- Standards for reporting results of refractive surgery
- Quality of study methods in individual- and group-level HIV intervention research: critical reporting elements
- Quality of reporting in evaluations of surgical treatment of trigeminal neuralgia: recommendations for future reports
- Guidelines for reporting case series of tumours of the colon and rectum
- Guidance on reporting ultrasound exposure conditions for bio-effects studies
- American College of Cardiology Clinical Expert Consensus Document on Standards for Acquisition, Measurement and Reporting of Intravascular Ultrasound Studies (IVUS)
- Standardized reporting of bleeding complications for clinical investigations in acute coronary syndromes: a proposal from the academic bleeding consensus (ABC) multidisciplinary working group
- Standardized reporting guidelines for studies evaluating risk stratification of ED patients with potential acute coronary syndromes
- Calibration methods used in cancer simulation models and suggested reporting guidelines
- Preschool vision screening: what should we be detecting and how should we report it? Uniform guidelines for reporting results of preschool vision screening studies
- The lessons of QUANTEC : recommendations for reporting and gathering data on dose-volume dependencies of treatment outcome
- A reporting guideline for clinical platelet transfusion studies from the BEST Collaborative
- Clinical trials focusing on cancer pain educational interventions: core components to include during planning and reporting
- Reporting disease activity in clinical trials of patients with rheumatoid arthritis: EULAR / ACR collaborative recommendations
- Exercise therapy and low back pain: insights and proposals to improve the design, conduct, and reporting of clinical trials
- Eligibility and outcomes reporting guidelines for clinical trials for patients in the state of a rising prostate-specific antigen: recommendations from the Prostate -Specific Antigen Working Group
- Consensus guidelines for the conduct and reporting of clinical trials in systemic light-chain amyloidosis
- Diagnosis and management of acute myeloid leukemia in adults: recommendations from an international expert panel, on behalf of the European LeukemiaNet
- Revised recommendations of the International Working Group for Diagnosis, Standardization of Response Criteria, Treatment Outcomes, and Reporting Standards for Therapeutic Trials in Acute Myeloid Leukemia
- Methodological challenges when using actigraphy in research
- Draft STROBE checklist for conference abstracts
- Conflict of Interest in Peer -Reviewed Medical Journals
- Financial Conflicts of Interest Checklist 2010 for clinical research studies
- Professional medical associations and their relationships with industry: a proposal for controlling conflict of interest
- How to formulate research recommendations
- Suggestions for improving the reporting of clinical research: the role of narrative
- The case for structuring the discussion of scientific papers
- More medical journals should inform their contributors about three key principles of graph construction
- Figures in clinical trial reports: current practice & scope for improvement
- Recommendations for the assessment and reporting of multivariable logistic regression in transplantation literature
- Reporting results of latent growth modeling and multilevel modeling analyses: some recommendations for rehabilitation psychology
- Multiple imputation for missing data in epidemiological and clinical research: potential and pitfalls
- Assessing and reporting heterogeneity in treatment effects in clinical trials: a proposal
- Statistics in medicine–reporting of subgroup analyses in clinical trials
- Seven items were identified for inclusion when reporting a Bayesian analysis of a clinical study
- Bayesian methods in health technology assessment: a review
- Basic Statistical Reporting for Articles Published in Biomedical Journals: The “Statistical Analyses and Methods in the Published Literature” or The SAMPL Guidelines
- Establishing a knowledge trail from molecular experiments to clinical trials
- Preparing raw clinical data for publication: guidance for journal editors, authors, and peer reviewers
- Best practices in the reporting of participatory action research: Embracing both the forest and the trees
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- How to Write a Results Section | Tips & Examples
How to Write a Results Section | Tips & Examples
Published on August 30, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on November 11, 2022.
A results section is where you report the main findings of the data collection and analysis you conducted for your thesis or dissertation . You should report all relevant results concisely and objectively, in a logical order. Don’t include subjective interpretations of why you found these results or what they mean—any evaluation should be saved for the discussion section .
Table of contents
How to write a results section, reporting quantitative research results, reporting qualitative research results, results vs. discussion vs. conclusion, checklist: research results, frequently asked questions about results sections.
When conducting research, it’s important to report the results of your study prior to discussing your interpretations of it. This gives your reader a clear idea of exactly what you found and keeps the data itself separate from your subjective analysis.
Here are a few best practices:
- Your results should always be written in the past tense.
- While the length of this section depends on how much data you collected and analyzed, it should be written as concisely as possible.
- Only include results that are directly relevant to answering your research questions . Avoid speculative or interpretative words like “appears” or “implies.”
- If you have other results you’d like to include, consider adding them to an appendix or footnotes.
- Always start out with your broadest results first, and then flow into your more granular (but still relevant) ones. Think of it like a shoe store: first discuss the shoes as a whole, then the sneakers, boots, sandals, etc.
If you conducted quantitative research , you’ll likely be working with the results of some sort of statistical analysis .
Your results section should report the results of any statistical tests you used to compare groups or assess relationships between variables . It should also state whether or not each hypothesis was supported.
The most logical way to structure quantitative results is to frame them around your research questions or hypotheses. For each question or hypothesis, share:
- A reminder of the type of analysis you used (e.g., a two-sample t test or simple linear regression ). A more detailed description of your analysis should go in your methodology section.
- A concise summary of each relevant result, both positive and negative. This can include any relevant descriptive statistics (e.g., means and standard deviations ) as well as inferential statistics (e.g., t scores, degrees of freedom , and p values ). Remember, these numbers are often placed in parentheses.
- A brief statement of how each result relates to the question, or whether the hypothesis was supported. You can briefly mention any results that didn’t fit with your expectations and assumptions, but save any speculation on their meaning or consequences for your discussion and conclusion.
A note on tables and figures
In quantitative research, it’s often helpful to include visual elements such as graphs, charts, and tables , but only if they are directly relevant to your results. Give these elements clear, descriptive titles and labels so that your reader can easily understand what is being shown. If you want to include any other visual elements that are more tangential in nature, consider adding a figure and table list .
As a rule of thumb:
- Tables are used to communicate exact values, giving a concise overview of various results
- Graphs and charts are used to visualize trends and relationships, giving an at-a-glance illustration of key findings
Don’t forget to also mention any tables and figures you used within the text of your results section. Summarize or elaborate on specific aspects you think your reader should know about rather than merely restating the same numbers already shown.
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In qualitative research , your results might not all be directly related to specific hypotheses. In this case, you can structure your results section around key themes or topics that emerged from your analysis of the data.
For each theme, start with general observations about what the data showed. You can mention:
- Recurring points of agreement or disagreement
- Patterns and trends
- Particularly significant snippets from individual responses
Next, clarify and support these points with direct quotations. Be sure to report any relevant demographic information about participants. Further information (such as full transcripts , if appropriate) can be included in an appendix .
“I think that in role-playing games, there’s more attention to character design, to world design, because the whole story is important and more attention is paid to certain game elements […] so that perhaps you do need bigger teams of creative experts than in an average shooter or something.”
Responses suggest that video game consumers consider some types of games to have more artistic potential than others.
Your results section should objectively report your findings, presenting only brief observations in relation to each question, hypothesis, or theme.
It should not speculate about the meaning of the results or attempt to answer your main research question . Detailed interpretation of your results is more suitable for your discussion section , while synthesis of your results into an overall answer to your main research question is best left for your conclusion .
I have completed my data collection and analyzed the results.
I have included all results that are relevant to my research questions.
I have concisely and objectively reported each result, including relevant descriptive statistics and inferential statistics .
I have stated whether each hypothesis was supported or refuted.
I have used tables and figures to illustrate my results where appropriate.
All tables and figures are correctly labelled and referred to in the text.
There is no subjective interpretation or speculation on the meaning of the results.
You've finished writing up your results! Use the other checklists to further improve your thesis.
The results chapter of a thesis or dissertation presents your research results concisely and objectively.
In quantitative research , for each question or hypothesis , state:
- The type of analysis used
- Relevant results in the form of descriptive and inferential statistics
- Whether or not the alternative hypothesis was supported
In qualitative research , for each question or theme, describe:
- Recurring patterns
- Significant or representative individual responses
- Relevant quotations from the data
Don’t interpret or speculate in the results chapter.
Results are usually written in the past tense , because they are describing the outcome of completed actions.
The results chapter or section simply and objectively reports what you found, without speculating on why you found these results. The discussion interprets the meaning of the results, puts them in context, and explains why they matter.
In qualitative research , results and discussion are sometimes combined. But in quantitative research , it’s considered important to separate the objective results from your interpretation of them.
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Case Study Research and Applications Design and Methods
- Robert K. Yin - COSMOS Corporation
Winner of the 2019 McGuffey Longevity Award from the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA)
Recognized as one of the most cited methodology books in the social sciences, the Sixth Edition of Robert K. Yin's bestselling text provides a complete portal to the world of case study research. With the integration of 11 applications in this edition, the book gives readers access to exemplary case studies drawn from a wide variety of academic and applied fields. Ultimately, Case Study Research and Applications will guide students in the successful use and application of the case study research method.
See what’s new to this edition by selecting the Features tab on this page. Should you need additional information or have questions regarding the HEOA information provided for this title, including what is new to this edition, please email [email protected] . Please include your name, contact information, and the name of the title for which you would like more information. For information on the HEOA, please go to http://ed.gov/policy/highered/leg/hea08/index.html .
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Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:
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“The book is filled with tips to the researcher on how to master the craft of doing research overall and specifically how to account for multi-layered cases.”
“Yin covers all of the basic and advanced knowledge for conducting case study and why they are useful for specific research studies without getting lost in the weeds.”
“The applications enhance the original material because it gives the reader concrete examples.”
“Yin is much more in-depth on case study methods both within a general qualitative text and any other case study text I have seen.”
very thoruogh introduction
Very good introduction to Case Study design. I have used case study approach for my PhD study. I would recommend this book for an indepth understanding of case study design for research projects.
Dr Siew Lee School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedic Practice Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.
The book is a really good introduction to case study research and is full of useful examples. I will recommend as the definitive source for students interested in pursuing this further in their projects.
In our Doctor of Ministerial Leadership (DML), Case Study is the Methodology that is required in this program. Robert Yin's book provides the foundational knowledge needed to conduct research using his Case Study design.
Very reader friendly-easy to read using simple language. Chapters 2 and 3 very useful.
Yin has developed the science and philosophy of Case Study research to a fairly high level over the years - 20 years ago case studies were not considered rigorous, perticularly for doctoral candidates, but he has changed that - this is the required text for case studies.
NEW TO THIS EDITION:
- Includes 11 in-depth applications that show how researchers have implemented case study methods successfully.
- Increases reference to relativist and constructivist approaches to case study research, as well as how case studies can be part of mixed methods projects.
- Places greater emphasis on using plausible rival explanations to bolster case study quality.
- Discusses synthesizing findings across case studies in a multiple-case study in more detail.
- Adds an expanded list of 15 fields that have text or texts devoted to case study research.
- Sharpens discussion of distinguishing research from non-research case studies.
- The author brings to light at least three remaining gaps to be filled in the future:
- how rival explanations can become more routinely integrated into all case study research;
- the difference between case-based and variable-based approaches to designing and analyzing case studies; and
- the relationship between case study research and qualitative research.
- Numerous conceptual exercises, illustrative exhibits, vignettes, and a glossary make the book eminently accessible.
- Boxes throughout offer more in-depth real-world examples of research.
- Short, sidebar tips help succinctly explain concepts and allow students to check their understanding.
- Exercises throughout offer students the chance to immediately apply their knowledge.
Sample Materials & Chapters
Preface: Spotlighting "Case Study Research"
Chapter 1: Getting Started
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Guidelines for conducting and reporting case study research in software engineering
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Empirical Software Engineering
Case study is a suitable research methodology for software engineering research since it studies contemporary phenomena in its natural context. However, the understanding of what constitutes a case study varies, and hence the quality of the resulting studies. This paper aims at providing an introduction to case study methodology and guidelines for researchers conducting case studies and readers studying reports of such studies. The content is based on the authors' own experience from conducting and reading case studies. The terminology and guidelines are compiled from different methodology handbooks in other research domains, in particular social science and information systems, and adapted to the needs in software engineering. We present recommended practices for software engineering case studies as well as empirically derived and evaluated checklists for researchers and readers of case study research.
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Copyright © Copyright © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Published: 1 April 2009
- Research methodology
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What are the CARE guidelines?
The CARE guidelines (for CA se RE ports) were developed by an international group of experts to support an increase in the accuracy, transparency, and usefulness of case reports. View and download the CARE checklist here . The CARE guidelines have been endorsed by multiple medical journals and publishers and have been translated into multiple languages. Articles about the CARE guideline development process and a “manual” for writing case reports have been published in 2013 and 2017 in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology . The CARE guidelines support the Equator Network’s mission to improve health research reporting. Online training to write case reports following the CARE guidelines is available from Scientific Writing in Health and Medicine (SWIHM) , which also provides access to CARE-writer , an online application for writing case reports as preprints or for submission to a scientific journal.
Why case reports?
Accurate and transparent data collection from episodes of care informs the delivery of high-quality individualized healthcare. “Good case reporting demands a clear focus, to make explicit to the audience why a particular observation is important in the context of existing knowledge” (Vandenbroucke 2001). The CARE guidelines for case reports help authors reduce risk of bias, increase transparency, and provide early signals of what works, for which patients, and under which circumstances. Case reports following the CARE guidelines support the measurement of (1) clinician- and patient-assessed outcomes, (2) effectiveness of Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs), and (3) the return on investment (ROI). Healthcare stakeholder groups that benefit from case reports following the CARE guidelines include:
Patients – reviewing and comparing therapeutic options.
Clinicians – engaging in peer-to-peer communication at conferences or in their community.
Researchers – developing testable hypotheses from clinical settings (e.g., Driggers 2016 ).
Educators – systematic case reports from “real-world” clinical practice support case-based learning.
Authors – the CARE guidelines provide tools to inform and simplify the process of writing accurate and transparent case reports.
Medical Journals – the CARE guidelines support “Author Guidelines” and peer review.
What is CARE-writer?
CARE-writer is an online application that helps authors follow the CARE guidelines as they organize, format and write systematic and transparent case reports and case report preprints. Case reports written with CARE-writer can be posted on preprint servers such as SSRN’s Health Science Case Reports Research Network or submitted to scientific journals.
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What Is a Case Study?
An in-depth study of one person, group, or event
Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.
Cara Lustik is a fact-checker and copywriter.
Verywell / Colleen Tighe
Benefits and Limitations
Types of case studies, how to write a case study.
A case study is an in-depth study of one person, group, or event. In a case study, nearly every aspect of the subject's life and history is analyzed to seek patterns and causes of behavior. Case studies can be used in various fields, including psychology, medicine, education, anthropology, political science, and social work.
The purpose of a case study is to learn as much as possible about an individual or group so that the information can be generalized to many others. Unfortunately, case studies tend to be highly subjective, and it is sometimes difficult to generalize results to a larger population.
While case studies focus on a single individual or group, they follow a format similar to other types of psychology writing. If you are writing a case study, it is important to follow the rules of APA format .
A case study can have both strengths and weaknesses. Researchers must consider these pros and cons before deciding if this type of study is appropriate for their needs.
One of the greatest advantages of a case study is that it allows researchers to investigate things that are often difficult to impossible to replicate in a lab. Some other benefits of a case study:
- Allows researchers to collect a great deal of information
- Give researchers the chance to collect information on rare or unusual cases
- Permits researchers to develop hypotheses that can be explored in experimental research
On the negative side, a case study:
- Cannot necessarily be generalized to the larger population
- Cannot demonstrate cause and effect
- May not be scientifically rigorous
- Can lead to bias
Researchers may choose to perform a case study if they are interested in exploring a unique or recently discovered phenomenon. The insights gained from such research can help the researchers develop additional ideas and study questions that might be explored in future studies.
However, it is important to remember that the insights gained from case studies cannot be used to determine cause and effect relationships between variables. However, case studies may be used to develop hypotheses that can then be addressed in experimental research.
Case Study Examples
There have been a number of notable case studies in the history of psychology. Much of Freud's work and theories were developed through the use of individual case studies. Some great examples of case studies in psychology include:
- Anna O : Anna O. was a pseudonym of a woman named Bertha Pappenheim, a patient of a physician named Josef Breuer. While she was never a patient of Freud's, Freud and Breuer discussed her case extensively. The woman was experiencing symptoms of a condition that was then known as hysteria and found that talking about her problems helped relieve her symptoms. Her case played an important part in the development of talk therapy as an approach to mental health treatment.
- Phineas Gage : Phineas Gage was a railroad employee who experienced a terrible accident in which an explosion sent a metal rod through his skull, damaging important portions of his brain. Gage recovered from his accident but was left with serious changes in both personality and behavior.
- Genie : Genie was a young girl subjected to horrific abuse and isolation. The case study of Genie allowed researchers to study whether language could be taught even after critical periods for language development had been missed. Her case also served as an example of how scientific research may interfere with treatment and lead to further abuse of vulnerable individuals.
Such cases demonstrate how case research can be used to study things that researchers could not replicate in experimental settings. In Genie's case, her horrific abuse had denied her the opportunity to learn language at critical points in her development.
This is clearly not something that researchers could ethically replicate, but conducting a case study on Genie allowed researchers the chance to study phenomena that are otherwise impossible to reproduce.
There are a few different types of case studies that psychologists and other researchers might utilize:
- Collective case studies : These involve studying a group of individuals. Researchers might study a group of people in a certain setting or look at an entire community. For example, psychologists might explore how access to resources in a community has affected the collective mental well-being of those living there.
- Descriptive case studies : These involve starting with a descriptive theory. The subjects are then observed, and the information gathered is compared to the pre-existing theory.
- Explanatory case studies : These are often used to do causal investigations. In other words, researchers are interested in looking at factors that may have caused certain things to occur.
- Exploratory case studies : These are sometimes used as a prelude to further, more in-depth research. This allows researchers to gather more information before developing their research questions and hypotheses .
- Instrumental case studies : These occur when the individual or group allows researchers to understand more than what is initially obvious to observers.
- Intrinsic case studies : This type of case study is when the researcher has a personal interest in the case. Jean Piaget's observations of his own children are good examples of how an intrinsic cast study can contribute to the development of a psychological theory.
The three main case study types often used are intrinsic, instrumental, and collective. Intrinsic case studies are useful for learning about unique cases. Instrumental case studies help look at an individual to learn more about a broader issue. A collective case study can be useful for looking at several cases simultaneously.
The type of case study that psychology researchers utilize depends on the unique characteristics of the situation as well as the case itself.
There are also different methods that can be used to conduct a case study, including prospective and retrospective case study methods.
Prospective case study methods are those in which an individual or group of people is observed in order to determine outcomes. For example, a group of individuals might be watched over an extended period of time to observe the progression of a particular disease.
Retrospective case study methods involve looking at historical information. For example, researchers might start with an outcome, such as a disease, and then work their way backward to look at information about the individual's life to determine risk factors that may have contributed to the onset of the illness.
Where to Find Data
There are a number of different sources and methods that researchers can use to gather information about an individual or group. Six major sources that have been identified by researchers are:
- Archival records : Census records, survey records, and name lists are examples of archival records.
- Direct observation : This strategy involves observing the subject, often in a natural setting . While an individual observer is sometimes used, it is more common to utilize a group of observers.
- Documents : Letters, newspaper articles, administrative records, etc., are the types of documents often used as sources.
- Interviews : Interviews are one of the most important methods for gathering information in case studies. An interview can involve structured survey questions or more open-ended questions.
- Participant observation : When the researcher serves as a participant in events and observes the actions and outcomes, it is called participant observation.
- Physical artifacts : Tools, objects, instruments, and other artifacts are often observed during a direct observation of the subject.
Section 1: A Case History
This section will have the following structure and content:
Background information : The first section of your paper will present your client's background. Include factors such as age, gender, work, health status, family mental health history, family and social relationships, drug and alcohol history, life difficulties, goals, and coping skills and weaknesses.
Description of the presenting problem : In the next section of your case study, you will describe the problem or symptoms that the client presented with.
Describe any physical, emotional, or sensory symptoms reported by the client. Thoughts, feelings, and perceptions related to the symptoms should also be noted. Any screening or diagnostic assessments that are used should also be described in detail and all scores reported.
Your diagnosis : Provide your diagnosis and give the appropriate Diagnostic and Statistical Manual code. Explain how you reached your diagnosis, how the client's symptoms fit the diagnostic criteria for the disorder(s), or any possible difficulties in reaching a diagnosis.
Section 2: Treatment Plan
This portion of the paper will address the chosen treatment for the condition. This might also include the theoretical basis for the chosen treatment or any other evidence that might exist to support why this approach was chosen.
- Cognitive behavioral approach : Explain how a cognitive behavioral therapist would approach treatment. Offer background information on cognitive behavioral therapy and describe the treatment sessions, client response, and outcome of this type of treatment. Make note of any difficulties or successes encountered by your client during treatment.
- Humanistic approach : Describe a humanistic approach that could be used to treat your client, such as client-centered therapy . Provide information on the type of treatment you chose, the client's reaction to the treatment, and the end result of this approach. Explain why the treatment was successful or unsuccessful.
- Psychoanalytic approach : Describe how a psychoanalytic therapist would view the client's problem. Provide some background on the psychoanalytic approach and cite relevant references. Explain how psychoanalytic therapy would be used to treat the client, how the client would respond to therapy, and the effectiveness of this treatment approach.
- Pharmacological approach : If treatment primarily involves the use of medications, explain which medications were used and why. Provide background on the effectiveness of these medications and how monotherapy may compare with an approach that combines medications with therapy or other treatments.
This section of a case study should also include information about the treatment goals, process, and outcomes.
When you are writing a case study, you should also include a section where you discuss the case study itself, including the strengths and limitiations of the study. You should note how the findings of your case study might support previous research.
In your discussion section, you should also describe some of the implications of your case study. What ideas or findings might require further exploration? How might researchers go about exploring some of these questions in additional studies?
Here are a few additional pointers to keep in mind when formatting your case study:
- Never refer to the subject of your case study as "the client." Instead, their name or a pseudonym.
- Read examples of case studies to gain an idea about the style and format.
- Remember to use APA format when citing references .
A Word From Verywell
Case studies can be a useful research tool, but they need to be used wisely. In many cases, they are best utilized in situations where conducting an experiment would be difficult or impossible. They are helpful for looking at unique situations and allow researchers to gather a great deal of information about a specific individual or group of people.
If you have been directed to write a case study for a psychology course, be sure to check with your instructor for any specific guidelines that you are required to follow. If you are writing your case study for professional publication, be sure to check with the publisher for their specific guidelines for submitting a case study.
Simply Psychology. Case Study Method .
Crowe S, Cresswell K, Robertson A, Huby G, Avery A, Sheikh A. The case study approach . BMC Med Res Methodol . 2011 Jun 27;11:100. doi:10.1186/1471-2288-11-100
Gagnon, Yves-Chantal. The Case Study as Research Method: A Practical Handbook . Canada, Chicago Review Press Incorporated DBA Independent Pub Group, 2010.
Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research and Applications: Design and Methods . United States, SAGE Publications, 2017.
By Kendra Cherry Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.
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What is a case study?
A case study is a type of research method. In case studies, the unit of analysis is a case . The case typically provides a detailed account of a situation that usually focuses on a conflict or complexity that one might encounter in the workplace.
- Case studies help explain the process by which a unit (a person, department, business, organization, industry, country, etc.) deals with the issue or problem confronting it, and offers possible solutions that can be applied to other units facing similar situations.
- The information presented in case studies is usually qualitative in nature - gathered through methods such as interview, observation, and document collection.
- There are different types of case study, including intrinsic, instrumental, naturalistic, and pragmatic.
This research guide will assist you in finding individual case studies, as well as providing information on designing case studies. If you need assistance locating information, please Ask a Librarian .
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- Last Updated: Feb 27, 2023 1:00 PM
- URL: https://guides.erau.edu/case-studies
Case Report: A Beginner’s Guide with Examples
A case report is a descriptive study that documents an unusual clinical phenomenon in a single patient. It describes in details the patient’s history, signs, symptoms, test results, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. It also contains a short literature review, discusses the importance of the case and how it improves the existing knowledge on the subject.
A similar design involving a group of patients (with the similar problem) is referred to as case series.
Advantages of case reports
Case reports offer, in general a fast, easy and cheap way to report an unusual observation or a rare event in a clinical setting, as these have very small probability of being detected in an experimental study because of limitations on the number of patients that can be included.
These events deserve to be reported since they might provide insights on some exceptions to general rules and theories in the field.
Case reports are great to get first impressions that can generate new hypotheses (e.g. detecting a potential side effect of a drug) or challenge existing ones (e.g. shedding the light on the possibility of a different biological mechanism of a disease).
In many of these cases, additional investigation is needed such as designing large observational studies or randomized experiments or even going back and mining data from previous research looking for evidence for theses hypotheses.
Limitations of case reports
Observing a relationship between an exposure and a disease in a case report does not mean that it is causal in nature.
This is because of:
- The absence of a control group that provides a benchmark or a point of reference against which we compare our results. A control group is important to eliminate the role of external factors which can interfere with the relationship between exposure and disease
- Unmeasured Confounding caused by variables that influence both the exposure and the disease
A case report can have a powerful emotional effect (see examples of case reports below). This can lead to overrate the importance of the evidence provided by such case. In his book Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion , Paul Bloom explains how a powerful story affects our emotions, can distort our judgement and even lead us to make bad moral choices.
When a case report describes a rare event it is important to remember that what we’re reading about is exceptional and most importantly resist generalizations especially because a case report is, by definition, a study where the sample is only 1 patient.
Selection bias is another issue as the cases in case reports are not chosen at random, therefore some members of the population may have a higher probability of being included in the study than others.
So, results from a case report cannot be representative of the entire population.
Because of these limitations, case reports have the lowest level of evidence compared to other study designs as represented in the evidence pyramid below:
Real-world examples of case reports
Example 1: normal plasma cholesterol in an 88-year-old man who eats 25 eggs a day.
This is the case of an old man with Alzheimer’s disease who has been eating 20-30 eggs every day for almost 15 years. [ Source ]
The man had an LDL-cholesterol level of only 142 mg/dL (3.68 mmol/L) and no significant clinical atherosclerosis (deposition of cholesterol in arterial walls)!
His body adapted by reducing the intestinal absorption of cholesterol, lowering the rate of its synthesis and increasing the rate of its conversion into bile acid.
This is indeed an unusual case of biological adaptation to a major change in dietary intake.
Example 2: Recovery from the passage of an iron bar through the head
This is an interesting case of a construction foreman named Phineas Gage. [ Source ]
In 1848, due to an explosion at work, an iron bar passed through his head destroying a large portion of his brain’s frontal lobe. He survived the event and the injury only affected 1 thing: His personality!
After the accident, Gage became profane, rough and disrespectful to the extent that he was no longer tolerable to people around him. So he lost his job and his family.
His case inspired further research that focused on the relationship between specific parts of the brain and personality.
- Sayre JW, Toklu HZ, Ye F, Mazza J, Yale S. Case Reports, Case Series – From Clinical Practice to Evidence-Based Medicine in Graduate Medical Education . Cureus . 2017;9(8):e1546. Published 2017 Aug 7. doi:10.7759/cureus.1546.
- Nissen T, Wynn R. The clinical case report: a review of its merits and limitations . BMC Res Notes . 2014;7:264. Published 2014 Apr 23. doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-264.
- Case Report vs Cross-Sectional Study
- Cohort vs Cross-Sectional Study
- How to Identify Different Types of Cohort Studies?
- Matched Pairs Design
- Randomized Block Design
When and How to Use a Case Study for Research
Published: May 17, 2021 (Updated: February 9, 2023)
What Is Case Study Research?
Types of case studies, when should you use a case study, case study benefits, case study limitations, how to write a case study.
Imagine your company receives a string of negative reviews online. You notice a few common themes among the complaints, but you still aren’t quite sure what went wrong. Or suppose an old blog post suddenly went viral, and you’d like to know why and how to do it again. In both of these situations, a case study could be the best way to find answers.
A case study is a process whereby researchers examine a specific subject in a thorough, detailed way. The subject of a case study could be an individual, a group, a community, a business, an organization, an event, or a phenomenon. Regardless of the type of subject, case studies are in-depth investigations designed to identify patterns and cause-and-effect relationships. Case studies are often used by researchers in the field of psychology , medicine, business, social work, anthropology, education, or political science.
Because they are singular in their focus and often rely on qualitative data, case studies tend to be highly subjective. The results of a single case study cannot always be generalized and applied to the larger population. However, case studies can be valuable tools for developing a thesis or illustrating a principle. They can help researchers understand, describe, compare, and evaluate different aspects of an issue or question.
Image via Flickr by plings
Case studies can be classified according to their purpose or their subject. For instance, a case study can focus on any of the following:
- A person: Some case studies focus on one particular person. Often, the subject will be an individual with some rare characteristic or experience.
- A group: Group case studies could look at a family, a group of coworkers, or a friend group. It could be people thrown together by circumstance or who share some bond or relationship. A group case study could even focus on an entire community of people.
- An organization: An organizational case study could focus on a business, a nonprofit, an institution, or any other formal entity. The study could look at the people in the organization, the processes they use, or an incident at the organization.
- A location: An event case study focuses on a specific area. It could be used to study environmental and population changes or to examine how people use the location.
- An event: Event case studies can be used to cover anything from a natural disaster to a political scandal. Often, these case studies are conducted retrospectively, as an investigation into a past event.
In addition to different types of subjects, case studies often have different designs or purposes. Here are a few of the most common types of case studies:
- Explanatory: An explanatory case study tries to explain the why or how behind something. This type of case study works well when studying an event or phenomenon, like an airplane crash or unexpected power outage.
- Descriptive: A descriptive, or illustrative, case study is designed to shed light on an unfamiliar subject. Case studies like this provide in-depth, real-world examples of whatever the researcher wants to help the audience understand. For instance, a descriptive case study could focus on the experience of a mother with postpartum depression or on a young adult who has aged out of the foster care system.
- Exploratory: An exploratory case study, or pilot case study, often serves as the first step in a larger research project. Researchers may use a case study to help them narrow their focus, draft a specific research question, and guide the parameters of a formal, large-scale study.
- Intrinsic: An intrinsic case study has no goal beyond a deeper understanding of its subject. In this type of study, researchers are not trying to make generalized conclusions, challenge existing assumptions, or make any compare-and-contrast connections. The most interesting thing about the study is the subject itself.
- Critical Instance: A critical instance case study is similar to an explanatory or intrinsic study. Like an intrinsic study, it may have no predetermined purpose beyond investigating the subject. Like an explanatory study, it may be used to explain a cause-and-effect relationship. A critical instance case study may also be used to call into question a commonly held assumption or popular theory.
- Instrumental: An instrumental case study is the opposite of an intrinsic study because it serves a purpose beyond understanding the immediate subject. In this type of study, researchers explore a larger question through an individual case or cases. For instance, researchers could use a handful of case studies to investigate the relationship between social media use and happiness.
- Cumulative: A cumulative, or collective, case study uses information from several past studies as the basis for a new study. Because it takes into account multiple case studies, a cumulative study allows for greater generalization than a single case study. It can also be a more time- and cost-effective option since it makes use of existing research.
Case studies are often used in the exploratory phase of research to gather qualitative data. They can also be used to create, support, or refute a hypothesis and guide future research. For instance, a marketing professional might conduct a case study to discover why a viral ad campaign was so successful . They can then take any lessons they glean from the case study and apply them to future marketing efforts. A psychologist could use a case study to form a theory about the best way to treat a specific disorder. That theory could then be tested later through a large-scale controlled study.
Case studies are a good way to explore a real-world topic in-depth, illustrate a point, discuss the implications or meaning of an event, or compare the experiences of different individuals. A trainer may use a case study to bring to life what would otherwise be an abstract series of recommended action steps or to spark a conversation about how to respond in a specific scenario. Similarly, professors can use case studies to highlight key concepts from a lecture and pose questions to test students’ understanding of the material.
In some situations, case studies are the only way to compile quantitative data in an ethical manner. For instance, many of the recommendations that doctors make regarding what is or is not safe during pregnancy are based on case studies. It wouldn’t be ethical to conduct a controlled study that exposes pregnant women to potentially harmful substances, so doctors rely on the anecdotal evidence provided by case studies to find correlations and draw their conclusions.
Case studies can also be used to gather data that would be otherwise impossible or impractical to obtain. Students often use case studies for their thesis or dissertation when they lack the time or resources to conduct large-scale research. Zoologists might use existing case studies to determine the success rate of reintroducing rehabilitated animals into the wild. A historian could use case studies to explore the strategies used by dictators to gain and maintain power.
Image via Flickr by calebmmartin
Case studies can be used on their own or as a complement to other research methods, depending on the situation. The examples above are just a few instances where case studies can be useful. Case studies also work well for the following:
Providing Insight Through Qualitative Data
Case studies generally provide more qualitative data as opposed to quantitative data , and that makes them an invaluable tool for gathering insight into complex topics. Psychologists, for instance, use case studies to better understand human behavior. Crafting theories on the motives behind human actions would be difficult with quantitative data alone. The information gleaned through case studies may be subjective, but so is much of what makes us human. As individuals, we each have a unique blend of emotions, attitudes, opinions, motivations, and behaviors. Objective quantitative data is rarely the best way to identify and explain these nuances.
By their very nature, case studies allow more more intensive, in-depth study than other research methods. Rather than aiming for a large sample size, case studies follow a single subject. Often case studies are conducted over a longer period of time, and the narrow focus allows researchers to gather more detail than would be possible in a study of thousands of people. The information gleaned may not be representative of the broader population, but it does provide richer insight into the subject than other research methods.
Identifying Avenues for Future Research
Case studies are often used as the first step in a larger research project. The results of a case study cannot necessarily be generalized, but they can help researchers narrow their focus. For instance, researchers in the medical field might conduct a case study on a patient who survived an injury that typically proves fatal.
Over the course of the study, researchers may identify two or three ways in which this patient’s situation differed from others they have seen. Perhaps they identify something unique in the patient’s DNA or lifestyle choices or in the steps doctors took to treat the injury. Letting that information guide them, researchers could use other methods to deepen their understanding of those factors and perhaps develop new treatments or preventative recommendations.
Case studies can also be used in the fields of social work, politics, and anthropology to draw attention to a widespread problem and spur more research. A detailed narrative about one person’s experience will inspire more compassion than an academic paper filled with quantitative data. Stories often have a greater impact than statistics.
Challenging, Testing, or Developing Theories
Case studies can be particularly useful in the process of forming and testing theories. A case study may lead researchers to form a new theory or call into a question an existing one. They are an invaluable tool for identifying exceptions to a rule or disproving conventional wisdom.
For instance, a medical professional may write a case study about a patient who exhibited atypical symptoms to assert that the list of symptoms for a condition should be expanded. A psychologist could use a case study to determine whether the new treatment they devised for depression is effective, or to demonstrate that existing treatment methods are flawed. As the result of a case study, a marketing professional could suggest that consumers values have changed and that marketing best practices should be updated accordingly.
Enabling the Study of Unique Subjects
Some subjects would be impossible, impractical, or unethical to study through other research methods. This is true in the case of extremely rare phenomenon, many aspects of human behavior, and even some medical conditions.
Suppose a medical professional would like to gather more information about multiple-birth pregnancies with four or more fetuses. More information would be helpful because we have less information about them, but the reason we have less information is because they are so rare. Conducting case studies of a few women who are currently pregnant with multiples or have given birth to multiples in the past may be the only practical way to research them.
Case studies can also be used to gain insight into historical events and natural phenomenon — things we are not able to repeat at will. Case studies have also been used to study subjects such as a feral child , child prodigies, rare psychological conditions, crisis response, and more.
Helping People Better Understand Nuanced Concepts
Educators incorporate case studies into their lectures for a reason. Walking students through a detailed case study can make the abstract seem more real and draw out the nuances of a concept. Case studies can facilitate engaging discussions, spark thoughtful questions, and give students a chance to apply what they have learned to real-world situations.
Outside the classroom, case studies can be used to illustrate complex ideas. For instance, a well-constructed case study can highlight the unintended consequences of a new piece of legislation or demonstrate that depression does not always manifest in an obvious way. Case studies can help readers and listeners understand and care about an issue that does not directly affect them.
Despite their benefits, case studies do come with a few limitations. Compared to other research methods, case studies are often at a disadvantage in terms of the following:
In most cases, scientists strive to create experiments that can be repeated by others. That way, other scientists can perform their own research and compare their results to those of the initial study. Assuming these other scientists achieve similar results, the replicability of the experiment lends credibility to the findings and theories of the original researchers.
One limitation of case studies is that they are often difficult, if not impossible, to replicate. Although this fact does not diminish the value of case studies, it does demonstrate that case studies are not a good fit for every research problem — at least, not on their own. Additional research would have to be performed to corroborate the results and prove or disprove any generalized theories generated by a case study.
Generalization is another area in which case studies cannot match other research methods. A case study can help us challenge existing theories and form new ones, but its results cannot necessarily be generalized. The data we gather from a case study is only valid for that specific subject, and we cannot assume that our conclusions apply to the broader population.
Researchers or readers can attempt to apply the principles from a particular case to similar situations or incorporate the results into a more comprehensive theory. However, a case study by itself can only prove the existence of certain possibilities and exceptions, not a general rule.
The reliability of case studies may be called into question for two reasons. The first objection centers on the fallibility of human memory and the question of whether subjects are being honest. Many case studies rely on subjects to self-report biographical details, their state of mind, their thoughts and feelings, or their behaviors.
The second issue is the Hawthorne effect, which refers to the tendency of individuals to modify their behavior when they know they are being observed. This effect makes it nearly impossible for researchers to ensure that the observations and conclusions of their case study are reliable.
Researcher bias is another potential issue with case studies. The results of a case study are by nature subjective and qualitative rather than objective and qualitative, and any findings rely heavily on the observations and narrative provided by the researcher. Even the best researchers are still human, and no matter how hard they try to remain objective, they will not be able to keep their findings completely free of bias.
Researchers may have biases they are not even aware of. A researcher may over-identify with the subject and lose the benefit of a dispassionate outside perspective. If the researcher already has an opinion on the subject, they may subconsciously overlook or discount facts that contradict their pre-existing assumptions. Researcher bias can affect what the researcher observes and records, as well as how they interpret and apply their observations.
Case studies can be time-consuming and expensive to conduct. Crafting a thorough case study can be a lengthy project due to the intensive, detailed nature of this type of research. Plus, once the information has been gathered, it must be interpreted. Between the observation and analysis, a case study could take months or even years to complete. Researchers will need to be heavily involved in every step of the process, putting in a lot of time, energy, focus, and effort to ensure that the case study is as informative as possible.
Now that you understand the benefits, limitations, and types of case studies, you can follow these steps to write your own:
- Determine your objective. Write out your research problem, question, or goal. If you aren’t sure, ask yourself questions like, “What am I trying to accomplish? What do I need to know? What will success look like?” Be clear and specific. Your answers will help you choose the right type of case study for your needs.
- Review the research. Before delving into your case study, take some time to review the research that is already available. The information you gather during this preliminary research can help guide your efforts.
- Choose a subject. Decide what or who the subject of your case study will be. For instance, if you are conducting a case study to find out how businesses have been affected by new CDC guidelines, you will need to choose a specific restaurant or retailer. In some cases, you may need to draft a release form for the subject to sign so that you will be able to publish your study.
- Gather information. Case studies about a person, organization, or group may rely on questionnaires or interviews to gather information. If you are studying an event, you might use a combination of academic research and witness interviews. In some cases, you will record your own observations as part of the study.
- Write a report. Most case studies culminate in a written report, similar to a research paper. Most case studies include five sections : an introduction, a literature review, an explanation of your methods, a discussion of your findings and the implications, followed by a conclusion.
- Publish your findings. Once you’ve written your case study, consider the most engaging way to present your findings. A well-written research article is a good place to start, but going a step further will maximize the impact of your research. For instance, you could design an infographic to highlight key findings or commission an animated video to turn your case study into a visual narrative.
Whether research is your primary occupation or only an incidental part of your job, you can benefit from a solid understanding of what case studies are, how they work, and when to use them. Use the information and steps above to design and write a case study that will provide the answers you’re looking for.
Read More About Measurement
Study Design 101
- Helpful formulas
- Finding specific study types
- Meta- Analysis
- Systematic Review
- Practice Guideline
- Randomized Controlled Trial
- Cohort Study
- Case Control Study
- Case Reports
An article that describes and interprets an individual case, often written in the form of a detailed story. Case reports often describe:
- Unique cases that cannot be explained by known diseases or syndromes
- Cases that show an important variation of a disease or condition
- Cases that show unexpected events that may yield new or useful information
- Cases in which one patient has two or more unexpected diseases or disorders
Case reports are considered the lowest level of evidence, but they are also the first line of evidence, because they are where new issues and ideas emerge. This is why they form the base of our pyramid. A good case report will be clear about the importance of the observation being reported.
If multiple case reports show something similar, the next step might be a case-control study to determine if there is a relationship between the relevant variables.
- Can help in the identification of new trends or diseases
- Can help detect new drug side effects and potential uses (adverse or beneficial)
- Educational â€“ a way of sharing lessons learned
- Identifies rare manifestations of a disease
- Cases may not be generalizable
- Not based on systematic studies
- Causes or associations may have other explanations
- Can be seen as emphasizing the bizarre or focusing on misleading elements
Design pitfalls to look out for
The patient should be described in detail, allowing others to identify patients with similar characteristics.
Does the case report provide information about the patient's age, sex, ethnicity, race, employment status, social situation, medical history, diagnosis, prognosis, previous treatments, past and current diagnostic test results, medications, psychological tests, clinical and functional assessments, and current intervention?
Case reports should include carefully recorded, unbiased observations.
Does the case report include measurements and/or recorded observations of the case? Does it show a bias?
Case reports should explore and infer, not confirm, deduce, or prove. They cannot demonstrate causality or argue for the adoption of a new treatment approach.
Does the case report present a hypothesis that can be confirmed by another type of study?
A physician treated a young and otherwise healthy patient who came to her office reporting numbness all over her body. The physician could not determine any reason for this numbness and had never seen anything like it. After taking an extensive history the physician discovered that the patient had recently been to the beach for a vacation and had used a very new type of spray sunscreen. The patient had stored the sunscreen in her cooler at the beach because she liked the feel of the cool spray in the hot sun. The physician suspected that the spray sunscreen had undergone a chemical reaction from the coldness which caused the numbness. She also suspected that because this is a new type of sunscreen other physicians may soon be seeing patients with this numbness.
The physician wrote up a case report describing how the numbness presented, how and why she concluded it was the spray sunscreen, and how she treated the patient. Later, when other doctors began seeing patients with this numbness, they found this case report helpful as a starting point in treating their patients.
Hymes KB. Cheung T. Greene JB. Prose NS. Marcus A. Ballard H. William DC. Laubenstein LJ. (1981). Kaposi's sarcoma in homosexual men-a report of eight cases. Lancet. 2(8247), 598-600.
This case report was published by eight physicians in New York city who had unexpectedly seen eight male patients with Kaposiâ€™s sarcoma (KS). Prior to this, KS was very rare in the U.S. and occurred primarily in the lower extremities of older patients. These cases were decades younger, had generalized KS, and a much lower rate of survival. This was before the discovery of HIV or the use of the term AIDS and this case report was one of the first published items about AIDS patients.
Wu, E. B., & Sung, J. J. Y. (2003). Haemorrhagic-fever-like changes and normal chest radiograph in a doctor with SARS. Lancet, 361(9368), 1520-1521.
This case report is written by the patient, a physician who contracted SARS, and his colleague who treated him, during the 2003 outbreak of SARS in Hong Kong. They describe how the disease progressed in Dr. Wu and based on Dr. Wuâ€™s case, advised that a chest CT showed hidden pneumonic changes and facilitate a rapid diagnosis.
A report about a small group of similar cases.
A case in which symptoms are elicited to study disease mechanisms. (Ex. Having a patient sleep in a lab to do brain imaging for a sleep disorder).
Now test yourself!
1. Case studies are not considered evidence-based even though the authors have studied the case in great depth.
a) True b) False
2. When are Case reports most useful?
a) When you encounter common cases and need more information b) When new symptoms or outcomes are unidentified c) When developing practice guidelines d) When the population being studied is very large
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Case Study Research – Everything You Wanted to Know
Case study research remains a controversial data collection approach. However, it is recognized widely in different social studies. That’s because it enables researchers to provide in-depth explanations of different social behaviors.
Perhaps, you’re wondering, what is a case study research? Maybe you want to know what it involves. Well, this is a research method that utilizes reports from past studies. It allows researchers to explore and understand complex issues using those reports. This research method may be considered robust, especially when researchers require holistic, in-depth investigation.
Most social sciences recognize case study research design and methods and their roles have become more prominent. This approach is used to research and write about topics in education, sociology, and community-based issues like drug addiction, poverty, and unemployment.
What is Case Study Research?
In social studies, the case study is a research method in which a phenomenon is investigated in its real-life context. It’s an empirical inquiry and research strategy that is based on an in-depth investigation of a group, event, or individual to explore the underlying principles causes.
Essentially, this study can be defined as an exploratory and descriptive analysis of a case. But, what is a case study in research? Well, a case can be anything that a researcher wants to investigate. This can include a person, a group, an event, a decision, a policy, period, institution, or any other system that can be studied historically.
Methods Used in Case Study Research
This type of research uses the same study methodology with other research types. But, the most common case study research method starts with the definition of a single case. It can also be a group comprising similar cases. These can be incorporated for a multiple-case study.
This is followed by a search to determine what is already known about the case or cases. This search can involve a review of grey literature, reports, and media content. This review plays a critical role in enabling the researchers to understand the case. It also informs researchers when it comes to developing case study research questions.
In most case studies, data is often qualitative, though not exclusively. Thus, researchers engage in case study qualitative research. When researchers use multiple cases, they analyze each case separately. Themes can arise from assertions or analysis about the entire case.
Case study research methodology can include: Personal interviews Archival records Psychometric tests Direct observation
Case studies are more in-depth when compared to observational research. That’s because they use several records or measures while focusing on a single subject. In some cases, a multiple-case design can be used. What’s more, a case study can be retrospective or prospective. A retrospective case study uses criteria to choose cases from historical records. Prospective case studies, on the other hand, uses established criteria while including extra cases as long as they meet the set criteria.
Because case studies use qualitative data like the one collected from interviews, they tend to be more liable. However, quantitative data and questionnaires can also be used. For instance, a case study can be used in clinical research to monitor and determine the effectiveness of treatment.
Types of Case Study Research
When you research case study, you explore causation to identify the underlying principles. But, they can’t be generalized to a larger population the way researchers do when conducting experimental research. They also can’t provide predictive power the same way correlational research can do. Rather, they provide extensive data that can be used to develop new hypotheses that can be used for further research. It can also be used to study rare conditions or events that are hard-to-study.
A case study research paper can fall into any of these categories:
- Illustrative case study- This is a descriptive type of case study. It uses one or two instances to describe an event. The purpose of an illustrative case study is to make what is considered unfamiliar familiar. It also provides a common language for the readers about a subject.
- Exploratory case study- This is also called a pilot case study. It comprises condensed case studies that are performed before a large-scale investigation. Its purpose is to help researchers identify research questions and select the measurement types before the main investigation. The major drawback of this study is that it can make initial findings convincing and lead to their premature release as conclusions.
- Cumulative case study- This is a case study that entails the aggregation of information from different sources that were collected at varying times. The goal is to collect past studies to enhance generalization without spending more time or cost on new and probably repetitive studies.
- Critical instance case study- This examines one or several sites to examine a situation of specific interest with no or little interest in generalizing them. It can also be used to challenge or question universal or highly generalized assertions. This method can be used to answer the cause and effect study questions.
People may define case study research differently based on these major types of this investigation. Nevertheless, it’s an intensive and systematic investigation of a group, community, individuals, or other units where the researchers examine in-depth data that relate to several variables.
Example of Case Study Research
Case study definition in research may vary. However, students should be keen to choose topics they are comfortable researching and writing about. Here are case study research question examples that be used for this kind of investigation.
- How and why are employees abusing drugs at workplaces?
- How is social media influencing modern businesses?
- What are the most effective ways for small businesses to plan their advertising budget?
- How can social media ads help in driving customers?
- How can employees engage during tough times?
- How can a business consider small customers to make bigger profits?
- How good is care quality for complex patients at major Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics?
- How effective are pediatric pain management practices by nurses?
Different data collection methods can be used to assess and understand each case separately. This can lead to a better understanding of the phenomenon under investigation. The goal of the case study research design is to provide a framework that can be used to evaluate and analyze complex issues. For instance, in the last two examples above, a case study can be used to shed light on the nursing practice as a holistic approach. It can also provide a perspective that will inform the nurses to give improved care to their patients.
How to Do Case Study Research
When writing a case study paper, follow these steps, suggested by our writing professionals :
- Determine the case to study, data collection methods, and the information to gather.
- Select the subjects or people to participate in the case study.
- Prepare relevant materials like questionnaires to collect relevant information. This should also include your research problem.
- Use the collected data to write your case.
- Add the appendices and references
- Proofread and edit your final case study paper
In a nutshell, a case study entails collecting data that leads to a better understanding of a phenomenon. The methodology of a case study provides a framework that is used to analyze and evaluate more complex issues.
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Case Study Research: Methods and Designs
Case study research is a type of qualitative research design. It’s often used in the social sciences because it involves…
Case study research is a type of qualitative research design. It’s often used in the social sciences because it involves observing subjects, or cases, in their natural setting, with minimal interference from the researcher.
In the case study method , researchers pose a specific question about an individual or group to test their theories or hypothesis. This can be done by gathering data from interviews with key informants.
Here’s what you need to know about case study research design .
What Is The Case Study Method?
Main approaches to data collection, case study research methods, how case studies are used, case study model.
Case study research is a great way to understand the nuances of a matter that can get lost in quantitative research methods. A case study is distinct from other qualitative studies in the following ways:
- It’s interested in the effect of a set of circumstances on an individual or group.
- It begins with a specific question about one or more cases.
- It focuses on individual accounts and experiences.
Here are the primary features of case study research:
- Case study research methods typically involve the researcher asking a few questions of one person or a small number of people—known as respondents—to test one hypothesis.
- Case study in research methodology may apply triangulation to collect data, in which the researcher uses several sources, including documents and field data. This is then analyzed and interpreted to form a hypothesis that can be tested through further research or validated by other researchers.
- The case study method requires clear concepts and theories to guide its methods. A well-defined research question is crucial when conducting a case study because the results of the study depend on it. The best approach to answering a research question is to challenge the existing theories, hypotheses or assumptions.
- Concepts are defined using objective language with no reference to preconceived notions that individuals might have about them. The researcher sets out to discover by asking specific questions on how people think or perceive things in their given situation.
They commonly use the case study method in business, management, psychology, sociology, political science and other related fields.
A fundamental requirement of qualitative research is recording observations that provide an understanding of reality. When it comes to the case study method, there are two major approaches that can be used to collect data: document review and fieldwork.
A case study in research methodology also includes literature review, the process by which the researcher collects all data available through historical documents. These might include books, newspapers, journals, videos, photographs and other written material. The researcher may also record information using video cameras to capture events as they occur. The researcher can also go through materials produced by people involved in the case study to gain an insight into their lives and experiences.
Field research involves participating in interviews and observations directly. Observation can be done during telephone interviews, events or public meetings, visits to homes or workplaces, or by shadowing someone for a period of time. The researcher can conduct one-on-one interviews with individuals or group interviews where several people are interviewed at once.
Let’s look now at case study methodology.
The case study method can be divided into three stages: formulation of objectives; collection of data; and analysis and interpretation. The researcher first makes a judgment about what should be studied based on their knowledge. Next, they gather data through observations and interviews. Here are some of the common case study research methods:
One of the most basic methods is the survey. Respondents are asked to complete a questionnaire with open-ended and predetermined questions. It usually takes place through face-to-face interviews, mailed questionnaires or telephone interviews. It can even be done by an online survey.
2. Semi-structured Interview
For case study research a more complex method is the semi-structured interview. This involves the researcher learning about the topic by listening to what others have to say. This usually occurs through one-on-one interviews with the sample. Semi-structured interviews allow for greater flexibility and can obtain information that structured questionnaires can’t.
3. Focus Group Interview
Another method is the focus group interview, where the researcher asks a few people to take part in an open-ended discussion on certain themes or topics. The typical group size is 5–15 people. This method allows researchers to delve deeper into people’s opinions, views and experiences.
4. Participant Observation
Participant observation is another method that involves the researcher gaining insight into an experience by joining in and taking part in normal events. The people involved don’t always know they’re being studied, but the researcher observes and records what happens through field notes.
Case study research design can use one or several of these methods depending on the context.
Case studies are widely used in the social sciences. To understand the impact of socio-economic forces, interpersonal dynamics and other human conditions, sometimes there’s no other way than to study one case at a time and look for patterns and data afterward.
It’s for the same reasons that case studies are used in business. Here are a few uses:
- Case studies can be used as tools to educate and give examples of situations and problems that might occur and how they were resolved. They can also be used for strategy development and implementation.
- Case studies can evaluate the success of a program or project. They can help teams improve their collaboration by identifying areas that need improvements, such as team dynamics, communication, roles and responsibilities and leadership styles.
- Case studies can explore how people’s experiences affect the working environment. Because the study involves observing and analyzing concrete details of life, they can inform theories on how an individual or group interacts with their environment.
- Case studies can evaluate the sustainability of businesses. They’re useful for social, environmental and economic impact studies because they look at all aspects of a business or organization. This gives researchers a holistic view of the dynamics within an organization.
- We can use case studies to identify problems in organizations or businesses. They can help spot problems that are invisible to customers, investors, managers and employees.
- Case studies are used in education to show students how real-world issues or events can be sorted out. This enables students to identify and deal with similar situations in their lives.
And that’s not all. Case studies are incredibly versatile, which is why they’re used so widely.
Human beings are complex and they interact with each other in their everyday life in various ways. The researcher observes a case and tries to find out how the patterns of behavior are created, including their causal relations. Case studies help understand one or more specific events that have been observed. Here are some common methods:
1. Illustrative case study
This is where the researcher observes a group of people doing something. Studying an event or phenomenon this way can show cause-and-effect relationships between various variables.
2. Cumulative case study
A cumulative case study is one that involves observing the same set of phenomena over a period. Cumulative case studies can be very helpful in understanding processes, which are things that happen over time. For example, if there are behavioral changes in people who move from one place to another, the researcher might want to know why these changes occurred.
3. Exploratory case study
An exploratory case study collects information that will answer a question. It can help researchers better understand social, economic, political or other social phenomena.
There are several other ways to categorize case studies. They may be chronological case studies, where a researcher observes events over time. In the comparative case study, the researcher compares one or more groups of people, places, or things to draw conclusions about them. In an intervention case study, the researcher intervenes to change the behavior of the subjects. The study method depends on the needs of the research team.
Deciding how to analyze the information at our disposal is an important part of effective management. An understanding of the case study model can help. With Harappa’s Thinking Critically course, managers and young professionals receive input and training on how to level up their analytic skills. Knowledge of frameworks, reading real-life examples and lived wisdom of faculty come together to create a dynamic and exciting course that helps teams leap to the next level.
Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics such as Objectives Of Research , What are Qualitative Research Methods , How To Make A Problem Statement and How To Improve your Cognitive Skills to upgrade your knowledge and skills.
Journal Article Reporting Standards (JARS)
Qualitative research design (jars–qual).
The JARS–Qual guidelines developed in 2018 mark the first time APA Style has included qualitative standards. They outline what should be reported in qualitative research manuscripts to make the review process easier.
The seventh edition of the Publication Manual also includes content on qualitative studies, including standards for journal article reporting, considerations for sharing qualitative data, and a description of case studies as a type of qualitative article.
JARS–Qual includes guidelines for manuscripts that report
- Primary qualitative research
- Qualitative meta-analyses
To be used for all qualitative studies
- Qualitative Design Reporting Standards (JARS-Qual) (PDF, 141KB) Information recommended for inclusion in manuscripts that report new data collections
- Qualitative Meta-Analysis Reporting Standards (PDF, 119KB) Information recommended for inclusion in manuscripts that report qualitative meta-analyses
For more information on how these standards were created, read Journal Article Reporting Standards for Qualitative Primary, Qualitative Meta-Analytic, and Mixed Methods Research in Psychology .
- Quantitative design standards
- Mixed methods standards
Return to Journal Article Reporting Standards homepage
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- Supplemental JARS Glossary
- Ethic of Transparency in JARS
- Frequently Asked Questions
- JARS–Quant Decision Flowchart (PDF, 97KB)
- JARS–Quant Participant Flowchart (PDF, 95KB)
- JARS–Quant on EQUATOR
- JARS–Qual/JARS–Mixed on EQUATOR
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15+ Professional Case Study Examples [Design Tips + Templates]
By Alice Corner , Jan 12, 2023
Let me ask you a question: Have you ever bought something — within the last 10 years or so — without reading its reviews or without a recommendation or prior experience of using it?
If the answer is no — or at least, rarely — you get my point.
For businesses selling consumer goods, having raving reviews is a good way to get more customers. The same thing applies to B2B and/or SaaS businesses — but for this type of business, besides regular, short reviews, having a detailed case study can help tremendously.
Case studies are an incredibly effective form of marketing that you can use to help promote your product and plan your marketing strategy effectively. You can also use it as a form of customer analysis or as a sales tool to inspire potential customers.
So what does a case study look like and how can you create one? In this article, I’m going to list over 15 marketing case study examples, case study tips, and case study templates to help you create a case study that converts.
Click to jump ahead:
- What is a Case Study?
- Marketing Case Study Examples
Sales Case Study Examples
Simple case study examples, business case study examples.
- Case Study FAQs
What is a case study?
A case study is a research method to gain a better understanding of a subject or process. Case studies involve in-depth research into a given subject, in order to understand its functionality and successes.
In the context of a business, however, case studies take customer success stories and explore how they use your product to help them achieve their business goals.
As well as being valuable marketing tools, case studies are a good way to evaluate your product as it allows you to objectively examine how others are using it.
It’s also a good way to interview your customers about why they work with you.
Related: What is a Case Study? [+6 Types of Case Studies]
What is a marketing case study?
A marketing case study is a type of marketing where you use your existing customers as an example of what your product or services can achieve. You can also create case studies of internal, successful marketing projects.
Here’s an example of a marketing case study template:
Return to Table of Contents
Marketing case study examples
Marketing case studies are incredibly useful for showing your marketing successes. Every successful marketing campaign relies on influencing a consumer’s behavior, and a great case study can be a great way to spotlight your biggest wins.
In the marketing case study examples below, a variety of designs and techniques to create impactful and effective case studies.
Show off impressive results with a bold marketing case study
Case studies are meant to show off your successes, so make sure you feature your positive results prominently. Using bold and bright colors as well as contrasting shapes, large bold fonts, and simple icons is a great way to highlight your wins.
In well-written case study examples like the one below, the big wins are highlighted on the second page with a bright orange color and are highlighted in circles.
Making the important data stand out is especially important when attracting a prospective customer with marketing case studies.
Use a simple but clear layout in your case study
Using a simple layout in your case study can be incredibly effective, like in the example of a case study below.
Keeping a clean white background, and using slim lines to help separate the sections is an easy way to format your case study.
Making the information clear helps draw attention to the important results, and it helps improve the accessibility of the design .
Business case study examples like this would sit nicely within a larger report, with a consistent layout throughout.
Use visuals and icons to create an engaging and branded business case study
Nobody wants to read pages and pages of text — and that’s why Venngage wants to help you communicate your ideas visually.
Using icons, graphics, photos, or patterns helps create a much more engaging design.
With this Blue Cap case study icons, colors, and impactful pattern designs have been used to create an engaging design that catches your eye.
Use a monochromatic color palette to create a professional and clean case study
Let your research shine by using a monochromatic and minimalistic color palette.
By sticking to one color, and leaving lots of blank space you can ensure your design doesn’t distract a potential customer from your case study content.
In this case study on Polygon Media, the design is simple and professional, and the layout allows the prospective customer to follow the flow of information.
The gradient effect on the left-hand column helps break up the white background and adds an interesting visual effect.
Did you know you can generate an accessible color palette with Venngage? Try our free accessible color palette generator today and create a case study that delivers and looks pleasant to the eye:
Add long term goals in your case study
When creating a case study it’s a great idea to look at both the short term and the long term goals of the company to gain the best understanding possible of the insights they provide.
Short-term goals will be what the company or person hopes to achieve in the next few months, and long-term goals are what the company hopes to achieve in the next few years.
Check out this modern pattern design example of a case study below:
In this case study example, the short and long-term goals are clearly distinguished by light blue boxes and placed side by side so that they are easy to compare.
Use a strong introductory paragraph to outline the overall strategy and goals before outlining the specific short-term and long-term goals to help with clarity.
This strategy can also be handy when creating a consulting case study.
Use data to make concrete points about your sales and successes
When conducting any sort of research stats, facts, and figures are like gold dust (aka, really valuable).
Being able to quantify your findings is important to help understand the information fully. Saying sales increased 10% is much more effective than saying sales increased.
In sales case study examples, like this one, the key data and findings can be presented with icons. This contributes to the potential customer’s better understanding of the report.
They can clearly comprehend the information and it shows that the case study has been well researched.
Use emotive, persuasive, or action based language in your marketing case study
Create a compelling case study by using emotive, persuasive and action-based language when customizing your case study template.
In this well-written case study example, we can see that phrases such as “Results that Speak Volumes” and “Drive Sales” have been used.
Using persuasive language like you would in a blog post. It helps inspire potential customers to take action now.
Keep your potential customers in mind when creating a customer case study for marketing
82% of marketers use case studies in their marketing because it’s such an effective tool to help quickly gain customers’ trust and to showcase the potential of your product.
Why are case studies such an important tool in content marketing?
By writing a case study you’re telling potential customers that they can trust you because you’re showing them that other people do.
Not only that, but if you have a SaaS product, business case studies are a great way to show how other people are effectively using your product in their company.
In this case study, Network is demonstrating how their product has been used by Vortex Co. with great success; instantly showing other potential customers that their tool works and is worth using.
Related: 10+ Case Study Infographic Templates That Convert
Case studies are particularly effective as a sales technique.
A sales case study is like an extended customer testimonial, not only sharing opinions of your product – but showcasing the results you helped your customer achieve.
Make impactful statistics pop in your sales case study
Writing a case study doesn’t mean using text as the only medium for sharing results.
You should use icons to highlight areas of your research that are particularly interesting or relevant, like in this example of a case study:
Icons are a great way to help summarize information quickly and can act as visual cues to help draw the customer’s attention to certain areas of the page.
In some of the business case study examples above, icons are used to represent the impressive areas of growth and are presented in a way that grabs your attention.
Use high contrast shapes and colors to draw attention to key information in your sales case study
Help the key information stand out within your case study by using high contrast shapes and colors.
Use a complementary or contrasting color, or use a shape such as a rectangle or a circle for maximum impact.
This design has used dark blue rectangles to help separate the information and make it easier to read.
Coupled with icons and strong statistics, this information stands out on the page and is easily digestible and retainable for a potential customer.
Less is often more, and this is especially true when it comes to creating designs. Whilst you want to create a professional-looking, well-written and design case study – there’s no need to overcomplicate things.
These simple case study examples show that smart clean designs and informative content can be an effective way to showcase your successes.
Use colors and fonts to create a professional-looking case study
Business case studies shouldn’t be boring. In fact, they should be beautifully and professionally designed.
This means the normal rules of design apply. Use fonts, colors, and icons to create an interesting and visually appealing case study.
In this case study example, we can see how multiple fonts have been used to help differentiate between the headers and content, as well as complementary colors and eye-catching icons.
Whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, business case studies can be a powerful resource to help with your sales, marketing, and even internal departmental awareness.
Business and business management case studies should encompass strategic insights alongside anecdotal and qualitative findings, like in the business case study examples below.
Conduct a B2B case study by researching the company holistically
When it comes to writing a case study, make sure you approach the company holistically and analyze everything from their social media to their sales.
Think about every avenue your product or service has been of use to your case study company, and ask them about the impact this has had on their wider company goals.
In business case study examples like the one above, we can see that the company has been thought about holistically simply by the use of icons.
By combining social media icons with icons that show in-person communication we know that this is a well-researched and thorough case study.
This case study report example could also be used within an annual or end-of-year report.
Highlight the key takeaway from your marketing case study
To create a compelling case study, identify the key takeaways from your research. Use catchy language to sum up this information in a sentence, and present this sentence at the top of your page.
This is “at a glance” information and it allows people to gain a top-level understanding of the content immediately.
You can use a large, bold, contrasting font to help this information stand out from the page and provide interest.
Learn how to choose fonts effectively with our Venngage guide and once you’ve done that.
Upload your fonts and brand colors to Venngage using the My Brand Kit tool and see them automatically applied to your designs.
The heading is the ideal place to put the most impactful information, as this is the first thing that people will read.
In this example, the stat of “Increase[d] lead quality by 90%” is used as the header. It makes customers want to read more to find out how exactly lead quality was increased by such a massive amount.
If you’re conducting an in-person interview, you could highlight a direct quote or insight provided by your interview subject.
Pick out a catchy sentence or phrase, or the key piece of information your interview subject provided and use that as a way to draw a potential customer in.
Use charts to visualize data in your business case studies
Charts are an excellent way to visualize data and to bring statistics and information to life. Charts make information easier to understand and to illustrate trends or patterns.
Making charts is even easier with Venngage.
In this consulting case study example, we can see that a chart has been used to demonstrate the difference in lead value within the Lead Elves case study.
Adding a chart here helps break up the information and add visual value to the case study.
Using charts in your case study can also be useful if you’re creating a project management case study.
You could use a Gantt chart or a project timeline to show how you have managed the project successfully.
Use direct quotes to build trust in your marketing case study
To add an extra layer of authenticity you can include a direct quote from your customer within your case study.
According to research from Nielsen , 92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer and 70% trust recommendations even if they’re from somebody they don’t know.
So if you have a customer or client who can’t stop singing your praises, make sure you get a direct quote from them and include it in your case study.
You can either lift part of the conversation or interview, or you can specifically request a quote. Make sure to ask for permission before using the quote.
This design uses a bright contrasting speech bubble to show that it includes a direct quote, and helps the quote stand out from the rest of the text.
This will help draw the customer’s attention directly to the quote, in turn influencing them to use your product or service.
Case Study Examples Summary
Once you have created your case study, it’s best practice to update your examples on a regular basis to include up-to-date statistics, data, and information.
You should update your business case study examples often if you are sharing them on your website.
It’s also important that your case study sits within your brand guidelines – find out how Venngage’s My Brand Kit tool can help you create consistently branded case study templates.
Case studies are important marketing tools – but they shouldn’t be the only tool in your toolbox. Content marketing is also a valuable way to earn consumer trust.
Case Study FAQ
Why should you write a case study.
Case studies are an effective marketing technique to engage potential customers and help build trust.
By producing case studies featuring your current clients or customers, you are showcasing how your tool or product can be used. You’re also showing that other people endorse your product.
In addition to being a good way to gather positive testimonials from existing customers, business case studies are good educational resources and can be shared amongst your company or team, and used as a reference for future projects.
How should you write a case study?
To create a great case study, you should think strategically. The first step, before starting your case study research, is to think about what you aim to learn or what you aim to prove.
You might be aiming to learn how a company makes sales or develops a new product. If this is the case, base your questions around this.
You can learn more about writing a case study from our extensive guide.
Some good questions you could ask would be:
- Why do you use our tool or service?
- How often do you use our tool or service?
- What does the process of using our product look like to you?
- If our product didn’t exist, what would you be doing instead?
- What is the number one benefit you’ve found from using our tool?
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Basics of case report form designing in clinical research
- 1 Global Medical Affairs, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd., Hyderabad, India.
- 2 Clinical Research, USV Limited, Mumbai, India.
- PMID: 25276625
- PMCID: PMC4170533
- DOI: 10.4103/2229-3485.140555
Case report form (CRF) is a specialized document in clinical research. It should be study protocol driven, robust in content and have material to collect the study specific data. Though paper CRFs are still used largely, use of electronic CRFs (eCRFS) are gaining popularity due to the advantages they offer such as improved data quality, online discrepancy management and faster database lock etc. Main objectives behind CRF development are preserving and maintaining quality and integrity of data. CRF design should be standardized to address the needs of all users such as investigator, site coordinator, study monitor, data entry personnel, medical coder and statistician. Data should be organized in a format that facilitates and simplifies data analysis. Collection of large amount of data will result in wasted resources in collecting and processing it and in many circumstances, will not be utilized for analysis. Apart from that, standard guidelines should be followed while designing the CRF. CRF completion manual should be provided to the site personnel to promote accurate data entry by them. These measures will result in reduced query generations and improved data integrity. It is recommended to establish and maintain a library of templates of standard CRF modules as they are time saving and cost-effective. This article is an attempt to describe the methods of CRF designing in clinical research and discusses the challenges encountered in this process.
Keywords: Case report form; case report form design; completion guidelines; electronic case report form; standard templates.
Conflict of interest statement
Conflict of Interest: None declared.
A sample case report form…
A sample case report form (CRF) page. An adverse event page of CRF…
Example of a poorly designed…
Example of a poorly designed case report form
Illustrating the missing indicator question
Coding on the case report…
Coding on the case report form module
Sample page of case report…
Sample page of case report form completion guideline
- Design and implementation of an institutional case report form library. Nahm M, Shepherd J, Buzenberg A, Rostami R, Corcoran A, McCall J, Pietrobon R. Nahm M, et al. Clin Trials. 2011 Feb;8(1):94-102. doi: 10.1177/1740774510391916. Epub 2010 Dec 16. Clin Trials. 2011. PMID: 21163853 Free PMC article.
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- Pivot/Remote: a distributed database for remote data entry in multi-center clinical trials. Higgins SB, Jiang K, Plummer WD Jr, Edens TR, Stroud MJ, Swindell BB, Wheeler AP, Bernard GR. Higgins SB, et al. Medinfo. 1995;8 Pt 2:1097. Medinfo. 1995. PMID: 8591379
- Evaluating automated electronic case report form data entry from electronic health records. Cheng AC, Banasiewicz MK, Johnson JD, Sulieman L, Kennedy N, Delacqua F, Lewis AA, Joly MM, Bistran-Hall AJ, Collins S, Self WH, Shotwell MS, Lindsell CJ, Harris PA. Cheng AC, et al. J Clin Transl Sci. 2022 Dec 14;7(1):e29. doi: 10.1017/cts.2022.514. eCollection 2023. J Clin Transl Sci. 2022. PMID: 36845316 Free PMC article.
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The case study approach
- Sarah Crowe 1 ,
- Kathrin Cresswell 2 ,
- Ann Robertson 2 ,
- Guro Huby 3 ,
- Anthony Avery 1 &
- Aziz Sheikh 2
BMC Medical Research Methodology volume 11 , Article number: 100 ( 2011 ) Cite this article
The case study approach allows in-depth, multi-faceted explorations of complex issues in their real-life settings. The value of the case study approach is well recognised in the fields of business, law and policy, but somewhat less so in health services research. Based on our experiences of conducting several health-related case studies, we reflect on the different types of case study design, the specific research questions this approach can help answer, the data sources that tend to be used, and the particular advantages and disadvantages of employing this methodological approach. The paper concludes with key pointers to aid those designing and appraising proposals for conducting case study research, and a checklist to help readers assess the quality of case study reports.
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The case study approach is particularly useful to employ when there is a need to obtain an in-depth appreciation of an issue, event or phenomenon of interest, in its natural real-life context. Our aim in writing this piece is to provide insights into when to consider employing this approach and an overview of key methodological considerations in relation to the design, planning, analysis, interpretation and reporting of case studies.
The illustrative 'grand round', 'case report' and 'case series' have a long tradition in clinical practice and research. Presenting detailed critiques, typically of one or more patients, aims to provide insights into aspects of the clinical case and, in doing so, illustrate broader lessons that may be learnt. In research, the conceptually-related case study approach can be used, for example, to describe in detail a patient's episode of care, explore professional attitudes to and experiences of a new policy initiative or service development or more generally to 'investigate contemporary phenomena within its real-life context' [ 1 ]. Based on our experiences of conducting a range of case studies, we reflect on when to consider using this approach, discuss the key steps involved and illustrate, with examples, some of the practical challenges of attaining an in-depth understanding of a 'case' as an integrated whole. In keeping with previously published work, we acknowledge the importance of theory to underpin the design, selection, conduct and interpretation of case studies[ 2 ]. In so doing, we make passing reference to the different epistemological approaches used in case study research by key theoreticians and methodologists in this field of enquiry.
This paper is structured around the following main questions: What is a case study? What are case studies used for? How are case studies conducted? What are the potential pitfalls and how can these be avoided? We draw in particular on four of our own recently published examples of case studies (see Tables 1 , 2 , 3 and 4 ) and those of others to illustrate our discussion[ 3 – 7 ].
What is a case study?
A case study is a research approach that is used to generate an in-depth, multi-faceted understanding of a complex issue in its real-life context. It is an established research design that is used extensively in a wide variety of disciplines, particularly in the social sciences. A case study can be defined in a variety of ways (Table 5 ), the central tenet being the need to explore an event or phenomenon in depth and in its natural context. It is for this reason sometimes referred to as a "naturalistic" design; this is in contrast to an "experimental" design (such as a randomised controlled trial) in which the investigator seeks to exert control over and manipulate the variable(s) of interest.
Stake's work has been particularly influential in defining the case study approach to scientific enquiry. He has helpfully characterised three main types of case study: intrinsic , instrumental and collective [ 8 ]. An intrinsic case study is typically undertaken to learn about a unique phenomenon. The researcher should define the uniqueness of the phenomenon, which distinguishes it from all others. In contrast, the instrumental case study uses a particular case (some of which may be better than others) to gain a broader appreciation of an issue or phenomenon. The collective case study involves studying multiple cases simultaneously or sequentially in an attempt to generate a still broader appreciation of a particular issue.
These are however not necessarily mutually exclusive categories. In the first of our examples (Table 1 ), we undertook an intrinsic case study to investigate the issue of recruitment of minority ethnic people into the specific context of asthma research studies, but it developed into a instrumental case study through seeking to understand the issue of recruitment of these marginalised populations more generally, generating a number of the findings that are potentially transferable to other disease contexts[ 3 ]. In contrast, the other three examples (see Tables 2 , 3 and 4 ) employed collective case study designs to study the introduction of workforce reconfiguration in primary care, the implementation of electronic health records into hospitals, and to understand the ways in which healthcare students learn about patient safety considerations[ 4 – 6 ]. Although our study focusing on the introduction of General Practitioners with Specialist Interests (Table 2 ) was explicitly collective in design (four contrasting primary care organisations were studied), is was also instrumental in that this particular professional group was studied as an exemplar of the more general phenomenon of workforce redesign[ 4 ].
What are case studies used for?
According to Yin, case studies can be used to explain, describe or explore events or phenomena in the everyday contexts in which they occur[ 1 ]. These can, for example, help to understand and explain causal links and pathways resulting from a new policy initiative or service development (see Tables 2 and 3 , for example)[ 1 ]. In contrast to experimental designs, which seek to test a specific hypothesis through deliberately manipulating the environment (like, for example, in a randomised controlled trial giving a new drug to randomly selected individuals and then comparing outcomes with controls),[ 9 ] the case study approach lends itself well to capturing information on more explanatory ' how ', 'what' and ' why ' questions, such as ' how is the intervention being implemented and received on the ground?'. The case study approach can offer additional insights into what gaps exist in its delivery or why one implementation strategy might be chosen over another. This in turn can help develop or refine theory, as shown in our study of the teaching of patient safety in undergraduate curricula (Table 4 )[ 6 , 10 ]. Key questions to consider when selecting the most appropriate study design are whether it is desirable or indeed possible to undertake a formal experimental investigation in which individuals and/or organisations are allocated to an intervention or control arm? Or whether the wish is to obtain a more naturalistic understanding of an issue? The former is ideally studied using a controlled experimental design, whereas the latter is more appropriately studied using a case study design.
Case studies may be approached in different ways depending on the epistemological standpoint of the researcher, that is, whether they take a critical (questioning one's own and others' assumptions), interpretivist (trying to understand individual and shared social meanings) or positivist approach (orientating towards the criteria of natural sciences, such as focusing on generalisability considerations) (Table 6 ). Whilst such a schema can be conceptually helpful, it may be appropriate to draw on more than one approach in any case study, particularly in the context of conducting health services research. Doolin has, for example, noted that in the context of undertaking interpretative case studies, researchers can usefully draw on a critical, reflective perspective which seeks to take into account the wider social and political environment that has shaped the case[ 11 ].
How are case studies conducted?
Here, we focus on the main stages of research activity when planning and undertaking a case study; the crucial stages are: defining the case; selecting the case(s); collecting and analysing the data; interpreting data; and reporting the findings.
Defining the case
Carefully formulated research question(s), informed by the existing literature and a prior appreciation of the theoretical issues and setting(s), are all important in appropriately and succinctly defining the case[ 8 , 12 ]. Crucially, each case should have a pre-defined boundary which clarifies the nature and time period covered by the case study (i.e. its scope, beginning and end), the relevant social group, organisation or geographical area of interest to the investigator, the types of evidence to be collected, and the priorities for data collection and analysis (see Table 7 )[ 1 ]. A theory driven approach to defining the case may help generate knowledge that is potentially transferable to a range of clinical contexts and behaviours; using theory is also likely to result in a more informed appreciation of, for example, how and why interventions have succeeded or failed[ 13 ].
For example, in our evaluation of the introduction of electronic health records in English hospitals (Table 3 ), we defined our cases as the NHS Trusts that were receiving the new technology[ 5 ]. Our focus was on how the technology was being implemented. However, if the primary research interest had been on the social and organisational dimensions of implementation, we might have defined our case differently as a grouping of healthcare professionals (e.g. doctors and/or nurses). The precise beginning and end of the case may however prove difficult to define. Pursuing this same example, when does the process of implementation and adoption of an electronic health record system really begin or end? Such judgements will inevitably be influenced by a range of factors, including the research question, theory of interest, the scope and richness of the gathered data and the resources available to the research team.
Selecting the case(s)
The decision on how to select the case(s) to study is a very important one that merits some reflection. In an intrinsic case study, the case is selected on its own merits[ 8 ]. The case is selected not because it is representative of other cases, but because of its uniqueness, which is of genuine interest to the researchers. This was, for example, the case in our study of the recruitment of minority ethnic participants into asthma research (Table 1 ) as our earlier work had demonstrated the marginalisation of minority ethnic people with asthma, despite evidence of disproportionate asthma morbidity[ 14 , 15 ]. In another example of an intrinsic case study, Hellstrom et al.[ 16 ] studied an elderly married couple living with dementia to explore how dementia had impacted on their understanding of home, their everyday life and their relationships.
For an instrumental case study, selecting a "typical" case can work well[ 8 ]. In contrast to the intrinsic case study, the particular case which is chosen is of less importance than selecting a case that allows the researcher to investigate an issue or phenomenon. For example, in order to gain an understanding of doctors' responses to health policy initiatives, Som undertook an instrumental case study interviewing clinicians who had a range of responsibilities for clinical governance in one NHS acute hospital trust[ 17 ]. Sampling a "deviant" or "atypical" case may however prove even more informative, potentially enabling the researcher to identify causal processes, generate hypotheses and develop theory.
In collective or multiple case studies, a number of cases are carefully selected. This offers the advantage of allowing comparisons to be made across several cases and/or replication. Choosing a "typical" case may enable the findings to be generalised to theory (i.e. analytical generalisation) or to test theory by replicating the findings in a second or even a third case (i.e. replication logic)[ 1 ]. Yin suggests two or three literal replications (i.e. predicting similar results) if the theory is straightforward and five or more if the theory is more subtle. However, critics might argue that selecting 'cases' in this way is insufficiently reflexive and ill-suited to the complexities of contemporary healthcare organisations.
The selected case study site(s) should allow the research team access to the group of individuals, the organisation, the processes or whatever else constitutes the chosen unit of analysis for the study. Access is therefore a central consideration; the researcher needs to come to know the case study site(s) well and to work cooperatively with them. Selected cases need to be not only interesting but also hospitable to the inquiry [ 8 ] if they are to be informative and answer the research question(s). Case study sites may also be pre-selected for the researcher, with decisions being influenced by key stakeholders. For example, our selection of case study sites in the evaluation of the implementation and adoption of electronic health record systems (see Table 3 ) was heavily influenced by NHS Connecting for Health, the government agency that was responsible for overseeing the National Programme for Information Technology (NPfIT)[ 5 ]. This prominent stakeholder had already selected the NHS sites (through a competitive bidding process) to be early adopters of the electronic health record systems and had negotiated contracts that detailed the deployment timelines.
It is also important to consider in advance the likely burden and risks associated with participation for those who (or the site(s) which) comprise the case study. Of particular importance is the obligation for the researcher to think through the ethical implications of the study (e.g. the risk of inadvertently breaching anonymity or confidentiality) and to ensure that potential participants/participating sites are provided with sufficient information to make an informed choice about joining the study. The outcome of providing this information might be that the emotive burden associated with participation, or the organisational disruption associated with supporting the fieldwork, is considered so high that the individuals or sites decide against participation.
In our example of evaluating implementations of electronic health record systems, given the restricted number of early adopter sites available to us, we sought purposively to select a diverse range of implementation cases among those that were available[ 5 ]. We chose a mixture of teaching, non-teaching and Foundation Trust hospitals, and examples of each of the three electronic health record systems procured centrally by the NPfIT. At one recruited site, it quickly became apparent that access was problematic because of competing demands on that organisation. Recognising the importance of full access and co-operative working for generating rich data, the research team decided not to pursue work at that site and instead to focus on other recruited sites.
Collecting the data
In order to develop a thorough understanding of the case, the case study approach usually involves the collection of multiple sources of evidence, using a range of quantitative (e.g. questionnaires, audits and analysis of routinely collected healthcare data) and more commonly qualitative techniques (e.g. interviews, focus groups and observations). The use of multiple sources of data (data triangulation) has been advocated as a way of increasing the internal validity of a study (i.e. the extent to which the method is appropriate to answer the research question)[ 8 , 18 – 21 ]. An underlying assumption is that data collected in different ways should lead to similar conclusions, and approaching the same issue from different angles can help develop a holistic picture of the phenomenon (Table 2 )[ 4 ].
Brazier and colleagues used a mixed-methods case study approach to investigate the impact of a cancer care programme[ 22 ]. Here, quantitative measures were collected with questionnaires before, and five months after, the start of the intervention which did not yield any statistically significant results. Qualitative interviews with patients however helped provide an insight into potentially beneficial process-related aspects of the programme, such as greater, perceived patient involvement in care. The authors reported how this case study approach provided a number of contextual factors likely to influence the effectiveness of the intervention and which were not likely to have been obtained from quantitative methods alone.
In collective or multiple case studies, data collection needs to be flexible enough to allow a detailed description of each individual case to be developed (e.g. the nature of different cancer care programmes), before considering the emerging similarities and differences in cross-case comparisons (e.g. to explore why one programme is more effective than another). It is important that data sources from different cases are, where possible, broadly comparable for this purpose even though they may vary in nature and depth.
Analysing, interpreting and reporting case studies
Making sense and offering a coherent interpretation of the typically disparate sources of data (whether qualitative alone or together with quantitative) is far from straightforward. Repeated reviewing and sorting of the voluminous and detail-rich data are integral to the process of analysis. In collective case studies, it is helpful to analyse data relating to the individual component cases first, before making comparisons across cases. Attention needs to be paid to variations within each case and, where relevant, the relationship between different causes, effects and outcomes[ 23 ]. Data will need to be organised and coded to allow the key issues, both derived from the literature and emerging from the dataset, to be easily retrieved at a later stage. An initial coding frame can help capture these issues and can be applied systematically to the whole dataset with the aid of a qualitative data analysis software package.
The Framework approach is a practical approach, comprising of five stages (familiarisation; identifying a thematic framework; indexing; charting; mapping and interpretation) , to managing and analysing large datasets particularly if time is limited, as was the case in our study of recruitment of South Asians into asthma research (Table 1 )[ 3 , 24 ]. Theoretical frameworks may also play an important role in integrating different sources of data and examining emerging themes. For example, we drew on a socio-technical framework to help explain the connections between different elements - technology; people; and the organisational settings within which they worked - in our study of the introduction of electronic health record systems (Table 3 )[ 5 ]. Our study of patient safety in undergraduate curricula drew on an evaluation-based approach to design and analysis, which emphasised the importance of the academic, organisational and practice contexts through which students learn (Table 4 )[ 6 ].
Case study findings can have implications both for theory development and theory testing. They may establish, strengthen or weaken historical explanations of a case and, in certain circumstances, allow theoretical (as opposed to statistical) generalisation beyond the particular cases studied[ 12 ]. These theoretical lenses should not, however, constitute a strait-jacket and the cases should not be "forced to fit" the particular theoretical framework that is being employed.
When reporting findings, it is important to provide the reader with enough contextual information to understand the processes that were followed and how the conclusions were reached. In a collective case study, researchers may choose to present the findings from individual cases separately before amalgamating across cases. Care must be taken to ensure the anonymity of both case sites and individual participants (if agreed in advance) by allocating appropriate codes or withholding descriptors. In the example given in Table 3 , we decided against providing detailed information on the NHS sites and individual participants in order to avoid the risk of inadvertent disclosure of identities[ 5 , 25 ].
What are the potential pitfalls and how can these be avoided?
The case study approach is, as with all research, not without its limitations. When investigating the formal and informal ways undergraduate students learn about patient safety (Table 4 ), for example, we rapidly accumulated a large quantity of data. The volume of data, together with the time restrictions in place, impacted on the depth of analysis that was possible within the available resources. This highlights a more general point of the importance of avoiding the temptation to collect as much data as possible; adequate time also needs to be set aside for data analysis and interpretation of what are often highly complex datasets.
Case study research has sometimes been criticised for lacking scientific rigour and providing little basis for generalisation (i.e. producing findings that may be transferable to other settings)[ 1 ]. There are several ways to address these concerns, including: the use of theoretical sampling (i.e. drawing on a particular conceptual framework); respondent validation (i.e. participants checking emerging findings and the researcher's interpretation, and providing an opinion as to whether they feel these are accurate); and transparency throughout the research process (see Table 8 )[ 8 , 18 – 21 , 23 , 26 ]. Transparency can be achieved by describing in detail the steps involved in case selection, data collection, the reasons for the particular methods chosen, and the researcher's background and level of involvement (i.e. being explicit about how the researcher has influenced data collection and interpretation). Seeking potential, alternative explanations, and being explicit about how interpretations and conclusions were reached, help readers to judge the trustworthiness of the case study report. Stake provides a critique checklist for a case study report (Table 9 )[ 8 ].
The case study approach allows, amongst other things, critical events, interventions, policy developments and programme-based service reforms to be studied in detail in a real-life context. It should therefore be considered when an experimental design is either inappropriate to answer the research questions posed or impossible to undertake. Considering the frequency with which implementations of innovations are now taking place in healthcare settings and how well the case study approach lends itself to in-depth, complex health service research, we believe this approach should be more widely considered by researchers. Though inherently challenging, the research case study can, if carefully conceptualised and thoughtfully undertaken and reported, yield powerful insights into many important aspects of health and healthcare delivery.
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The pre-publication history for this paper can be accessed here: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2288/11/100/prepub
We are grateful to the participants and colleagues who contributed to the individual case studies that we have drawn on. This work received no direct funding, but it has been informed by projects funded by Asthma UK, the NHS Service Delivery Organisation, NHS Connecting for Health Evaluation Programme, and Patient Safety Research Portfolio. We would also like to thank the expert reviewers for their insightful and constructive feedback. Our thanks are also due to Dr. Allison Worth who commented on an earlier draft of this manuscript.
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Division of Primary Care, The University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
Sarah Crowe & Anthony Avery
Centre for Population Health Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
Kathrin Cresswell, Ann Robertson & Aziz Sheikh
School of Health in Social Science, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
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Correspondence to Sarah Crowe .
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
AS conceived this article. SC, KC and AR wrote this paper with GH, AA and AS all commenting on various drafts. SC and AS are guarantors.
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Crowe, S., Cresswell, K., Robertson, A. et al. The case study approach. BMC Med Res Methodol 11 , 100 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2288-11-100
Received : 29 November 2010
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Published : 27 June 2011
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2288-11-100
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Step 1: Select a case Step 2: Build a theoretical framework Step 3: Collect your data Step 4: Describe and analyze the case When to do a case study A case study is an appropriate research design when you want to gain concrete, contextual, in-depth knowledge about a specific real-world subject.
A case study can be used as a tool for an exploratory investigation that highlights the need for further research about the problem. A case can be used when there are few studies that help predict an outcome or that establish a clear understanding about how best to proceed in addressing a problem.
Developing a checklist for reporting research using simulated patient methodology (CRiSP): a consensus study 49 Conceptual Ambiguity Surrounding Gamification and Serious Games in Health Care: Literature Review and Development of Game -BasedIntervention Reporting Guidelines (GAMING) 50
Case study research, most often associated with qualitative inquiry has gained significance as an effective approach to investigate complex issues in real-world settings. Conducting case...
Reporting qualitative research results. In qualitative research, your results might not all be directly related to specific hypotheses.In this case, you can structure your results section around key themes or topics that emerged from your analysis of the data.. For each theme, start with general observations about what the data showed.
Ultimately, Case Study Research and Applications will guide students in the successful use and application of the case study research method. Available Formats. ISBN: 9781506336169. Paperback. Suggested Retail Price: $65.00. Bookstore Price: $52.00. ISBN: 9781506336176. Electronic Version. Suggested Retail Price: $60.90.
Case study is a suitable research methodology for software engineering research since it studies contemporary phenomena in its natural context. However, the understanding of what constitutes a case study varies, and hence the quality of the resulting studies.
A clinical case report or case study is a type of academic publication where medical practitioners share patient cases that are unusual or haven't been described before. ... Register for comprehensive research tips and expert advice on English writing, journal publishing, good publication practices, trends in publishing, and a lot more. More.
Case study is a suitable research methodology for software engineering research since it studies contemporary phenomena in its natural context. However, the understanding of what constitutes a case study varies, and hence the quality of the resulting studies.
CARE-writer is an online application that helps authors follow the CARE guidelines as they organize, format and write systematic and transparent case reports and case report preprints. Case reports written with CARE-writer can be posted on preprint servers such as SSRN's Health Science Case Reports Research Network or submitted to scientific ...
A case study is an in-depth study of one person, group, or event. In a case study, nearly every aspect of the subject's life and history is analyzed to seek patterns and causes of behavior. Case studies can be used in various fields, including psychology, medicine, education, anthropology, political science, and social work.
There are different types of case study, including intrinsic, instrumental, naturalistic, and pragmatic. This research guide will assist you in finding individual case studies, as well as providing information on designing case studies. If you need assistance locating information, please Ask a Librarian. Next: Case Study Research >>
A case report is a descriptive study that documents an unusual clinical phenomenon in a single patient. It describes in details the patient's history, signs, symptoms, test results, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. It also contains a short literature review, discusses the importance of the case and how it improves the existing knowledge on the subject.
Since case study research is a flexible research method, qualitative data analysis methods (Seaman 1999 ) are commonly used. The basic objective of the analysis is to derive
The use of inter-rater reliability (IRR) methods may provide an opportunity to improve the transparency and consistency of qualitative case study data analysis in terms of the rigor of how codes and constructs have been developed from the raw data. Few articles on qualitative research methods in the literature conduct IRR assessments or neglect ...
Case studies are often used by researchers in the field of psychology, medicine, business, social work, anthropology, education, or political science. Because they are singular in their focus and often rely on qualitative data, case studies tend to be highly subjective.
Research Reporting Guidelines and Initiatives: By Organization This chart lists the major biomedical research reporting guidelines that provide advice for reporting research methods and findings.
Case Report Definition An article that describes and interprets an individual case, often written in the form of a detailed story. Case reports often describe: Unique cases that cannot be explained by known diseases or syndromes Cases that show an important variation of a disease or condition
In social studies, the case study is a research method in which a phenomenon is investigated in its real-life context. It's an empirical inquiry and research strategy that is based on an in-depth investigation of a group, event, or individual to explore the underlying principles causes.
The case study method can be divided into three stages: formulation of objectives; collection of data; and analysis and interpretation. The researcher first makes a judgment about what should be studied based on their knowledge. Next, they gather data through observations and interviews. Here are some of the common case study research methods: 1.
The seventh edition of the Publication Manual also includes content on qualitative studies, including standards for journal article reporting, considerations for sharing qualitative data, and a description of case studies as a type of qualitative article. JARS-Qual includes guidelines for manuscripts that report. Primary qualitative research
Case studies involve in-depth research into a given subject, in order to understand its functionality and successes. In the context of a business, however, case studies take customer success stories and explore how they use your product to help them achieve their business goals. CREATE THIS TEMPLATE
Basics of case report form designing in clinical research Perspect Clin Res. 2014 Oct;5 (4):159-66. doi: 10.4103/2229-3485.140555. Authors Shantala Bellary 1 , Binny Krishnankutty 2 , M S Latha 1 Affiliations 1 Global Medical Affairs, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd., Hyderabad, India. 2 Clinical Research, USV Limited, Mumbai, India. PMID: 25276625
A case study is a research approach that is used to generate an in-depth, multi-faceted understanding of a complex issue in its real-life context. It is an established research design that is used extensively in a wide variety of disciplines, particularly in the social sciences. A case study can be defined in a variety of ways (Table 5 ), the ...