Case Study Observational Research: A Framework for Conducting Case Study Research Where Observation Data Are the Focus

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Abstract

Case study research is a comprehensive method that incorporates multiple sources of data to provide detailed accounts of complex research phenomena in real-life contexts. However, current models of case study research do not particularly distinguish the unique contribution observation data can make. Observation methods have the potential to reach beyond other methods that rely largely or solely on self-report. This article describes the distinctive characteristics of case study observational research, a modified form of Yin’s 2014 model of case study research the authors used in a study exploring interprofessional collaboration in primary care. In this approach, observation data are positioned as the central component of the research design. Case study observational research offers a promising approach for researchers in a wide range of health care settings seeking more complete understandings of complex topics, where contextual influences are of primary concern. Future research is needed to refine and evaluate the approach.

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