Single-Case Experimental Design: Current Standards and Applications in Occupational Therapy

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Abstract

Occupational therapy is a field with a long-standing history of recommending and implementing interventions designed to improve the quality of life of clients with disabilities. Often, the interventions are individualized to meet the needs of this diverse group of clients in dynamic settings. Identifying effective and efficient interventions for such a diverse group of clients and settings requires a flexible research approach. Single-case experimental designs (SCEDs) allow practitioners and researchers to answer experimental questions within the context of rigorous research designs. The purpose of this article is to highlight the similarities between the mission of occupational therapy and SCEDs. Recommendations for designing single-case studies with the framework provided by the Single-Case Reporting Guideline in Behavioral Interventions are provided. In addition, common problems and proposed solutions, along with implications for practitioners and researchers, are provided.

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