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Case Studies

Qualitative case study research has a long history in social science and health care, with a growth in popularity in the 1970s and again, more recently, along with increasing interest in life story, narrative, and the lived experience. It has been applied to the field of human communication disorders although qualitative studies are less common than empirical single-case-study designs focused on intervention or, for example, detailed cognitive neuropsychological consideration of single cases. This entry defines case and case study research. It goes on to discuss why researchers use case studies, the methods involved, and qualitative case studies for communication disorders.

Qualitative case study research has often been misunderstood or viewed as “soft,” lacking rigor, or being prone to bias. This perception is partly because the ...

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