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