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Keywords:

  • case study;
  • methodological research;
  • case-orientation;
  • variable-orientation

Abstract

The wide variation in definitions of the research case study can make it difficult for health sciences researchers to see all of the possibilities for this form of inquiry. Case studies are defined here as singular combinations of diverse arrays of methodological approaches directed toward maintaining “empirical intimacy” with the one or more temporally and spatially defined objects researchers construct and target for study. The cases selected for study are made as opposed to found through an iterative and theory-laden process called “casing.” Case- as opposed to variable-oriented analysis helps researchers maintain “empirical intimacy” with the cases in their case studies. Case studies may be useful in enhancing programs of research in instrument and intervention development. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health