Case study research: building the occupational therapy evidence base one case at a time

Leona McQuaid*, Katie Thomson, Katrina Bannigan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
There is growing recognition in healthcare that evidence from randomised controlled trials may not be
appropriate to answer the full spectrum of practice-based questions and a more pluralistic approach is
needed.
Aim
To consider the use of case study research in contributing to the occupational therapy evidence base.
Material and methods
A critical discussion of the current state of evidence-based practice in occupational therapy and exploration
of a viable approach to case study research is used.
Results
Case study research can capture the context and complexity of occupational therapy practice. Cases can
then be pooled to make a substantial contribution to the evidence base.
Conclusions
Occupational therapists should consider the use of case study research to produce practice related,
meaningful research. Journal editorial boards need to be mindful of the value of high-quality case study
research when considering publication priorities in occupational therapy literature.
Significance
Highlights a changing landscape in the literature about how best to conduct research in health and social
care, particularly for complex interventions and describes a pragmatic approach to case study research for
occupational therapy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Early online date16 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Case study research; research methods; occupational therapy; evidence-based practice

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