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- What Is a Case Study? | Definition, Examples & Methods
What Is a Case Study? | Definition, Examples & Methods
Published on May 8, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on June 22, 2023.
A case study is a detailed study of a specific subject, such as a person, group, place, event, organization, or phenomenon. Case studies are commonly used in social, educational, clinical, and business research.
A case study research design usually involves qualitative methods , but quantitative methods are sometimes also used. Case studies are good for describing , comparing, evaluating and understanding different aspects of a research problem .
Table of contents
When to do a case study, step 1: select a case, step 2: build a theoretical framework, step 3: collect your data, step 4: describe and analyze the case, other interesting articles.
A case study is an appropriate research design when you want to gain concrete, contextual, in-depth knowledge about a specific real-world subject. It allows you to explore the key characteristics, meanings, and implications of the case.
Case studies are often a good choice in a thesis or dissertation . They keep your project focused and manageable when you don’t have the time or resources to do large-scale research.
You might use just one complex case study where you explore a single subject in depth, or conduct multiple case studies to compare and illuminate different aspects of your research problem.
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Once you have developed your problem statement and research questions , you should be ready to choose the specific case that you want to focus on. A good case study should have the potential to:
- Provide new or unexpected insights into the subject
- Challenge or complicate existing assumptions and theories
- Propose practical courses of action to resolve a problem
- Open up new directions for future research
TipIf your research is more practical in nature and aims to simultaneously investigate an issue as you solve it, consider conducting action research instead.
Unlike quantitative or experimental research , a strong case study does not require a random or representative sample. In fact, case studies often deliberately focus on unusual, neglected, or outlying cases which may shed new light on the research problem.
Example of an outlying case studyIn the 1960s the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania was discovered to have extremely low rates of heart disease compared to the US average. It became an important case study for understanding previously neglected causes of heart disease.
However, you can also choose a more common or representative case to exemplify a particular category, experience or phenomenon.
Example of a representative case studyIn the 1920s, two sociologists used Muncie, Indiana as a case study of a typical American city that supposedly exemplified the changing culture of the US at the time.
While case studies focus more on concrete details than general theories, they should usually have some connection with theory in the field. This way the case study is not just an isolated description, but is integrated into existing knowledge about the topic. It might aim to:
- Exemplify a theory by showing how it explains the case under investigation
- Expand on a theory by uncovering new concepts and ideas that need to be incorporated
- Challenge a theory by exploring an outlier case that doesn’t fit with established assumptions
To ensure that your analysis of the case has a solid academic grounding, you should conduct a literature review of sources related to the topic and develop a theoretical framework . This means identifying key concepts and theories to guide your analysis and interpretation.
There are many different research methods you can use to collect data on your subject. Case studies tend to focus on qualitative data using methods such as interviews , observations , and analysis of primary and secondary sources (e.g., newspaper articles, photographs, official records). Sometimes a case study will also collect quantitative data.
Example of a mixed methods case studyFor a case study of a wind farm development in a rural area, you could collect quantitative data on employment rates and business revenue, collect qualitative data on local people’s perceptions and experiences, and analyze local and national media coverage of the development.
The aim is to gain as thorough an understanding as possible of the case and its context.
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In writing up the case study, you need to bring together all the relevant aspects to give as complete a picture as possible of the subject.
How you report your findings depends on the type of research you are doing. Some case studies are structured like a standard scientific paper or thesis , with separate sections or chapters for the methods , results and discussion .
Others are written in a more narrative style, aiming to explore the case from various angles and analyze its meanings and implications (for example, by using textual analysis or discourse analysis ).
In all cases, though, make sure to give contextual details about the case, connect it back to the literature and theory, and discuss how it fits into wider patterns or debates.
If you want to know more about statistics , methodology , or research bias , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.
- Normal distribution
- Degrees of freedom
- Null hypothesis
- Discourse analysis
- Control groups
- Mixed methods research
- Non-probability sampling
- Quantitative research
- Ecological validity
- Rosenthal effect
- Implicit bias
- Cognitive bias
- Selection bias
- Negativity bias
- Status quo bias
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All You Wanted to Know About How to Write a Case Study
What do you study in your college? If you are a psychology, sociology, or anthropology student, we bet you might be familiar with what a case study is. This research method is used to study a certain person, group, or situation. In this guide from our dissertation writing service , you will learn how to write a case study professionally, from researching to citing sources properly. Also, we will explore different types of case studies and show you examples — so that you won’t have any other questions left.
What Is a Case Study?
A case study is a subcategory of research design which investigates problems and offers solutions. Case studies can range from academic research studies to corporate promotional tools trying to sell an idea—their scope is quite vast.
What Is the Difference Between a Research Paper and a Case Study?
While research papers turn the reader’s attention to a certain problem, case studies go even further. Case study guidelines require students to pay attention to details, examining issues closely and in-depth using different research methods. For example, case studies may be used to examine court cases if you study Law, or a patient's health history if you study Medicine. Case studies are also used in Marketing, which are thorough, empirically supported analysis of a good or service's performance. Well-designed case studies can be valuable for prospective customers as they can identify and solve the potential customers pain point.
Case studies involve a lot of storytelling – they usually examine particular cases for a person or a group of people. This method of research is very helpful, as it is very practical and can give a lot of hands-on information. Most commonly, the length of the case study is about 500-900 words, which is much less than the length of an average research paper.
The structure of a case study is very similar to storytelling. It has a protagonist or main character, which in your case is actually a problem you are trying to solve. You can use the system of 3 Acts to make it a compelling story. It should have an introduction, rising action, a climax where transformation occurs, falling action, and a solution.
Here is a rough formula for you to use in your case study:
Problem (Act I): > Solution (Act II) > Result (Act III) > Conclusion.
Types of Case Studies
The purpose of a case study is to provide detailed reports on an event, an institution, a place, future customers, or pretty much anything. There are a few common types of case study, but the type depends on the topic. The following are the most common domains where case studies are needed:
- Historical case studies are great to learn from. Historical events have a multitude of source info offering different perspectives. There are always modern parallels where these perspectives can be applied, compared, and thoroughly analyzed.
- Problem-oriented case studies are usually used for solving problems. These are often assigned as theoretical situations where you need to immerse yourself in the situation to examine it. Imagine you’re working for a startup and you’ve just noticed a significant flaw in your product’s design. Before taking it to the senior manager, you want to do a comprehensive study on the issue and provide solutions. On a greater scale, problem-oriented case studies are a vital part of relevant socio-economic discussions.
- Cumulative case studies collect information and offer comparisons. In business, case studies are often used to tell people about the value of a product.
- Critical case studies explore the causes and effects of a certain case.
- Illustrative case studies describe certain events, investigating outcomes and lessons learned.
Case Study Format
The case study format is typically made up of eight parts:
- Executive Summary. Explain what you will examine in the case study. Write an overview of the field you’re researching. Make a thesis statement and sum up the results of your observation in a maximum of 2 sentences.
- Background. Provide background information and the most relevant facts. Isolate the issues.
- Case Evaluation. Isolate the sections of the study you want to focus on. In it, explain why something is working or is not working.
- Proposed Solutions. Offer realistic ways to solve what isn’t working or how to improve its current condition. Explain why these solutions work by offering testable evidence.
- Conclusion. Summarize the main points from the case evaluations and proposed solutions. 6. Recommendations. Talk about the strategy that you should choose. Explain why this choice is the most appropriate.
- Implementation. Explain how to put the specific strategies into action.
- References. Provide all the citations.
How to Write a Case Study
Let's discover how to write a case study.
Setting Up the Research
When writing a case study, remember that research should always come first. Reading many different sources and analyzing other points of view will help you come up with more creative solutions. You can also conduct an actual interview to thoroughly investigate the customer story that you'll need for your case study. Including all of the necessary research, writing a case study may take some time. The research process involves doing the following:
- Define your objective. Explain the reason why you’re presenting your subject. Figure out where you will feature your case study; whether it is written, on video, shown as an infographic, streamed as a podcast, etc.
- Determine who will be the right candidate for your case study. Get permission, quotes, and other features that will make your case study effective. Get in touch with your candidate to see if they approve of being part of your work. Study that candidate’s situation and note down what caused it.
- Identify which various consequences could result from the situation. Follow these guidelines on how to start a case study: surf the net to find some general information you might find useful.
- Make a list of credible sources and examine them. Seek out important facts and highlight problems. Always write down your ideas and make sure to brainstorm.
- Focus on several key issues – why they exist, and how they impact your research subject. Think of several unique solutions. Draw from class discussions, readings, and personal experience. When writing a case study, focus on the best solution and explore it in depth. After having all your research in place, writing a case study will be easy. You may first want to check the rubric and criteria of your assignment for the correct case study structure.
Read Also: 'CREDIBLE SOURCES: WHAT ARE THEY?'
Although your instructor might be looking at slightly different criteria, every case study rubric essentially has the same standards. Your professor will want you to exhibit 8 different outcomes:
- Correctly identify the concepts, theories, and practices in the discipline.
- Identify the relevant theories and principles associated with the particular study.
- Evaluate legal and ethical principles and apply them to your decision-making.
- Recognize the global importance and contribution of your case.
- Construct a coherent summary and explanation of the study.
- Demonstrate analytical and critical-thinking skills.
- Explain the interrelationships between the environment and nature.
- Integrate theory and practice of the discipline within the analysis.
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Case Study Outline
Let's look at the structure of an outline based on the issue of the alcoholic addiction of 30 people.
- Statement of the issue: Alcoholism is a disease rather than a weakness of character.
- Presentation of the problem: Alcoholism is affecting more than 14 million people in the USA, which makes it the third most common mental illness there.
- Explanation of the terms: In the past, alcoholism was commonly referred to as alcohol dependence or alcohol addiction. Alcoholism is now the more severe stage of this addiction in the disorder spectrum.
- Hypotheses: Drinking in excess can lead to the use of other drugs.
- Importance of your story: How the information you present can help people with their addictions.
- Background of the story: Include an explanation of why you chose this topic.
- Presentation of analysis and data: Describe the criteria for choosing 30 candidates, the structure of the interview, and the outcomes.
- Strong argument 1: ex. X% of candidates dealing with anxiety and depression...
- Strong argument 2: ex. X amount of people started drinking by their mid-teens.
- Strong argument 3: ex. X% of respondents’ parents had issues with alcohol.
- Concluding statement: I have researched if alcoholism is a disease and found out that…
- Recommendations: Ways and actions for preventing alcohol use.
Writing a Case Study Draft
After you’ve done your case study research and written the outline, it’s time to focus on the draft. In a draft, you have to develop and write your case study by using: the data which you collected throughout the research, interviews, and the analysis processes that were undertaken. Follow these rules for the draft:
- Your draft should contain at least 4 sections: an introduction; a body where you should include background information, an explanation of why you decided to do this case study, and a presentation of your main findings; a conclusion where you present data; and references.
- In the introduction, you should set the pace very clearly. You can even raise a question or quote someone you interviewed in the research phase. It must provide adequate background information on the topic. The background may include analyses of previous studies on your topic. Include the aim of your case here as well. Think of it as a thesis statement. The aim must describe the purpose of your work—presenting the issues that you want to tackle. Include background information, such as photos or videos you used when doing the research.
- Describe your unique research process, whether it was through interviews, observations, academic journals, etc. The next point includes providing the results of your research. Tell the audience what you found out. Why is this important, and what could be learned from it? Discuss the real implications of the problem and its significance in the world.
- Include quotes and data (such as findings, percentages, and awards). This will add a personal touch and better credibility to the case you present. Explain what results you find during your interviews in regards to the problem and how it developed. Also, write about solutions which have already been proposed by other people who have already written about this case.
- At the end of your case study, you should offer possible solutions, but don’t worry about solving them yourself.
Use Data to Illustrate Key Points in Your Case Study
Even though your case study is a story, it should be based on evidence. Use as much data as possible to illustrate your point. Without the right data, your case study may appear weak and the readers may not be able to relate to your issue as much as they should. Let's see the examples from essay writing service :
With data: Alcoholism is affecting more than 14 million people in the USA, which makes it the third most common mental illness there. Without data: A lot of people suffer from alcoholism in the United States.
Try to include as many credible sources as possible. You may have terms or sources that could be hard for other cultures to understand. If this is the case, you should include them in the appendix or Notes for the Instructor or Professor.
Finalizing the Draft: Checklist
After you finish drafting your case study, polish it up by answering these ‘ask yourself’ questions and think about how to end your case study:
- Check that you follow the correct case study format, also in regards to text formatting.
- Check that your work is consistent with its referencing and citation style.
- Micro-editing — check for grammar and spelling issues.
- Macro-editing — does ‘the big picture’ come across to the reader? Is there enough raw data, such as real-life examples or personal experiences? Have you made your data collection process completely transparent? Does your analysis provide a clear conclusion, allowing for further research and practice?
Problems to avoid:
- Overgeneralization – Do not go into further research that deviates from the main problem.
- Failure to Document Limitations – Just as you have to clearly state the limitations of a general research study, you must describe the specific limitations inherent in the subject of analysis.
- Failure to Extrapolate All Possible Implications – Just as you don't want to over-generalize from your case study findings, you also have to be thorough in the consideration of all possible outcomes or recommendations derived from your findings.
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How to Create a Title Page and Cite a Case Study
Let's see how to create an awesome title page.
Your title page depends on the prescribed citation format. The title page should include:
- A title that attracts some attention and describes your study
- The title should have the words “case study” in it
- The title should range between 5-9 words in length
- Your name and contact information
- Your finished paper should be only 500 to 1,500 words in length. With this type of assignment, write effectively and avoid fluff.
Here is a template for the APA and MLA format title page:
There are some cases when you need to cite someone else's study in your own one – therefore, you need to master how to cite a case study. A case study is like a research paper when it comes to citations. You can cite it like you cite a book, depending on what style you need.
Citation Example in MLA Hill, Linda, Tarun Khanna, and Emily A. Stecker. HCL Technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Publishing, 2008. Print.
Citation Example in APA Hill, L., Khanna, T., & Stecker, E. A. (2008). HCL Technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Publishing.
Citation Example in Chicago Hill, Linda, Tarun Khanna, and Emily A. Stecker. HCL Technologies.
Case Study Examples
To give you an idea of a professional case study example, we gathered and linked some below.
Eastman Kodak Case Study
Case Study Example: Audi Trains Mexican Autoworkers in Germany
To conclude, a case study is one of the best methods of getting an overview of what happened to a person, a group, or a situation in practice. It allows you to have an in-depth glance at the real-life problems that businesses, healthcare industry, criminal justice, etc. may face. This insight helps us look at such situations in a different light. This is because we see scenarios that we otherwise would not, without necessarily being there. If you need custom essays , try our research paper writing services .
Get Help Form Qualified Writers
Crafting a case study is not easy. You might want to write one of high quality, but you don’t have the time or expertise. If you’re having trouble with your case study, help with essay request - we'll help. EssayPro writers have read and written countless case studies and are experts in endless disciplines. Request essay writing, editing, or proofreading assistance from our custom case study writing service , and all of your worries will be gone.
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What Is a Case Study?
An in-depth study of one person, group, or event
Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
Cara Lustik is a fact-checker and copywriter.
Verywell / Colleen Tighe
Benefits and Limitations
Types of case studies, how to write a case study.
A case study is an in-depth study of one person, group, or event. In a case study, nearly every aspect of the subject's life and history is analyzed to seek patterns and causes of behavior. Case studies can be used in various fields, including psychology, medicine, education, anthropology, political science, and social work.
The purpose of a case study is to learn as much as possible about an individual or group so that the information can be generalized to many others. Unfortunately, case studies tend to be highly subjective, and it is sometimes difficult to generalize results to a larger population.
While case studies focus on a single individual or group, they follow a format similar to other types of psychology writing. If you are writing a case study, it is important to follow the rules of APA format .
A case study can have both strengths and weaknesses. Researchers must consider these pros and cons before deciding if this type of study is appropriate for their needs.
One of the greatest advantages of a case study is that it allows researchers to investigate things that are often difficult to impossible to replicate in a lab. Some other benefits of a case study:
- Allows researchers to collect a great deal of information
- Give researchers the chance to collect information on rare or unusual cases
- Permits researchers to develop hypotheses that can be explored in experimental research
On the negative side, a case study:
- Cannot necessarily be generalized to the larger population
- Cannot demonstrate cause and effect
- May not be scientifically rigorous
- Can lead to bias
Researchers may choose to perform a case study if they are interested in exploring a unique or recently discovered phenomenon. The insights gained from such research can help the researchers develop additional ideas and study questions that might be explored in future studies.
However, it is important to remember that the insights gained from case studies cannot be used to determine cause and effect relationships between variables. However, case studies may be used to develop hypotheses that can then be addressed in experimental research.
Case Study Examples
There have been a number of notable case studies in the history of psychology. Much of Freud's work and theories were developed through the use of individual case studies. Some great examples of case studies in psychology include:
- Anna O : Anna O. was a pseudonym of a woman named Bertha Pappenheim, a patient of a physician named Josef Breuer. While she was never a patient of Freud's, Freud and Breuer discussed her case extensively. The woman was experiencing symptoms of a condition that was then known as hysteria and found that talking about her problems helped relieve her symptoms. Her case played an important part in the development of talk therapy as an approach to mental health treatment.
- Phineas Gage : Phineas Gage was a railroad employee who experienced a terrible accident in which an explosion sent a metal rod through his skull, damaging important portions of his brain. Gage recovered from his accident but was left with serious changes in both personality and behavior.
- Genie : Genie was a young girl subjected to horrific abuse and isolation. The case study of Genie allowed researchers to study whether language could be taught even after critical periods for language development had been missed. Her case also served as an example of how scientific research may interfere with treatment and lead to further abuse of vulnerable individuals.
Such cases demonstrate how case research can be used to study things that researchers could not replicate in experimental settings. In Genie's case, her horrific abuse had denied her the opportunity to learn language at critical points in her development.
This is clearly not something that researchers could ethically replicate, but conducting a case study on Genie allowed researchers the chance to study phenomena that are otherwise impossible to reproduce.
There are a few different types of case studies that psychologists and other researchers might utilize:
- Collective case studies : These involve studying a group of individuals. Researchers might study a group of people in a certain setting or look at an entire community. For example, psychologists might explore how access to resources in a community has affected the collective mental well-being of those living there.
- Descriptive case studies : These involve starting with a descriptive theory. The subjects are then observed, and the information gathered is compared to the pre-existing theory.
- Explanatory case studies : These are often used to do causal investigations. In other words, researchers are interested in looking at factors that may have caused certain things to occur.
- Exploratory case studies : These are sometimes used as a prelude to further, more in-depth research. This allows researchers to gather more information before developing their research questions and hypotheses .
- Instrumental case studies : These occur when the individual or group allows researchers to understand more than what is initially obvious to observers.
- Intrinsic case studies : This type of case study is when the researcher has a personal interest in the case. Jean Piaget's observations of his own children are good examples of how an intrinsic cast study can contribute to the development of a psychological theory.
The three main case study types often used are intrinsic, instrumental, and collective. Intrinsic case studies are useful for learning about unique cases. Instrumental case studies help look at an individual to learn more about a broader issue. A collective case study can be useful for looking at several cases simultaneously.
The type of case study that psychology researchers utilize depends on the unique characteristics of the situation as well as the case itself.
There are also different methods that can be used to conduct a case study, including prospective and retrospective case study methods.
Prospective case study methods are those in which an individual or group of people is observed in order to determine outcomes. For example, a group of individuals might be watched over an extended period of time to observe the progression of a particular disease.
Retrospective case study methods involve looking at historical information. For example, researchers might start with an outcome, such as a disease, and then work their way backward to look at information about the individual's life to determine risk factors that may have contributed to the onset of the illness.
Where to Find Data
There are a number of different sources and methods that researchers can use to gather information about an individual or group. Six major sources that have been identified by researchers are:
- Archival records : Census records, survey records, and name lists are examples of archival records.
- Direct observation : This strategy involves observing the subject, often in a natural setting . While an individual observer is sometimes used, it is more common to utilize a group of observers.
- Documents : Letters, newspaper articles, administrative records, etc., are the types of documents often used as sources.
- Interviews : Interviews are one of the most important methods for gathering information in case studies. An interview can involve structured survey questions or more open-ended questions.
- Participant observation : When the researcher serves as a participant in events and observes the actions and outcomes, it is called participant observation.
- Physical artifacts : Tools, objects, instruments, and other artifacts are often observed during a direct observation of the subject.
Section 1: A Case History
This section will have the following structure and content:
Background information : The first section of your paper will present your client's background. Include factors such as age, gender, work, health status, family mental health history, family and social relationships, drug and alcohol history, life difficulties, goals, and coping skills and weaknesses.
Description of the presenting problem : In the next section of your case study, you will describe the problem or symptoms that the client presented with.
Describe any physical, emotional, or sensory symptoms reported by the client. Thoughts, feelings, and perceptions related to the symptoms should also be noted. Any screening or diagnostic assessments that are used should also be described in detail and all scores reported.
Your diagnosis : Provide your diagnosis and give the appropriate Diagnostic and Statistical Manual code. Explain how you reached your diagnosis, how the client's symptoms fit the diagnostic criteria for the disorder(s), or any possible difficulties in reaching a diagnosis.
Section 2: Treatment Plan
This portion of the paper will address the chosen treatment for the condition. This might also include the theoretical basis for the chosen treatment or any other evidence that might exist to support why this approach was chosen.
- Cognitive behavioral approach : Explain how a cognitive behavioral therapist would approach treatment. Offer background information on cognitive behavioral therapy and describe the treatment sessions, client response, and outcome of this type of treatment. Make note of any difficulties or successes encountered by your client during treatment.
- Humanistic approach : Describe a humanistic approach that could be used to treat your client, such as client-centered therapy . Provide information on the type of treatment you chose, the client's reaction to the treatment, and the end result of this approach. Explain why the treatment was successful or unsuccessful.
- Psychoanalytic approach : Describe how a psychoanalytic therapist would view the client's problem. Provide some background on the psychoanalytic approach and cite relevant references. Explain how psychoanalytic therapy would be used to treat the client, how the client would respond to therapy, and the effectiveness of this treatment approach.
- Pharmacological approach : If treatment primarily involves the use of medications, explain which medications were used and why. Provide background on the effectiveness of these medications and how monotherapy may compare with an approach that combines medications with therapy or other treatments.
This section of a case study should also include information about the treatment goals, process, and outcomes.
When you are writing a case study, you should also include a section where you discuss the case study itself, including the strengths and limitiations of the study. You should note how the findings of your case study might support previous research.
In your discussion section, you should also describe some of the implications of your case study. What ideas or findings might require further exploration? How might researchers go about exploring some of these questions in additional studies?
Here are a few additional pointers to keep in mind when formatting your case study:
- Never refer to the subject of your case study as "the client." Instead, their name or a pseudonym.
- Read examples of case studies to gain an idea about the style and format.
- Remember to use APA format when citing references .
A Word From Verywell
Case studies can be a useful research tool, but they need to be used wisely. In many cases, they are best utilized in situations where conducting an experiment would be difficult or impossible. They are helpful for looking at unique situations and allow researchers to gather a great deal of information about a specific individual or group of people.
If you have been directed to write a case study for a psychology course, be sure to check with your instructor for any specific guidelines that you are required to follow. If you are writing your case study for professional publication, be sure to check with the publisher for their specific guidelines for submitting a case study.
Simply Psychology. Case Study Method .
Crowe S, Cresswell K, Robertson A, Huby G, Avery A, Sheikh A. The case study approach . BMC Med Res Methodol . 2011 Jun 27;11:100. doi:10.1186/1471-2288-11-100
Gagnon, Yves-Chantal. The Case Study as Research Method: A Practical Handbook . Canada, Chicago Review Press Incorporated DBA Independent Pub Group, 2010.
Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research and Applications: Design and Methods . United States, SAGE Publications, 2017.
By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
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What the Case Study Method Really Teaches
- Nitin Nohria
Seven meta-skills that stick even if the cases fade from memory.
It’s been 100 years since Harvard Business School began using the case study method. Beyond teaching specific subject matter, the case study method excels in instilling meta-skills in students. This article explains the importance of seven such skills: preparation, discernment, bias recognition, judgement, collaboration, curiosity, and self-confidence.
During my decade as dean of Harvard Business School, I spent hundreds of hours talking with our alumni. To enliven these conversations, I relied on a favorite question: “What was the most important thing you learned from your time in our MBA program?”
- Nitin Nohria is a professor and former dean at Harvard Business School and the chairman of Thrive Capital, a venture capital firm based in New York.
How to write a case study — examples, templates, and tools
It’s a marketer’s job to communicate the effectiveness of a product or service to potential and current customers to convince them to buy and keep business moving. One of the best methods for doing this is to share success stories that are relatable to prospects and customers based on their pain points, experiences, and overall needs.
That’s where case studies come in. Case studies are an essential part of a content marketing plan. These in-depth stories of customer experiences are some of the most effective at demonstrating the value of a product or service. Yet many marketers don’t use them, whether because of their regimented formats or the process of customer involvement and approval.
A case study is a powerful tool for showcasing your hard work and the success your customer achieved. But writing a great case study can be difficult if you’ve never done it before or if it’s been a while. This guide will show you how to write an effective case study and provide real-world examples and templates that will keep readers engaged and support your business.
In this article, you’ll learn:
What is a case study?
How to write a case study, case study templates, case study examples, case study tools.
A case study is the detailed story of a customer’s experience with a product or service that demonstrates their success and often includes measurable outcomes. Case studies are used in a range of fields and for various reasons, from business to academic research. They’re especially impactful in marketing as brands work to convince and convert consumers with relatable, real-world stories of actual customer experiences.
The best case studies tell the story of a customer’s success, including the steps they took, the results they achieved, and the support they received from a brand along the way. To write a great case study, you need to:
- Celebrate the customer and make them — not a product or service — the star of the story.
- Craft the story with specific audiences or target segments in mind so that the story of one customer will be viewed as relatable and actionable for another customer.
- Write copy that is easy to read and engaging so that readers will gain the insights and messages intended.
- Follow a standardized format that includes all of the essentials a potential customer would find interesting and useful.
- Support all of the claims for success made in the story with data in the forms of hard numbers and customer statements.
Case studies are a type of review but more in depth, aiming to show — rather than just tell — the positive experiences that customers have with a brand. Notably, 89% of consumers read reviews before deciding to buy, and 79% view case study content as part of their purchasing process. When it comes to B2B sales, 52% of buyers rank case studies as an important part of their evaluation process.
Telling a brand story through the experience of a tried-and-true customer matters. The story is relatable to potential new customers as they imagine themselves in the shoes of the company or individual featured in the case study. Showcasing previous customers can help new ones see themselves engaging with your brand in the ways that are most meaningful to them.
Besides sharing the perspective of another customer, case studies stand out from other content marketing forms because they are based on evidence. Whether pulling from client testimonials or data-driven results, case studies tend to have more impact on new business because the story contains information that is both objective (data) and subjective (customer experience) — and the brand doesn’t sound too self-promotional.
Case studies are unique in that there’s a fairly standardized format for telling a customer’s story. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for creativity. It’s all about making sure that teams are clear on the goals for the case study — along with strategies for supporting content and channels — and understanding how the story fits within the framework of the company’s overall marketing goals.
Here are the basic steps to writing a good case study.
1. Identify your goal
Start by defining exactly who your case study will be designed to help. Case studies are about specific instances where a company works with a customer to achieve a goal. Identify which customers are likely to have these goals, as well as other needs the story should cover to appeal to them.
The answer is often found in one of the buyer personas that have been constructed as part of your larger marketing strategy. This can include anything from new leads generated by the marketing team to long-term customers that are being pressed for cross-sell opportunities. In all of these cases, demonstrating value through a relatable customer success story can be part of the solution to conversion.
2. Choose your client or subject
Who you highlight matters. Case studies tie brands together that might otherwise not cross paths. A writer will want to ensure that the highlighted customer aligns with their own company’s brand identity and offerings. Look for a customer with positive name recognition who has had great success with a product or service and is willing to be an advocate.
The client should also match up with the identified target audience. Whichever company or individual is selected should be a reflection of other potential customers who can see themselves in similar circumstances, having the same problems and possible solutions.
Some of the most compelling case studies feature customers who:
- Switch from one product or service to another while naming competitors that missed the mark.
- Experience measurable results that are relatable to others in a specific industry.
- Represent well-known brands and recognizable names that are likely to compel action.
- Advocate for a product or service as a champion and are well-versed in its advantages.
Whoever or whatever customer is selected, marketers must ensure they have the permission of the company involved before getting started. Some brands have strict review and approval procedures for any official marketing or promotional materials that include their name. Acquiring those approvals in advance will prevent any miscommunication or wasted effort if there is an issue with their legal or compliance teams.
3. Conduct research and compile data
Substantiating the claims made in a case study — either by the marketing team or customers themselves — adds validity to the story. To do this, include data and feedback from the client that defines what success looks like. This can be anything from demonstrating return on investment (ROI) to a specific metric the customer was striving to improve. Case studies should prove how an outcome was achieved and show tangible results that indicate to the customer that your solution is the right one.
This step could also include customer interviews. Make sure that the people being interviewed are key stakeholders in the purchase decision or deployment and use of the product or service that is being highlighted. Content writers should work off a set list of questions prepared in advance. It can be helpful to share these with the interviewees beforehand so they have time to consider and craft their responses. One of the best interview tactics to keep in mind is to ask questions where yes and no are not natural answers. This way, your subject will provide more open-ended responses that produce more meaningful content.
4. Choose the right format
There are a number of different ways to format a case study. Depending on what you hope to achieve, one style will be better than another. However, there are some common elements to include, such as:
- An engaging headline
- A subject and customer introduction
- The unique challenge or challenges the customer faced
- The solution the customer used to solve the problem
- The results achieved
- Data and statistics to back up claims of success
- A strong call to action (CTA) to engage with the vendor
It’s also important to note that while case studies are traditionally written as stories, they don’t have to be in a written format. Some companies choose to get more creative with their case studies and produce multimedia content, depending on their audience and objectives. Case study formats can include traditional print stories, interactive web or social content, data-heavy infographics, professionally shot videos, podcasts, and more.
5. Write your case study
We’ll go into more detail later about how exactly to write a case study, including templates and examples. Generally speaking, though, there are a few things to keep in mind when writing your case study.
- Be clear and concise. Readers want to get to the point of the story quickly and easily, and they’ll be looking to see themselves reflected in the story right from the start.
- Provide a big picture. Always make sure to explain who the client is, their goals, and how they achieved success in a short introduction to engage the reader.
- Construct a clear narrative. Stick to the story from the perspective of the customer and what they needed to solve instead of just listing product features or benefits.
- Leverage graphics. Incorporating infographics, charts, and sidebars can be a more engaging and eye-catching way to share key statistics and data in readable ways.
- Offer the right amount of detail. Most case studies are one or two pages with clear sections that a reader can skim to find the information most important to them.
- Include data to support claims. Show real results — both facts and figures and customer quotes — to demonstrate credibility and prove the solution works.
6. Promote your story
Marketers have a number of options for distribution of a freshly minted case study. Many brands choose to publish case studies on their website and post them on social media. This can help support SEO and organic content strategies while also boosting company credibility and trust as visitors see that other businesses have used the product or service.
Marketers are always looking for quality content they can use for lead generation. Consider offering a case study as gated content behind a form on a landing page or as an offer in an email message. One great way to do this is to summarize the content and tease the full story available for download after the user takes an action.
Sales teams can also leverage case studies, so be sure they are aware that the assets exist once they’re published. Especially when it comes to larger B2B sales, companies often ask for examples of similar customer challenges that have been solved.
Now that you’ve learned a bit about case studies and what they should include, you may be wondering how to start creating great customer story content. Here are a couple of templates you can use to structure your case study.
Template 1 — Challenge-solution-result format
- Start with an engaging title. This should be fewer than 70 characters long for SEO best practices. One of the best ways to approach the title is to include the customer’s name and a hint at the challenge they overcame in the end.
- Create an introduction. Lead with an explanation as to who the customer is, the need they had, and the opportunity they found with a specific product or solution. Writers can also suggest the success the customer experienced with the solution they chose.
- Present the challenge. This should be several paragraphs long and explain the problem the customer faced and the issues they were trying to solve. Details should tie into the company’s products and services naturally. This section needs to be the most relatable to the reader so they can picture themselves in a similar situation.
- Share the solution. Explain which product or service offered was the ideal fit for the customer and why. Feel free to delve into their experience setting up, purchasing, and onboarding the solution.
- Explain the results. Demonstrate the impact of the solution they chose by backing up their positive experience with data. Fill in with customer quotes and tangible, measurable results that show the effect of their choice.
- Ask for action. Include a CTA at the end of the case study that invites readers to reach out for more information, try a demo, or learn more — to nurture them further in the marketing pipeline. What you ask of the reader should tie directly into the goals that were established for the case study in the first place.
Template 2 — Data-driven format
- Start with an engaging title. Be sure to include a statistic or data point in the first 70 characters. Again, it’s best to include the customer’s name as part of the title.
- Create an overview. Share the customer’s background and a short version of the challenge they faced. Present the reason a particular product or service was chosen, and feel free to include quotes from the customer about their selection process.
- Present data point 1. Isolate the first metric that the customer used to define success and explain how the product or solution helped to achieve this goal. Provide data points and quotes to substantiate the claim that success was achieved.
- Present data point 2. Isolate the second metric that the customer used to define success and explain what the product or solution did to achieve this goal. Provide data points and quotes to substantiate the claim that success was achieved.
- Present data point 3. Isolate the final metric that the customer used to define success and explain what the product or solution did to achieve this goal. Provide data points and quotes to substantiate the claim that success was achieved.
- Summarize the results. Reiterate the fact that the customer was able to achieve success thanks to a specific product or service. Include quotes and statements that reflect customer satisfaction and suggest they plan to continue using the solution.
- Ask for action. Include a CTA at the end of the case study that asks readers to reach out for more information, try a demo, or learn more — to further nurture them in the marketing pipeline. Again, remember that this is where marketers can look to convert their content into action with the customer.
While templates are helpful, seeing a case study in action can also be a great way to learn. Here are some examples of how Adobe customers have experienced success.
One example is the Adobe and Juniper Networks case study , which puts the reader in the customer’s shoes. The beginning of the story quickly orients the reader so that they know exactly who the article is about and what they were trying to achieve. Solutions are outlined in a way that shows Adobe Experience Manager is the best choice and a natural fit for the customer. Along the way, quotes from the client are incorporated to help add validity to the statements. The results in the case study are conveyed with clear evidence of scale and volume using tangible data.
The story of Lenovo’s journey with Adobe is one that spans years of planning, implementation, and rollout. The Lenovo case study does a great job of consolidating all of this into a relatable journey that other enterprise organizations can see themselves taking, despite the project size. This case study also features descriptive headers and compelling visual elements that engage the reader and strengthen the content.
When it comes to using data to show customer results, this case study does an excellent job of conveying details and numbers in an easy-to-digest manner. Bullet points at the start break up the content while also helping the reader understand exactly what the case study will be about. Tata Consulting used Adobe to deliver elevated, engaging content experiences for a large telecommunications client of its own — an objective that’s relatable for a lot of companies.
Case studies are a vital tool for any marketing team as they enable you to demonstrate the value of your company’s products and services to others. They help marketers do their job and add credibility to a brand trying to promote its solutions by using the experiences and stories of real customers.
When you’re ready to get started with a case study:
- Think about a few goals you’d like to accomplish with your content.
- Make a list of successful clients that would be strong candidates for a case study.
- Reach out to the client to get their approval and conduct an interview.
- Gather the data to present an engaging and effective customer story.
Adobe can help
There are several Adobe products that can help you craft compelling case studies. Adobe Experience Platform helps you collect data and deliver great customer experiences across every channel. Once you’ve created your case studies, Experience Platform will help you deliver the right information to the right customer at the right time for maximum impact.
To learn more, watch the Adobe Experience Platform story .
Keep in mind that the best case studies are backed by data. That’s where Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform and Adobe Analytics come into play. With Real-Time CDP, you can gather the data you need to build a great case study and target specific customers to deliver the content to the right audience at the perfect moment.
Watch the Real-Time CDP overview video to learn more.
Finally, Adobe Analytics turns real-time data into real-time insights. It helps your business collect and synthesize data from multiple platforms to make more informed decisions and create the best case study possible.
Request a demo to learn more about Adobe Analytics.
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9 Components of a Case Study You Absolutely Need to Include
SaaS case studies help you educate prospects on the value of your products and the results your customers have achieved. To make your case study creation process easier, it’s crucial to follow a format. In this post, learn the 9 components of a case study you need to include in order to provide the social proof your prospects are looking for.
This is the first post in a 9-part series on how to write a B2B case study .
Must-have components of a case study
1. a compelling executive summary.
One of the most important components of a case study is a powerful executive summary . It lets your reader know what they’re getting into, and how they might relate to and benefit from what they’ll learn. Firstly, it needs to introduce your customer and their challenges. Secondly, it should highlight how your B2B SaaS company helped deliver the right solution. And be sure to include a preview of the results your customer saw from your products.
2. Outline your customer’s challenges
Illustrating the obstacles your customer faced that prompted them to seek out a B2B SaaS solution is one of the most crucial components of a case study. For example, maybe their business processes were a drain on time, resources or budgets—or all of the above. This section is an ideal spot to use a customer quote and let them share their story in their words. Remember to paint your customer in a positive light. And focus on how they wanted to improve their business, and avoid overly negative language.
3. Lead your reader along your customer’s journey
Help your reader picture themselves in your customer’s shoes. Lay out the steps your customer took to try to solve their problem, including an overview of the other products they investigated before they decided on yours. But be mindful not to toot your own horn—you’re simply recapping the facts.
4. The moment of discovery
The core elements of a case study wouldn’t be complete without a section on how your customer decided on your specific B2B SaaS solution. First, provide insight into which of their business requirements it met. Then include any other reasons the partnership was a good fit—perhaps your companies shared similar organizational values. This is an area where case study testimonials make for powerful storytelling . They allow you to set your case study up to dive into how you and your product solved your customer’s challenges.
5. Spend some time on the solution
In the “solution” component of your case study, you get to pitch your products without the fear of sounding like a used car salesman. Remember, you didn’t rush in and save the day—this is about your customer’s goals and how your solution helped them reach their objectives. As a result, you simply need to outline the products your customer purchased and the benefits they provided.
6. Walk your reader through the implementation
Change can be daunting, especially when it comes to the unknown, so it’s crucial that you give your reader a clear sense of how the implementation process went for your customer. For example, if problems arose, don’t be afraid to be transparent about them, but tie the storyline back to how you and your customer overcame the challenges. This is one of the most important components of a case study, and is an opportunity to let your customer service shine.
7. Celebrate your customer’s results
77% of SaaS companies include metrics in at least 50% of their case studies . Metrics are where you can show off the data—hard numbers like revenue gains and time saved that illustrate the return on investment your customer gained from your solution. Showcase how well your products solved the customer’s problems. Find out what to do if you don’t have case study metrics to work with.
8. Close the loop with a call to action
Using the right components of a case study so far has helped keep your reader’s attention until the end of the piece, creating an important opportunity for you to guide them to the next step you want them to take. You can accomplish this by including a clear call to action (CTA) that speaks directly to them at the end of your B2B SaaS case study. See these case study CTA examples to learn how to make your calls to action stand out.
9. Don’t get too caught up in using the perfect format
A lot of experts will tell you that your content needs to include all of the components of a case study and follow a structured formula. But don’t stress over this.
A creative story doesn’t lock itself into anything too prescriptive. And you don’t have to chunk your content into specific modules like some ’90s business plan. The most interesting and compelling stories take a creative approach to case study layout , and they play with perspective.
9 components of a case study: did you include them all?
Now that you know the 9 parts of a case study, take a look back through your own case studies. Have you included each of the components?
And last, but certainly not least, have you squeezed every last ounce of value from your case studies? Here are 8 ways to fully leverage your case studies for maximum results.
Get help writing your case studies
Partnering with a SaaS content marketing agency like Uplift Content allows you to produce a consistent flow of high-quality marketing and sales collateral that generates and nurtures leads—and closes sales faster. Check out our case study writing services .
As the founder of Uplift Content, Emily leads her team in creating done-for-you case studies, ebooks and blog posts for high-growth SaaS companies like ClickUp, Calendly and WalkMe. Connect with Emily on Linkedin
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Blog Beginner Guides
What is a Case Study? [+6 Types of Case Studies]
By Ronita Mohan , Sep 20, 2021
Case studies have become powerful business tools. But what is a case study? What are the benefits of creating one? Are there limitations to the format?
If you’ve asked yourself these questions, our helpful guide will clear things up. Learn how to use a case study for business. Find out how cases analysis works in psychology and research.
We’ve also got examples of case studies to inspire you.
Haven’t made a case study before? You can easily create a case study with Venngage’s customizable templates.
CREATE A CASE STUDY
Click to jump ahead:
What is a case study, what is the case study method, benefits of case studies, limitations of case studies, types of case studies, faqs about case studies.
Case studies are research methodologies. They examine subjects, projects, or organizations to tell a story.
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Numerous sectors use case analyses. The social sciences, social work, and psychology create studies regularly.
Healthcare industries write reports on patients and diagnoses. Marketing case study examples , like the one below, highlight the benefits of a business product.
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Now that you know what a case study is, we explain how case reports are used in three different industries.
What is a business case study?
A business or marketing case study aims at showcasing a successful partnership. This can be between a brand and a client. Or the case study can examine a brand’s project.
There is a perception that case studies are used to advertise a brand. But effective reports, like the one below, can show clients how a brand can support them.
Hubspot created a case study on a customer that successfully scaled its business. The report outlines the various Hubspot tools used to achieve these results.
Hubspot also added a video with testimonials from the client company’s employees.
So, what is the purpose of a case study for businesses? There is a lot of competition in the corporate world. Companies are run by people. They can be on the fence about which brand to work with.
Business reports stand out aesthetically, as well. They use brand colors and brand fonts . Usually, a combination of the client’s and the brand’s.
With the Venngage My Brand Kit feature, businesses can automatically apply their brand to designs.
A business case study, like the one below, acts as social proof. This helps customers decide between your brand and your competitors.
Don’t know how to design a report? You can learn how to write a case study with Venngage’s guide. We also share design tips and examples that will help you convert.
Related: 55+ Annual Report Design Templates, Inspirational Examples & Tips [Updated]
What is a case study in psychology?
In the field of psychology, case studies focus on a particular subject. Psychology case histories also examine human behaviors.
Case reports search for commonalities between humans. They are also used to prescribe further research. Or these studies can elaborate on a solution for a behavioral ailment.
The American Psychology Association has a number of case studies on real-life clients. Note how the reports are more text-heavy than a business case study.
Famous psychologists such as Sigmund Freud and Anna O popularised the use of case studies in the field. They did so by regularly interviewing subjects. Their detailed observations build the field of psychology.
It is important to note that psychological studies must be conducted by professionals. Psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists should be the researchers in these cases.
Related: What Netflix’s Top 50 Shows Can Teach Us About Font Psychology [Infographic]
What is a case study in research?
Research is a necessary part of every case study. But specific research fields are required to create studies. These fields include user research, healthcare, education, or social work.
For example, this UX Design report examined the public perception of a client. The brand researched and implemented new visuals to improve it. The study breaks down this research through lessons learned.
Clinical reports are a necessity in the medical field. These documents are used to share knowledge with other professionals. They also help examine new or unusual diseases or symptoms.
The pandemic has led to a significant increase in research. For example, Spectrum Health studied the value of health systems in the pandemic. They created the study by examining community outreach.
The pandemic has significantly impacted the field of education. This has led to numerous examinations on remote studying. There have also been studies on how students react to decreased peer communication.
Social work case reports often have a community focus. They can also examine public health responses. In certain regions, social workers study disaster responses.
You now know what case studies in various fields are. In the next step of our guide, we explain the case study method.
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A case analysis is a deep dive into a subject. To facilitate this case studies are built on interviews and observations. The below example would have been created after numerous interviews.
Case studies are largely qualitative. They analyze and describe phenomena. While some data is included, a case analysis is not quantitative.
There are a few steps in the case method. You have to start by identifying the subject of your study. Then determine what kind of research is required.
In natural sciences, case studies can take years to complete. Business reports, like this one, don’t take that long. A few weeks of interviews should be enough.
The case method will vary depending on the industry. Reports will also look different once produced.
As you will have seen, business reports are more colorful. The design is also more accessible . Healthcare and psychology reports are more text-heavy.
Designing case reports takes time and energy. So, is it worth taking the time to write them? Here are the benefits of creating case studies.
- Collects large amounts of information
- Helps formulate hypotheses
- Builds the case for further research
- Discovers new insights into a subject
- Builds brand trust and loyalty
- Engages customers through stories
For example, the business study below creates a story around a brand partnership. It makes for engaging reading. The study also shows evidence backing up the information.
We’ve shared the benefits of why studies are needed. We will also look at the limitations of creating them.
Related: How to Present a Case Study like a Pro (With Examples)
There are a few disadvantages to conducting a case analysis. The limitations will vary according to the industry.
- Responses from interviews are subjective
- Subjects may tailor responses to the researcher
- Studies can’t always be replicated
- In certain industries, analyses can take time and be expensive
- Risk of generalizing the results among a larger population
These are some of the common weaknesses of creating case reports. If you’re on the fence, look at the competition in your industry.
Other brands or professionals are building reports, like this example. In that case, you may want to do the same.
There are six common types of case reports. Depending on your industry, you might use one of these types.
Descriptive case studies
Explanatory case studies, exploratory case reports, intrinsic case studies, instrumental case studies, collective case reports.
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We go into more detail about each type of study in the guide below.
Related: 15+ Professional Case Study Examples [Design Tips + Templates]
When you have an existing hypothesis, you can design a descriptive study. This type of report starts with a description. The aim is to find connections between the subject being studied and a theory.
Once these connections are found, the study can conclude. The results of this type of study will usually suggest how to develop a theory further.
A study like the one below has concrete results. A descriptive report would use the quantitative data as a suggestion for researching the subject deeply.
When an incident occurs in a field, an explanation is required. An explanatory report investigates the cause of the event. It will include explanations for that cause.
The study will also share details about the impact of the event. In most cases, this report will use evidence to predict future occurrences. The results of explanatory reports are definitive.
Note that there is no room for interpretation here. The results are absolute.
The study below is a good example. It explains how one brand used the services of another. It concludes by showing definitive proof that the collaboration was successful.
Another example of this study would be in the automotive industry. If a vehicle fails a test, an explanatory study will examine why. The results could show that the failure was because of a particular part.
Related: How to Write a Case Study [+ Design Tips]
An explanatory report is a self-contained document. An exploratory one is only the beginning of an investigation.
Exploratory cases act as the starting point of studies. This is usually conducted as a precursor to large-scale investigations. The research is used to suggest why further investigations are needed.
An exploratory study can also be used to suggest methods for further examination.
For example, the below analysis could have found inconclusive results. In that situation, it would be the basis for an in-depth study.
Intrinsic studies are more common in the field of psychology. These reports can also be conducted in healthcare or social work.
These types of studies focus on a unique subject, such as a patient. They can sometimes study groups close to the researcher.
The aim of such studies is to understand the subject better. This requires learning their history. The researcher will also examine how they interact with their environment.
For instance, if the case study below was about a unique brand, it could be an intrinsic study.
Once the study is complete, the researcher will have developed a better understanding of a phenomenon. This phenomenon will likely not have been studied or theorized about before.
Examples of intrinsic case analysis can be found across psychology. For example, Jean Piaget’s theories on cognitive development. He established the theory from intrinsic studies into his own children.
Related: What Disney Villains Can Tell Us About Color Psychology [Infographic]
This is another type of study seen in medical and psychology fields. Instrumental reports are created to examine more than just the primary subject.
When research is conducted for an instrumental study, it is to provide the basis for a larger phenomenon. The subject matter is usually the best example of the phenomenon. This is why it is being studied.
Assume it’s examining lead generation strategies. It may want to show that visual marketing is the definitive lead generation tool. The brand can conduct an instrumental case study to examine this phenomenon.
Collective studies are based on instrumental case reports. These types of studies examine multiple reports.
There are a number of reasons why collective reports are created:
- To provide evidence for starting a new study
- To find pattens between multiple instrumental reports
- To find differences in similar types of cases
- Gain a deeper understanding of a complex phenomenon
- Understand a phenomenon from diverse contexts
A researcher could use multiple reports, like the one below, to build a collective case report.
Related: 10+ Case Study Infographic Templates That Convert
What makes a case study a case study?
A case study has a very particular research methodology. They are an in-depth study of a person or a group of individuals. They can also study a community or an organization. Case reports examine real-world phenomena within a set context.
How long should a case study be?
The length of studies depends on the industry. It also depends on the story you’re telling. Most case studies should be at least 500-1500 words long. But you can increase the length if you have more details to share.
What should you ask in a case study?
The one thing you shouldn’t ask is ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions. Case studies are qualitative. These questions won’t give you the information you need.
Ask your client about the problems they faced. Ask them about solutions they found. Or what they think is the ideal solution. Leave room to ask them follow-up questions. This will help build out the study.
How to present a case study?
When you’re ready to present a case study, begin by providing a summary of the problem or challenge you were addressing. Follow this with an outline of the solution you implemented, and support this with the results you achieved, backed by relevant data. Incorporate visual aids like slides, graphs, and images to make your case study presentation more engaging and impactful.
Now you know what a case study means, you can begin creating one. These reports are a great tool for analyzing brands. They are also useful in a variety of other fields.
Use a visual communication platform like Venngage to design case studies. With Venngage’s templates, you can design easily. Create branded, engaging reports, all without design experience.
Case Study Format
Following are the main Components/Parts of a Case Study;
Introduction, alternatives and decision criteria, recommendations and implementation plan, conclusion and references, citing sources.
Writing a case study is not a simple process as it can take several months to write it successfully. There are many stages you need to complete first and after that, you finally come at the stage of writing your case study like selecting the topic, a lot of research ( qualitative research, quantitative research or interview with subjects etc), etc. While writing a case study, bear in mind that all the case studies aren’t the same for sure and vary largely in size, type, and design. It is necessary for a writer to follow a proper case study format while writing it, no matter what.
If you are going to write your very first case study, you need to know that every case study has a specific format, as mentioned above. Students or businesses all over the globe must follow that format in order to make their case study successful. However, one may choose to be a little bit different but the basics remain the same for everyone. Here we are going to discuss different case study sections. The purpose of every section in case study format is different from other and comprise of several unique key elements.
You may also study: How To Write a Case Study
It will definitely assist you to write your own case study with the utmost ease. The sections that are included in the case study are executive summary, introduction, analysis, alternatives and decision criteria, recommendations and implementation plan, conclusions and references, citing sources.
Before moving towards a detailed view of the case study format , let us have a look at the case study benefits.
Value of Case Study
Have you ever think why case studies are developed? This is the question you must ask yourself before writing your very first case study. Knowing the answers and keeping all that stuff in mind will let you write a successful and worth-reading case study.
It is the best way to put the students or learners in an active learning mode. Instead of just testing their memory, case study challenges the students to test their learning via practice, which is usually the easiest approach. In short, case studies proffer students a great opportunity to analyze and resolve the real-world problem with a practical approach. It makes the interpretation as well as problem-solving tasks easy for the learners.
A detailed look at the Case Study Format
Executive summary for a case study is usually similar to the general summary. It is basically a short snapshot that shed the image of your entire case precisely, which consists of a page, most of the time. It doesn’t include too much detail about your case but focuses on key elements or main highlights of your case study. Reading the executive summary of your case study must give the reader an idea about the entire case study and its key elements. There are two approaches adopted to write case studies.
- The first approach is to write the case study’s executive summary in short paragraphs.
- On the other hand, the second approach is to write it in form of points.
Key Points to Cover in an Executive Summary
There are a few things which are necessary to include in your case study’s executive summary i.e. problem statement, recommendation, evidence and supporting arguments, and last but not the least conclusion.
All these things comprise to form a perfect executive summary, which let the reader walk through the entire case study, just by reading it.
- The first thing to include in a case study format is an executive summary, as mentioned above. The very first thing to add in executive summary is problem statement. It let the reader know about the key issue discussed in the entire case in just a few lines. Problem statement usually comprises of one or two statement but may vary according to the case.
- The second thing to add is recommendation after stating the problem statement. What is this recommendation about? It presents one or a few ideas to resolve the problem stated in problem statement.
- The next thing to add in the executive summary is supporting arguments and evidence. It is all about highlighting key areas of your entire case and the arguments of the case. Moreover, it also states one or a few pieces of evidence that support your recommendation section.
- This is the last thing to add in the executive summary is conclusion that definitely concludes everything stated here in this portion. You must let the reader know the key message you want to deliver. Also, state why it is essential to resolve this problem and what are the expected outcomes if the reader follows your recommendations you stated in your case study.
The introduction section of the case study is somehow different from the introduction section of research paper . What is this section intended to have? It is usually here to formulate the stage for your entire case study. It must not only introduce the report of your case but also should state the key problem being faced and discussed thoroughly in a clear and accurate tone.
One thing which is worth-mentioning here is that case study is not like a scientific research report, which is only read by the experts or scientists. It must be written in such a way that a layperson could read and understand it well. Reading the introduction section of case study must let the user know about full case study i.e. what it is about, what are the key areas discussed in this and how the reader will get benefit from it etc. It must not be short enough to miss the necessary details. On the other hand, it must not be long enough that it becomes boring.
Don’t include irrelevant or unnecessary details in it. Just be precise and accurate, and try to include the following:
- A perfect and well-written introductory sentence.
- A short but precise problem statement.
- All necessary problem details.
- The best recommendations for the stated problem.
- And last but not the least: roadmap of the entire case study.
The next section of the case study, when it comes to case study format is analysis. It is usually a detailed section of your case study and it is supposed to examine the problem (which is identified in the previous section) in detail.
When it comes to the right way to structure the analysis section, make sure to ask from your instructor about this, whether there is any format to follow specifically when writing it i.e. SWOT or PEST etc? If your instructor tells you to write it generally, here are a few important things you need to know.
- Start with examining the problem and try to focus on its most crucial or sensitive parts. Here, you are not meant to include any irrelevant or unnecessary details. Your main focus should be the main problem and its critical areas.
- Make sure to mention the causes as well as effects, or any other detail you think is necessary to include. Also, make use of headings to highlight every single portion.
- Here, you are also meant to provide a meaningful conclusion to your analysis. It must conclude all the points, ideas and thoughts you discussed previously into some meaningful ending.
This section of the case study format addresses two key areas. The first one is alternatives and the second one is the decision criteria.
As the name suggests, alternatives must mention all the potential ways the identified problem can be addressed. It let the reader think about the different directions (which are successful as well) to solve the problem. Knowing all the alternatives or the available options to solve the problem, the reader can definitely identify the best possible solution to the problem, as per knowledge and thinking criteria.
One thing which is worth mentioning here is that all the presented solutions to the problems in the alternatives portion must be mutually exclusive. Why is it important to present the mutually exclusive alternatives? What are basically mutually exclusive alternatives?
Mutually exclusive alternatives refer to the situation in which selecting one alternative eliminate all others. There is a specific and a single solution to the identified problem. Mutually exclusive alternatives prevent a scenario in which it becomes essential to implement several available alternatives. When the alternatives will be mutually exclusive, it means that choosing one will eliminate the chances of selection of all others and thus, one alternative will be implemented.
The second thing which needs to be stated here in this portion is decision criteria. It means that you must state precisely your decisive factor i.e. key requirements one need to meet successfully for solving the problem. It is the most important thing here in this portion and you must state it in easy to read and simple words so that the reader could understand it well.
In this section of the case study format , the reader is well aware of all the recommendations for sure. So, there is no need to introduce the reader to the basics of the recommendations again. Rather, you are supposed to let the reader know the specifics of recommendation for solving the identified problem. In this regard, the reader will automatically get all the aspects of the recommended solution to the problem and will see how it will take you to the path of success i.e. towards the path of resolving the problem. For executing the recommendation in a successful manner, here you need to proffer the reader a well thought-out and a comprehensive implementation plan so that the reader could execute the recommended solution, making sure the success.
The recommendations and implementation plan is supposed to include a few things must, which are the following:
A detailed overview of what your recommendation entails, which are necessary steps to follow to implement this successfully and also, the required expertise or a list of equipment needed.
When it comes to the implementation plan, here are a few things which are essential to state here:
- The most important parts of the entire plan of implementation, and who will be accountable for those parts separately.
- Whether it is short term, long term or medium term implementation plan.
- The overall cost required to implement the recommendation.
- The effects of the implementation of recommendation on the entire organization.
- The last but not the least thing to mention here is the potential things which could fail while implementation and plan to recover that failure, if any.
This is the portion of your case study where you are going to make a final ending note for your reader in a few easy to understand yet powerful statements. These statements must emphasize the proposed recommendations. As per common observation, a few instructors don’t suggest you to include this portion of conclusion in your case study but it is helpful in providing a strong endnote to your case study.
There are a few things which are essential to add in this conclusion section, which are the following:
- If the purpose of your case is complex, make sure to summarize it here, in point form, so that the reader could have a review at the entire case again, before approaching the conclusion.
- If you haven’t yet stated the importance of your findings, make sure to do it here in this conclusion section.
- A few concluding sentences that shed the case’s summary and let the reader know what he has learned from this. Moreover, choose to finalize with a few memorable and impactful sentences.
However, the conclusion is the most important section of your case study as you are going to give your entire case an end note, so here are a few things you must keep in your mind while writing this portion.
- A few people give an abrupt ending to the case study, which is one of the biggest mistakes ever. The reason is that the ending must be impactful and must not leave the reader disappointed. So, formulate a few sentences to create a path towards a natural close.
- While stating your recommendation, try to summarize the ways problem will be resolved at hand.
- Make sure everything you write in conclusion portion is convincing enough to persuade the reader to believe that the recommended solution will work the best for solving the particular problem.
As per universal rule, you must cite any idea, though, or expression that is not yours and is presented by someone else. These citations are must to include at the end of your case study. The plagiarism policies or academic misconduct policies vary from one institute to another so you must familiarize yourself with the ones of your institute. Other than this, try your level best to make your case study written in a perfect manner and make sure to cite all of the following:
- Ideas presented by others, which are originally not by you.
- Use of quotations is not recommended while writing the case study. But, if you do, make sure to cite it properly.
- Any summarized work by any other writer.
- Definitions, models or theories etc presented by others must also be properly cited.
- Any information from company websites, annual reports, or press releases must also be cited in a proper manner.
What is the Proper Way to Write Citations?
If you are going to write the citation for the very first time, you need to know that these aren’t written generally. Rather, there is a specific format to follow while writing them. There are a few citations styles which are used by the students universally but before finalizing, you must ask your instructor to suggest you the best one.
A few most commonly used citation styles are the following:
An Ideal Case Study should be LOGICAL, ALL INCLUSIVE & THOROUGH
There are a few characteristics your case study must possess, which are the following:
The first and foremost thing is that each and every section or part of your case study must be logical. Any guesses or estimations must not be included in your case study as everything is supposed to be logical and authentic. However, you can choose to write your observation generally in your case study but it must not state any sort of assumptions made from that.
The next thing is that your case study must not miss any data or findings. It should be all inclusive i.e. you aren’t given the authority to choose data or findings to include or skip. You are liable to put everything in it. Otherwise, it could fail to be a successful case study.
The last thing to mention here is that your case study must be thorough. You aren’t just meant to write down all the observations during your research but rather, you must proffer the in-depth detail to every observation as well.
So, this is all about writing your case study as well as the right case study format to follow while writing it. Keep all the above-listed things in mind and start your writing process now.
Case Study Format Example 01:
Case study format example 02:, case study format example 03:.
Lots of Luck!
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- USC Libraries
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Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper
- 8. The Discussion
- Purpose of Guide
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The purpose of the discussion section is to interpret and describe the significance of your findings in relation to what was already known about the research problem being investigated and to explain any new understanding or insights that emerged as a result of your research. The discussion will always connect to the introduction by way of the research questions or hypotheses you posed and the literature you reviewed, but the discussion does not simply repeat or rearrange the first parts of your paper; the discussion clearly explains how your study advanced the reader's understanding of the research problem from where you left them at the end of your review of prior research.
Annesley, Thomas M. “The Discussion Section: Your Closing Argument.” Clinical Chemistry 56 (November 2010): 1671-1674.
Importance of a Good Discussion
The discussion section is often considered the most important part of your research paper because it:
- Most effectively demonstrates your ability as a researcher to think critically about an issue, to develop creative solutions to problems based upon a logical synthesis of the findings, and to formulate a deeper, more profound understanding of the research problem under investigation;
- Presents the underlying meaning of your research, notes possible implications in other areas of study, and explores possible improvements that can be made in order to further develop the concerns of your research;
- Highlights the importance of your study and how it can contribute to understanding the research problem within the field of study;
- Presents how the findings from your study revealed and helped fill gaps in the literature that had not been previously exposed or adequately described; and,
- Engages the reader in thinking critically about issues based on an evidence-based interpretation of findings; it is not governed strictly by objective reporting of information.
Annesley Thomas M. “The Discussion Section: Your Closing Argument.” Clinical Chemistry 56 (November 2010): 1671-1674; Bitchener, John and Helen Basturkmen. “Perceptions of the Difficulties of Postgraduate L2 Thesis Students Writing the Discussion Section.” Journal of English for Academic Purposes 5 (January 2006): 4-18; Kretchmer, Paul. Fourteen Steps to Writing an Effective Discussion Section. San Francisco Edit, 2003-2008.
Structure and Writing Style
I. General Rules
These are the general rules you should adopt when composing your discussion of the results :
- Do not be verbose or repetitive; be concise and make your points clearly
- Avoid the use of jargon or undefined technical language
- Follow a logical stream of thought; in general, interpret and discuss the significance of your findings in the same sequence you described them in your results section [a notable exception is to begin by highlighting an unexpected result or a finding that can grab the reader's attention]
- Use the present verb tense, especially for established facts; however, refer to specific works or prior studies in the past tense
- If needed, use subheadings to help organize your discussion or to categorize your interpretations into themes
II. The Content
The content of the discussion section of your paper most often includes :
- Explanation of results : Comment on whether or not the results were expected for each set of findings; go into greater depth to explain findings that were unexpected or especially profound. If appropriate, note any unusual or unanticipated patterns or trends that emerged from your results and explain their meaning in relation to the research problem.
- References to previous research : Either compare your results with the findings from other studies or use the studies to support a claim. This can include re-visiting key sources already cited in your literature review section, or, save them to cite later in the discussion section if they are more important to compare with your results instead of being a part of the general literature review of prior research used to provide context and background information. Note that you can make this decision to highlight specific studies after you have begun writing the discussion section.
- Deduction : A claim for how the results can be applied more generally. For example, describing lessons learned, proposing recommendations that can help improve a situation, or highlighting best practices.
- Hypothesis : A more general claim or possible conclusion arising from the results [which may be proved or disproved in subsequent research]. This can be framed as new research questions that emerged as a consequence of your analysis.
III. Organization and Structure
Keep the following sequential points in mind as you organize and write the discussion section of your paper:
- Think of your discussion as an inverted pyramid. Organize the discussion from the general to the specific, linking your findings to the literature, then to theory, then to practice [if appropriate].
- Use the same key terms, narrative style, and verb tense [present] that you used when describing the research problem in your introduction.
- Begin by briefly re-stating the research problem you were investigating and answer all of the research questions underpinning the problem that you posed in the introduction.
- Describe the patterns, principles, and relationships shown by each major findings and place them in proper perspective. The sequence of this information is important; first state the answer, then the relevant results, then cite the work of others. If appropriate, refer the reader to a figure or table to help enhance the interpretation of the data [either within the text or as an appendix].
- Regardless of where it's mentioned, a good discussion section includes analysis of any unexpected findings. This part of the discussion should begin with a description of the unanticipated finding, followed by a brief interpretation as to why you believe it appeared and, if necessary, its possible significance in relation to the overall study. If more than one unexpected finding emerged during the study, describe each of them in the order they appeared as you gathered or analyzed the data. As noted, the exception to discussing findings in the same order you described them in the results section would be to begin by highlighting the implications of a particularly unexpected or significant finding that emerged from the study, followed by a discussion of the remaining findings.
- Before concluding the discussion, identify potential limitations and weaknesses if you do not plan to do so in the conclusion of the paper. Comment on their relative importance in relation to your overall interpretation of the results and, if necessary, note how they may affect the validity of your findings. Avoid using an apologetic tone; however, be honest and self-critical [e.g., in retrospect, had you included a particular question in a survey instrument, additional data could have been revealed].
- The discussion section should end with a concise summary of the principal implications of the findings regardless of their significance. Give a brief explanation about why you believe the findings and conclusions of your study are important and how they support broader knowledge or understanding of the research problem. This can be followed by any recommendations for further research. However, do not offer recommendations which could have been easily addressed within the study. This would demonstrate to the reader that you have inadequately examined and interpreted the data.
IV. Overall Objectives
The objectives of your discussion section should include the following: I. Reiterate the Research Problem/State the Major Findings
Briefly reiterate the research problem or problems you are investigating and the methods you used to investigate them, then move quickly to describe the major findings of the study. You should write a direct, declarative, and succinct proclamation of the study results, usually in one paragraph.
II. Explain the Meaning of the Findings and Why They are Important
No one has thought as long and hard about your study as you have. Systematically explain the underlying meaning of your findings and state why you believe they are significant. After reading the discussion section, you want the reader to think critically about the results and why they are important. You don’t want to force the reader to go through the paper multiple times to figure out what it all means. If applicable, begin this part of the section by repeating what you consider to be your most significant or unanticipated finding first, then systematically review each finding. Otherwise, follow the general order you reported the findings presented in the results section.
III. Relate the Findings to Similar Studies
No study in the social sciences is so novel or possesses such a restricted focus that it has absolutely no relation to previously published research. The discussion section should relate your results to those found in other studies, particularly if questions raised from prior studies served as the motivation for your research. This is important because comparing and contrasting the findings of other studies helps to support the overall importance of your results and it highlights how and in what ways your study differs from other research about the topic. Note that any significant or unanticipated finding is often because there was no prior research to indicate the finding could occur. If there is prior research to indicate this, you need to explain why it was significant or unanticipated. IV. Consider Alternative Explanations of the Findings
It is important to remember that the purpose of research in the social sciences is to discover and not to prove . When writing the discussion section, you should carefully consider all possible explanations for the study results, rather than just those that fit your hypothesis or prior assumptions and biases. This is especially important when describing the discovery of significant or unanticipated findings.
V. Acknowledge the Study’s Limitations
It is far better for you to identify and acknowledge your study’s limitations than to have them pointed out by your professor! Note any unanswered questions or issues your study could not address and describe the generalizability of your results to other situations. If a limitation is applicable to the method chosen to gather information, then describe in detail the problems you encountered and why. VI. Make Suggestions for Further Research
You may choose to conclude the discussion section by making suggestions for further research [as opposed to offering suggestions in the conclusion of your paper]. Although your study can offer important insights about the research problem, this is where you can address other questions related to the problem that remain unanswered or highlight hidden issues that were revealed as a result of conducting your research. You should frame your suggestions by linking the need for further research to the limitations of your study [e.g., in future studies, the survey instrument should include more questions that ask..."] or linking to critical issues revealed from the data that were not considered initially in your research.
NOTE: Besides the literature review section, the preponderance of references to sources is usually found in the discussion section . A few historical references may be helpful for perspective, but most of the references should be relatively recent and included to aid in the interpretation of your results, to support the significance of a finding, and/or to place a finding within a particular context. If a study that you cited does not support your findings, don't ignore it--clearly explain why your research findings differ from theirs.
V. Problems to Avoid
- Do not waste time restating your results . Should you need to remind the reader of a finding to be discussed, use "bridge sentences" that relate the result to the interpretation. An example would be: “In the case of determining available housing to single women with children in rural areas of Texas, the findings suggest that access to good schools is important...," then move on to further explaining this finding and its implications.
- As noted, recommendations for further research can be included in either the discussion or conclusion of your paper, but do not repeat your recommendations in the both sections. Think about the overall narrative flow of your paper to determine where best to locate this information. However, if your findings raise a lot of new questions or issues, consider including suggestions for further research in the discussion section.
- Do not introduce new results in the discussion section. Be wary of mistaking the reiteration of a specific finding for an interpretation because it may confuse the reader. The description of findings [results section] and the interpretation of their significance [discussion section] should be distinct parts of your paper. If you choose to combine the results section and the discussion section into a single narrative, you must be clear in how you report the information discovered and your own interpretation of each finding. This approach is not recommended if you lack experience writing college-level research papers.
- Use of the first person pronoun is generally acceptable. Using first person singular pronouns can help emphasize a point or illustrate a contrasting finding. However, keep in mind that too much use of the first person can actually distract the reader from the main points [i.e., I know you're telling me this--just tell me!].
Analyzing vs. Summarizing. Department of English Writing Guide. George Mason University; Discussion. The Structure, Format, Content, and Style of a Journal-Style Scientific Paper. Department of Biology. Bates College; Hess, Dean R. "How to Write an Effective Discussion." Respiratory Care 49 (October 2004); Kretchmer, Paul. Fourteen Steps to Writing to Writing an Effective Discussion Section. San Francisco Edit, 2003-2008; The Lab Report. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Sauaia, A. et al. "The Anatomy of an Article: The Discussion Section: "How Does the Article I Read Today Change What I Will Recommend to my Patients Tomorrow?” The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 74 (June 2013): 1599-1602; Research Limitations & Future Research . Lund Research Ltd., 2012; Summary: Using it Wisely. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Schafer, Mickey S. Writing the Discussion. Writing in Psychology course syllabus. University of Florida; Yellin, Linda L. A Sociology Writer's Guide . Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, 2009.
Don’t Over-Interpret the Results!
Interpretation is a subjective exercise. As such, you should always approach the selection and interpretation of your findings introspectively and to think critically about the possibility of judgmental biases unintentionally entering into discussions about the significance of your work. With this in mind, be careful that you do not read more into the findings than can be supported by the evidence you have gathered. Remember that the data are the data: nothing more, nothing less.
MacCoun, Robert J. "Biases in the Interpretation and Use of Research Results." Annual Review of Psychology 49 (February 1998): 259-287.
Another Writing Tip
Don't Write Two Results Sections!
One of the most common mistakes that you can make when discussing the results of your study is to present a superficial interpretation of the findings that more or less re-states the results section of your paper. Obviously, you must refer to your results when discussing them, but focus on the interpretation of those results and their significance in relation to the research problem, not the data itself.
Azar, Beth. "Discussing Your Findings." American Psychological Association gradPSYCH Magazine (January 2006).
Yet Another Writing Tip
Avoid Unwarranted Speculation!
The discussion section should remain focused on the findings of your study. For example, if the purpose of your research was to measure the impact of foreign aid on increasing access to education among disadvantaged children in Bangladesh, it would not be appropriate to speculate about how your findings might apply to populations in other countries without drawing from existing studies to support your claim or if analysis of other countries was not a part of your original research design. If you feel compelled to speculate, do so in the form of describing possible implications or explaining possible impacts. Be certain that you clearly identify your comments as speculation or as a suggestion for where further research is needed. Sometimes your professor will encourage you to expand your discussion of the results in this way, while others don’t care what your opinion is beyond your effort to interpret the data in relation to the research problem.
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Main Tips On How To Write Case Study Analysis
29 Apr 2022
❔What is a Case Study Analysis?
☝️Types of Case Studies
📃Case Study Examples
✏️Writing a Case Study Draft
📝How to Format a Case Study
✍️How to Write an Outline
📌How to Write a Case Study
📑Creating a Title Page and Citing
Many students struggle with how to do a case study analysis. Writing such an assignment is always daunting, as it requires you to analyze something and form conclusions based on your research.
It usually focuses on phenomena you can't study in a typical way. Therefore, when writing such a text, you have to prepare thoughtfully. In the PapersOwl article, you will find out what this academic writing is and how to write a case analysis.
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What is a Case Study Analysis?
A case study analysis is a form of writing that analyzes a specific situation, event, object, person, or even place. The said analysis should be written and structured to lead to a conclusion. Typically, you cannot analyze the subject of this essay via quantitative methods.
Note that such studies can be used in various fields and require the use of many theories that can give you a unique approach to the matter. For example, you can write a paper like this about social sciences, business, medicine, and many other fields. Each of these will require a particular approach.
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Difference Between Research Paper and Case Study
Like all papers share similarities, these two are no different. Hence, knowing these parallels and distinctions, you will be able to learn how to write a case study assignment correctly.
A case study introduction can present the topic but does not require a citation of other similar works or the writer's opinion. On the other hand, research papers do not need a complete introduction about the general topic, but need citation since you will be using other people's works.
In addition, a writer must present their thoughts and views about the case they research. Finally, the most significant difference is that the research papers make the readers focus on a specific issue. On the contrary, the case study goes more into the matter and shifts the focus to all the details.
Types of Case Studies
When it comes to writing case study analysis, there are five types you must learn to differentiate. That is important because whether you get such an assignment, you will have to understand the task first and then start with the writing.
Here are the types of case studies which you will encounter most often:
- Problem-oriented - this type focuses on real-life situations or theoretical issues and aims to solve them. For example, "World Hunger."
The second type is critical, also known as innate. The goal is to investigate a specific case, particularly its effects and what causes them - "Why Toys Remain Gender Stereotyped."
Historical case studies papers focus on events from our past. The text should contain information about a specific historical period of this type. Your goal will be to provide different perspectives of an event and parallel them to current-day issues. An example of such a topic is "Racism During Ancient Times - Roman Empire."
The illustrative or Instrumental type focuses on describing a particular event. Here you have to explain the event's outcome and what you have learned from it. A sample of such a topic is "The Effects of Dance Therapy in Depressed Adolescents."
Collective case studies are the fifth type. They include a collection of data about a specific case you will use to compare. E.g., "The Management Leadership at Work."
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Case Study Title Examples
When writing a case study analysis, titles usually point out that the text is a study. Thus, most of them contain "case study" in the header. Here are some case study analysis examples:
- Santander's Expansion in Canada: Case Study Analysis
- Case Study on the Effects of Art Therapy on Children with ADHD
- The National Health Service's Treatment of People with Learning Disabilities, Case Study Analysis
- Toxicological Case Study of The Mississippi River
- Reading Development in Remote Areas of Nigeria: A Case Study
- Case Study on the Growth of Veganism in Berlin
Writing a Case Study Draft
Creating a rough draft is the foremost step to take while writing such a paper. It is an essential step you must take, no matter how experienced you are. By doing it, you will be able to get more creative. In addition, you can explore options and decide on what to focus on more precisely, which will eventually result in a higher grade for your work.
So, sit down in a quiet place, bring an old-fashioned pen and paper, and start drafting ideas. Read them briefly while sipping on your tea and edit. After you have decided where your focus will lay, you have to develop these ideas and thoughts a bit more, then pick the best one.
How to Format a Case Study
Knowing how a case study analysis format should look is crucial. Therefore, you must know what the text structure should look like. The standard one contains about eight sections:
- Introduction/The Executive Summary: As the first part here, you have to hook the reader's attention, so the introduction of the case study is the most important part of the writing. Then present them with a brief overview of your case study analyses and their findings. Make sure to form a good thesis statement , as this is the pivotal point of your work.
- Literary Review/Background information: Similarly to other papers, in this part, you have to write your most important facts or findings while identifying the case issue.
- Method/Findings/Discussion: This section can be written separately based on how your text flows. Here you will have to explore more about the case and its findings. Allow yourself to go into more detail instead of just briefly covering them.
- Solutions/Recommendations/Implementation Part: You have to discuss the answers you came up with. Basically, you say why they are fit to solve the case and how you think they can be used in practice. Note that you must write only realistic and practical solutions for the problem. It's possible to write testable evidence that can support your recommendations.
- Conclusion: Here, you are supposed to cover your whole paper briefly and even repeat the thesis (rephrased). Make sure to highlight the critical points of your case study.
- References or Bibliography: This section must include the sources from which you collected data or whom you consulted. Usually, this part is on a separate page, and the listing should be according to your academic institution's requirements.
- Appendices (include only if applicable): It is usual for some parts of your materials to be too lengthy or unfit for the other sections of the case study. Therefore, you have to include them here. That can be pictures, raw data of statistics, graphs, notes, etc. The appendix section is strictly for subsidiary materials, do not put the most relevant ones here.
- Author Note: Remember that all educational institutions have their requirement for a case study format. The abovementioned is an example; thus, you may see a section or another is missing, or there are additional ones.
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How to Write a Case Study Outline
To write a case study outline, you have first to conduct research. The best way to do so is by accessing academic search engines like Google Scholar or by using old-fashioned books and published works. From there, you should understand how to structure and what key points to form your text. Then, construct your thesis statement around the idea you picked.
The outline for your case study paper is essential to your writing process. It helps you organize your thoughts and ideas in order to present a comprehensive, well-structured paper. Furthermore, it allows your professor to evaluate your understanding of the subject, the correct formatting and structure, and to identify any potential issues with your paper. Having an outline serves as a guide for both you and your professor, making it easier to plan and write your paper . With the help of a well-crafted outline, your professor can navigate your paper more easily and spot any issues before they arise. Writing a case study paper can be daunting, but the outline helps make it easier.
A case study outline will most likely consist of the following sections and information:
- Case study title;
- Student’s name;
- Educational instructor's name;
- Course name.
- It briefly overviews your case study, thesis statement, and essential findings.
Main Body Paragraphs - usually three to five
- Literature Review/Background Information;
- Repeat a paraphrased version of your thesis;
- Summarize your case study key points;
- Finish with a statement that can recommend the audience to read further by giving them thoughts to contemplate and develop new ideas.
Reference List or Bibliography
- List all the sources of evidence used to create your case study in your educational organization's required citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, Turabian, etc.).
How to Write a Case Study
The way to write a case study is by strictly following the main idea of your thesis. You already know that a study's main body consists of an introduction, literature review, method, discussion, and conclusion sections. Thus, all that is left is to focus on these parts and understand how to make them perfect.
- The Introduction/Summary: The introduction of a case study should start with a solid first sentence that will hook the reader. Afterward, you must explain the question you will be answering and why you are doing it. You should include some of the topic's relevant history and details here. Also, you should explain how your case study will enrich the available information. Also, briefly summarize your literature review, which your findings will use as a base. Try to finish positively and make the reader see the benefits of reading your work.
- Background Information/Literature Review: Structure and present the data from your academic sources . This section will show the reader how vital your work is and the basis for it.
- Method/Findings: This part aims to explain the case you selected, how it connects to the issue, and why you chose them. You can also add what methods you use. Here you must note that the data collection methods are qualitative, not quantitative, for case studies. That means the data is not random but well-structured and chronically taken from interviews, focus groups, and other sources.
- Discussion/Solutions: Restate your thesis but rephrase it, then draw your conclusions from what you have discovered via your research and link to your statement. Inform the audience of your main findings and define why the results are relevant to the field. Think about the following questions:
Were the results unexpected? Why/Why not?
How do your findings compare to previous similar case studies in your literature review?
Do your findings correlate to previous results, or do they contradict them?
Are your findings helpful in deepening the current understanding of the topic?
Next, explore possible alternative explanations or interpretations of your findings. Be subjective and explain your paper's limitations. End with some suggestions for further exploration based on the limits of your work.
- Conclusion: Inform the reader precisely why your case study and findings are relevant, and restate your thesis and main results. Give a summary of previous studies you reviewed and how you contributed to expanding current knowledge. The final should explain how your work can be helpful and implemented in future research.
Your instructor should have an excellent example they can show you, so feel free to ask. They will surely want to help you learn how to write a case study!
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How to Create a Title Page and Cite a Case Study
A case study in APA format for students can differ from one institution to another. So, knowing your college or school requirements is crucial before you start writing. Nonetheless, the general one should look like this:
- Title - A header no longer than nine words has "Case Study" and reflects the content and the idea behind it yet is engaging to read;
- Write your full name;
- The name of your course/class;
- Next is your professor or instructor name;
- The university/school name;
- The date of submission.
When citing in your paper, you must ensure it is done accurately and in your academic style. If you are unsure how to do it, research the requirements and google "How to do a case study analysis in Harvard", for example. Note that short citations can be in your text, but longer ones should be in the bibliography section.
Hruby, A. (2018). Hruby, A., & Hu, F. B. (2015). The epidemiology of obesity: a big picture. Pharmacoeconomics, 33(7), 673-689. www.sciepub.com. http://www.sciepub.com/reference/254744
Case studies strive to analyze an event, location, case, or person. They can be similar to research papers, so you must pay close attention to the structure and what your professor has requested from you.
Finally, the process of writing can be overwhelming due to the many sections. However, if you take the process step by step and do your preparations properly, you will have an easy time writing the paper. You can also look for assistance online - many services offer to order case study online help . With the right kind of assistance, you can be sure that your paper is of high quality and is due on time!
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I am Dr. Paulus, an experienced academic writer. I am efficient, hardworking, and very flexible. As a student, I majored in History and Management but will be more than happy to work on any other subject. I write everything from scratch and do a unique research for every project.
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The 7 Essential Elements of a Great Case Study
March 24, 2023
By Mike Wolfe
Research shows that 93 percent of consumers say online reviews will affect shopping choices . Online reviews certainly help tell a part of your organization’s story, but when you want to offer a bigger picture and really show off what you can do, there’s nothing like a case study.
A great case study can help assure your audience that you’re more than capable of helping them with their problems because you’ve been there and done that for similar organizations. Ever looked at an organization’s website and checked out their case studies or testimonials before filling out a form or giving them a call?
These are great pieces of collateral that can have an immediate impact on the audience you connect with and can be used in a number of ways throughout the course of your marketing and sales efforts.
When you are looking to put together your next case study (or revamp some of your older ones), take these essential elements into consideration.
1. Common Problem or Challenge
Start with clearly defined issues..
When your audience takes the time to read your case study, they likely do so because they want to see that you resolved a problem or challenge they’re facing. Before writing a case study, consider some common problems or challenges your personas are experiencing and start there.
2. Explanation of Resolution
Describe the problems, but really showcase your solutions..
Your customer came to you with a problem or need for you to solve—and you knocked it out of the park! Don’t sell yourself short when it comes to describing how you resolved the customer’s problems. Highlight the ways your product or service was the perfect fit for your customer so potential customers can start connecting the dots on how you can help them too.
3. Compelling Story
Tell the story of your customers’ experience..
Problems and solutions are important to cover, but don’t forget to make your case study relatable to your audience. Telling the story from the perspective of the customer and describing how they felt and what they experienced throughout the process helps your audience put themselves in your customer’s shoes.
4. Customer Quotes
Give your customer a voice..
Take your storytelling to the next level by using real customer quotes that support your case study. The best quotes will draw a clear connection between the customer’s good experience and your product or service, offering an intimate look at how your business helped them succeed. Be sure to choose quotes that perfectly illustrate the results you achieved for your customer, and make sure they accurately reflect the customer’s opinion.
5. Successful Outcome
Let’s see some results.
You’ve got the beginning of the story (why you and the customer met) and the middle of the story (how you worked to help them). Now, in order for this to have a happy ending for both your customers and your audience, you need the results to bring it home.
The key here is to be as specific as possible with your outcomes. Let those results shine and give your audience a glimpse into what they can potentially see from partnering with your organization.
6. Visual Aids
Engage readers visually..
Visual aids help bring a tangible element to the case study, making it more memorable and engaging for readers. Case studies that include visual elements such as photos, diagrams, infographics, or videos can often be more persuasive and effective than those that don’t. Visual aids can also help make complex topics more easily understandable, and they often create a stronger emotional connection with potential customers.
7. Descriptive Name
Cap it off with a great title..
When writing a marketing case study, it is important to include an effective title that accurately describes the content. A catchy and well-crafted title can help draw readers in and entice them to learn more about the journey your customer went through. Good titles are concise yet descriptive, so readers can quickly understand what the case study is about and why it is important.
Ready to Write Your Amazing New Case Study?
Here are a few quick tips to get you started:
- Interview your customer about their experience. Ask questions that will help you tell the full story from their point of view, such as:
- What was the customer looking to solve when partnering with you?
- What did the customer need that you were able to provide?
- What has their experience been with your product or service?
- Show their results and give a brief overview of how your tools, strategies, and/or recommendations were impactful.
- Use bullet points to emphasize key findings within the story and grab some quotes from your conversation with the customer to highlight.
- Create some calls to action for the sidebars or footers of your related blog content.
Once created, there are many great places to showcase your next case study. Link to it from your sales collateral or event materials (including your booths and product sheets). Have the resources to use video in your customer conversations? Send these videos out through your social channels to help your audience put a face and a voice to the results you can bring them.
One final piece of advice: Look at metrics about how your audience is primarily viewing content, and capitalize on those options for your next great case study. Best of luck!
This post was originally published in May 2016 and has been updated since.
Easily craft compelling customer interviews & provide leads with the information they need to make an informed decision.
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About the author
Mike Wolfe is an Inbound Marketing Strategist at SmartBug Media helping clients find success through inbound marketing. Read more articles by Mike Wolfe .
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Types of Case Studies
There are several different types of case studies, as well as several types of subjects of case studies. We will investigate each type in this article.
Different Types of Case Studies
There are several types of case studies, each differing from each other based on the hypothesis and/or thesis to be proved. It is also possible for types of case studies to overlap each other.
Each of the following types of cases can be used in any field or discipline. Whether it is psychology, business or the arts, the type of case study can apply to any field.
The explanatory case study focuses on an explanation for a question or a phenomenon. Basically put, an explanatory case study is 1 + 1 = 2. The results are not up for interpretation.
A case study with a person or group would not be explanatory, as with humans, there will always be variables. There are always small variances that cannot be explained.
However, event case studies can be explanatory. For example, let's say a certain automobile has a series of crashes that are caused by faulty brakes. All of the crashes are a result of brakes not being effective on icy roads.
What kind of case study is explanatory? Think of an example of an explanatory case study that could be done today
When developing the case study, the researcher will explain the crash, and the detailed causes of the brake failure. They will investigate what actions caused the brakes to fail, and what actions could have been taken to prevent the failure.
Other car companies could then use this case study to better understand what makes brakes fail. When designing safer products, looking to past failures is an excellent way to ensure similar mistakes are not made.
The same can be said for other safety issues in cars. There was a time when cars did not have seatbelts. The process to get seatbelts required in all cars started with a case study! The same can be said about airbags and collapsible steering columns. They all began with a case study that lead to larger research, and eventual change.
An exploratory case study is usually the precursor to a formal, large-scale research project. The case study's goal is to prove that further investigation is necessary.
For example, an exploratory case study could be done on veterans coming home from active combat. Researchers are aware that these vets have PTSD, and are aware that the actions of war are what cause PTSD. Beyond that, they do not know if certain wartime activities are more likely to contribute to PTSD than others.
For an exploratory case study, the researcher could develop a study that certain war events are more likely to cause PTSD. Once that is demonstrated, a large-scale research project could be done to determine which events are most likely to cause PTSD.
Exploratory case studies are very popular in psychology and the social sciences. Psychologists are always looking for better ways to treat their patients, and exploratory studies allow them to research new ideas or theories.
Multiple-Case Studies or Collective Studies
Multiple case or collective studies use information from different studies to formulate the case for a new study. The use of past studies allows additional information without needing to spend more time and money on additional studies.
Using the PTSD issue again is an excellent example of a collective study. When studying what contributes most to wartime PTSD, a researcher could use case studies from different war. For instance, studies about PTSD in WW2 vets, Persian Gulf War vets, and Vietnam vets could provide an excellent sampling of which wartime activities are most likely to cause PTSD.
If a multiple case study on vets was done with vets from the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, and the Iraq War, and it was determined the vets from Vietnam had much less PTSD, what could be inferred?
Furthermore, this type of study could uncover differences as well. For example, a researcher might find that veterans who serve in the Middle East are more likely to suffer a certain type of ailment. Or perhaps, that veterans who served with large platoons were more likely to suffer from PTSD than veterans who served in smaller platoons.
An intrinsic case study is the study of a case wherein the subject itself is the primary interest. The "Genie" case is an example of this. The study wasn't so much about psychology, but about Genie herself, and how her experiences shaped who she was.
Genie is the topic. Genie is what the researchers are interested in, and what their readers will be most interested in. When the researchers started the study, they didn't know what they would find.
They asked the question…"If a child is never introduced to language during the crucial first years of life, can they acquire language skills when they are older?" When they met Genie, they didn't know the answer to that question.
An instrumental case study uses a case to gain insights into a phenomenon. For example, a researcher interested in child obesity rates might set up a study with middle school students and an exercise program. In this case, the children and the exercise program are not the focus. The focus is learning the relationship between children and exercise, and why certain children become obese.
What is an example of an instrumental case study?
Focus on the results, not the topic!
Types of Subjects of Case Studies
There are generally five different types of case studies, and the subjects that they address. Every case study, whether explanatory or exploratory, or intrinsic or instrumental, fits into one of these five groups. These are:
Person – This type of study focuses on one particular individual. This case study would use several types of research to determine an outcome.
The best example of a person case is the "Genie" case study. Again, "Genie" was a 13-year-old girl who was discovered by social services in Los Angeles in 1970. Her father believed her to be mentally retarded, and therefore locked her in a room without any kind of stimulation. She was never nourished or cared for in any way. If she made a noise, she was beaten.
When "Genie" was discovered, child development specialists wanted to learn as much as possible about how her experiences contributed to her physical, emotional and mental health. They also wanted to learn about her language skills. She had no form of language when she was found, she only grunted. The study would determine whether or not she could learn language skills at the age of 13.
Since Genie was placed in a children's hospital, many different clinicians could observe her. In addition, researchers were able to interview the few people who did have contact with Genie and would be able to gather whatever background information was available.
This case study is still one of the most valuable in all of child development. Since it would be impossible to conduct this type of research with a healthy child, the information garnered from Genie's case is invaluable.
Group – This type of study focuses on a group of people. This could be a family, a group or friends, or even coworkers.
An example of this type of case study would be the uncontacted tribes of Indians in the Peruvian and Brazilian rainforest. These tribes have never had any modern contact. Therefore, there is a great interest to study them.
Scientists would be interested in just about every facet of their lives. How do they cook, how do they make clothing, how do they make tools and weapons. Also, doing psychological and emotional research would be interesting. However, because so few of these tribes exist, no one is contacting them for research. For now, all research is done observationally.
If a researcher wanted to study uncontacted Indian tribes, and could only observe the subjects, what type of observations should be made?
Location – This type of study focuses on a place, and how and why people use the place.
For example, many case studies have been done about Siberia, and the people who live there. Siberia is a cold and barren place in northern Russia, and it is considered the most difficult place to live in the world. Studying the location, and it's weather and people can help other people learn how to live with extreme weather and isolation.
Location studies can also be done on locations that are facing some kind of change. For example, a case study could be done on Alaska, and whether the state is seeing the effects of climate change.
Another type of study that could be done in Alaska is how the environment changes as population increases. Geographers and those interested in population growth often do these case studies.
Organization/Company – This type of study focuses on a business or an organization. This could include the people who work for the company, or an event that occurred at the organization.
An excellent example of this type of case study is Enron. Enron was one of the largest energy company's in the United States, when it was discovered that executives at the company were fraudulently reporting the company's accounting numbers.
Once the fraud was uncovered, investigators discovered willful and systematic corruption that caused the collapse of Enron, as well as their financial auditors, Arthur Andersen. The fraud was so severe that the top executives of the company were sentenced to prison.
This type of case study is used by accountants, auditors, financiers, as well as business students, in order to learn how such a large company could get away with committing such a serious case of corporate fraud for as long as they did. It can also be looked at from a psychological standpoint, as it is interesting to learn why the executives took the large risks that they took.
Most company or organization case studies are done for business purposes. In fact, in many business schools, such as Harvard Business School, students learn by the case method, which is the study of case studies. They learn how to solve business problems by studying the cases of businesses that either survived the same problem, or one that didn't survive the problem.
Event – This type of study focuses on an event, whether cultural or societal, and how it affects those that are affected by it. An example would be the Tylenol cyanide scandal. This event affected Johnson & Johnson, the parent company, as well as the public at large.
The case study would detail the events of the scandal, and more specifically, what management at Johnson & Johnson did to correct the problem. To this day, when a company experiences a large public relations scandal, they look to the Tylenol case study to learn how they managed to survive the scandal.
A very popular topic for case studies was the events of September 11 th . There were studies in almost all of the different types of research studies.
Obviously the event itself was a very popular topic. It was important to learn what lead up to the event, and how best to proven it from happening in the future. These studies are not only important to the U.S. government, but to other governments hoping to prevent terrorism in their countries.
Planning A Case Study
You have decided that you want to research and write a case study. Now what? In this section you will learn how to plan and organize a research case study.
Selecting a Case
The first step is to choose the subject, topic or case. You will want to choose a topic that is interesting to you, and a topic that would be of interest to your potential audience. Ideally you have a passion for the topic, as then you will better understand the issues surrounding the topic, and which resources would be most successful in the study.
You also must choose a topic that would be of interest to a large number of people. You want your case study to reach as large an audience as possible, and a topic that is of interest to just a few people will not have a very large reach. One of the goals of a case study is to reach as many people as possible.
Who is your audience?
Are you trying to reach the layperson? Or are you trying to reach other professionals in your field? Your audience will help determine the topic you choose.
If you are writing a case study that is looking for ways to lower rates of child obesity, who is your audience?
If you are writing a psychology case study, you must consider whether your audience will have the intellectual skills to understand the information in the case. Does your audience know the vocabulary of psychology? Do they understand the processes and structure of the field?
You want your audience to have as much general knowledge as possible. When it comes time to write the case study, you may have to spend some time defining and explaining terms that might be unfamiliar to the audience.
Lastly, when selecting a topic you do not want to choose a topic that is very old. Current topics are always the most interesting, so if your topic is more than 5-10 years old, you might want to consider a newer topic. If you choose an older topic, you must ask yourself what new and valuable information do you bring to the older topic, and is it relevant and necessary.
Determine Research Goals
What type of case study do you plan to do?
An illustrative case study will examine an unfamiliar case in order to help others understand it. For example, a case study of a veteran with PTSD can be used to help new therapists better understand what veterans experience.
An exploratory case study is a preliminary project that will be the precursor to a larger study in the future. For example, a case study could be done challenging the efficacy of different therapy methods for vets with PTSD. Once the study is complete, a larger study could be done on whichever method was most effective.
A critical instance case focuses on a unique case that doesn't have a predetermined purpose. For example, a vet with an incredibly severe case of PTSD could be studied to find ways to treat his condition.
Ethics are a large part of the case study process, and most case studies require ethical approval. This approval usually comes from the institution or department the researcher works for. Many universities and research institutions have ethics oversight departments. They will require you to prove that you will not harm your study subjects or participants.
This should be done even if the case study is on an older subject. Sometimes publishing new studies can cause harm to the original participants. Regardless of your personal feelings, it is essential the project is brought to the ethics department to ensure your project can proceed safely.
Developing the Case Study
Once you have your topic, it is time to start planning and developing the study. This process will be different depending on what type of case study you are planning to do. For thissection, we will assume a psychological case study, as most case studies are based on the psychological model.
Once you have the topic, it is time to ask yourself some questions. What question do you want to answer with the study?
For example, a researcher is considering a case study about PTSD in veterans. The topic is PTSD in veterans. What questions could be asked?
Do veterans from Middle Eastern wars suffer greater instances of PTSD?
Do younger soldiers have higher instances of PTSD?
Does the length of the tour effect the severity of PTSD?
Each of these questions is a viable question, and finding the answers, or the possible answers, would be helpful for both psychologists and veterans who suffer from PTSD.
1. What is the background of the case study? Who requested the study to be done and why? What industry is the study in, and where will the study take place?
2. What is the problem that needs a solution? What is the situation, and what are the risks?
3. What questions are required to analyze the problem? What questions might the reader of the study have? What questions might colleagues have?
4. What tools are required to analyze the problem? Is data analysis necessary?
5. What is your current knowledge about the problem or situation? How much background information do you need to procure? How will you obtain this background info?
6. What other information do you need to know to successfully complete the study?
7. How do you plan to present the report? Will it be a simple written report, or will you add PowerPoint presentations or images or videos? When is the report due? Are you giving yourself enough time to complete the project?
The research notebook is the heart of the study. Other organizational methods can be utilized, such as Microsoft Excel, but a physical notebook should always be kept as well.
Planning the Research
The most important parts of the case study are:
1. The case study's questions
2. The study's propositions
3. How information and data will be analyzed
4. The logic behind the propositions
5. How the findings will be interpreted
The study's questions should be either a "how" or "why" question, and their definition is the researchers first job. These questions will help determine the study's goals.
Not every case study has a proposition. If you are doing an exploratory study, you will not have propositions. Instead, you will have a stated purpose, which will determine whether your study is successful, or not.
How the information will be analyzed will depend on what the topic is. This would vary depending on whether it was a person, group, or organization.
When setting up your research, you will want to follow case study protocol. The protocol should have the following sections:
1. An overview of the case study, including the objectives, topic and issues.
2. Procedures for gathering information and conducting interviews.
3. Questions that will be asked during interviews and data collection.
4. A guide for the final case study report.
When deciding upon which research methods to use, these are the most important:
1. Documents and archival records
3. Direct observations
4. Indirect observations, or observations of subjects
5. Physical artifacts and tools
Documents could include almost anything, including letters, memos, newspaper articles, Internet articles, other case studies, or any other document germane to the study.
Archival records can include military and service records, company or business records, survey data or census information.
Before beginning the study you want a clear research strategy. Your best chance at success will be if you use an outline that describes how you will gather your data and how you will answer your research questions.
The researcher should create a list with four or five bullet points that need answers. Consider the approaches for these questions, and the different perspectives you could take.
The researcher should then choose at least two data sources (ideally more). These sources could include interviews, Internet research, and fieldwork or report collection. The more data sources used, the better the quality of the final data.
The researcher then must formulate interview questions that will result in detailed and in-depth answers that will help meet the research goals. A list of 15-20 questions is a good start, but these can and will change as the process flows.
The interview process is one of the most important parts of the case study process. But before this can begin, it is imperative the researcher gets informed consent from the subjects.
The process of informed consent means the subject understands their role in the study, and that their story will be used in the case study. You will want to have each subject complete a consent form.
The researcher must explain what the study is trying to achieve, and how their contribution will help the study. If necessary, assure the subject that their information will remain private if requested, and they do not need to use their real name if they are not comfortable with that. Pseudonyms are commonly used in case studies.
The process by which permission is granted before beginning medical or psychological research
A fictitious name used to hide ones identity
It is important the researcher is clear regarding the expectations of the study participation. For example, are they comfortable on camera? Do they mind if their photo is used in the final written study.
Interviews are one of the most important sources of information for case studies. There are several types of interviews. They are:
Open-ended – This type of interview has the interviewer and subject talking to each other about the subject. The interviewer asks questions, and the subject answers them. But the subject can elaborate and add information whenever they see fit.
A researcher might meet with a subject multiple times, and use the open-ended method. This can be a great way to gain insight into events. However, the researcher mustn't rely solely on the information from the one subject, and be sure to have multiple sources.
Focused – This type of interview is used when the subject is interviewed for a short period of time, and answers a set of questions. This type of interview could be used to verify information learned in an open-ended interview with another subject. Focused interviews are normally done to confirm information, not to gain new information.
Structured – Structured interviews are similar to surveys. These are usually used when collecting data for large groups, like neighborhoods. The questions are decided before hand, and the expected answers are usually simple.
When conducting interviews, the answers are obviously important. But just as important are the observations that can be made. This is one of the reasons in-person interviews are preferable over phone interviews, or Internet or mail surveys.
Ideally, when conducing in-person interviews, more than one researcher should be present. This allows one researcher to focus on observing while the other is interviewing. This is particularly important when interviewing large groups of people.
The researcher must understand going into the case study that the information gained from the interviews might not be valuable. It is possible that once the interviews are completed, the information gained is not relevant.
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Case Study Solution
Parts of case study research.
Parts Of Case Study Research: What Are Some Tests? We all know that the most important test for any case study is to ask questions. So we’re here to help you find out what works for you. If you want to know more about this subject, you can read our article on the topics of cases study and cases study research and you can find out more about the topics below. The article: How to Answer the Questions on the Case Study 1. What is the Test? A case study is a story that’s told to you by a parent or guardian. A case study is the study to tell you what you want to say. A child’s story is how they solve a case. Each case study has its own personality and story, but the story you write about that tells the story.
Recommendations for the Case Study
What is the Test for Case Study Research? In look what i found article, we discussed the tests for case study research, and some of them are related to case study research. Things we like to do, like read through a case study to see if there are any problems in the case you’re struggling with (such as a developmental delay or a high risk for a family member to be harmed) and to find out what tests work best for you. Case study research is an exercise in research that you’ll study and apply. It’s the science of research you’ve done. It“s not about writing science, it’s about finding out what works and what doesn’t. We’ll start with a few of the tests and then we’ll review the topic. 1) What are some tests? The first test is a basic reading comprehension test. This is a little something you do to check for a problem in your case study.
This is a basic test that you can use to understand what you’d like to see in the case study. It”s a test for the science of reading. It’s a test to see if you understand what you mean in your question. You can tell the truth and disagree with what you read. 2) What are the tests for the case study research? For example, how do I know if the case study is good or bad? This is the test for the case studies research, and it’ll tell you what the results are if your questions are answered well. 3) What are test results? You want to know how many cases you’m reading in your own case study. How many cases are you reading? How many of the examples you’s reading? 4) What do you use for the cases study? It obviously depends on the author’s area of practice. For example, if you’’re making a case study for a child who’s very fragile, or if you�’re working with young adults, or if your child is a parent, how do you use this as a case study? If you’\’re going to use the case study, how often does it happen? How often? How often is this done? 5) What are your questions? When official website read a case study, which questions are you asking for?Parts Of Case Study Research MID-DIMENSIONALIZED SURFACTORS As others have noted previously, most SURFACTOR studies used the same method of analysis as the analysis of the CT scan.
However, some studies used smaller figures and used the results this the CT scan to show the extent of structural injury. This was done by comparing the individual CT scan results, and by comparing the CT scan results to the data for the patient. This method of analysis may be used to document the extent of injury. It is not always possible to compare the CT scan data with the data for each patient because of the different nature of CT scans. However, it is possible to compare CT scans with the data from a patient, and it is possible that some of the CT scans are more accurate than others. This is done by comparing, for each patient, the CT scan result from the patient with the data presented from the patient to the patient. This can be done by comparing CT scans with each patient’s CT scan data. For the analysis of tissue damage, it is important to have an understanding of the extent of damage.
Porters Model Analysis
For example, in the study of Salzburg et al., it is important that the CT scan has the same extent of damage as that of the tissue. The CT scan data presented in Salzburg’s study are from the CT scans of the patients that were scanned at different times. The CT scans of Salzberger et al. were from the same patients who were not included in the study. For the analysis of postmortem tissue damage, the CT scans were from the patients who were scanned at the same time. For the study of the postmortem tissue change, the CT = CT scan data were from the CT scanning of the post mortem tissue. The CT scans of Virk et al.
and Salzberger’s studies were performed on the same patients, and the CT scan of Virk was performed on the patients who had died of postmortem causes after the postmortem period. The CT data presented in next etal. and Salzer’s are from the patients that died before the autopsy was conducted. CT scans were made on the same patient. The CT images of Salzberg and Salzberg’s patients were from the time when the postmortem studies of Virk and Salzburg were performed. When the CT scan was compared to the postmortem data, it was possible to determine that the CT scans from Virk were more accurate than the postmortem scans and that postmortem tissue was damaged more severely than postmortem tissue. CT scans that were made on a different patient may not be the same data, but it is possible. In addition, it is not possible to determine whether the postmortem tissues have been damaged.
This is because postmortem tissue is too small to be seen by a CT scanner. In a postmortem tissue, the CT image has a broader field of view than that of the post-mortem tissue. When using the CT scan for postmortem tissue assessment, it is necessary to consider the possibility of damage to the post-mitochondrial tissue rather than the well-known damage to the early post-mitotic tissue. The likelihood of developing a post-mitosis tissue is higher when the post-metastatic tissue is damaged. The post-mitotrophs are the mid-stage cells that have been mitotically active in the early postmitotic phase. Consequently, the CT machine and the CT machine are the most suitable for the study of post-mitomal tissue. The more expensive CT machines are also better for the study. Post-mitotic cells are typically larger than early postmitototic cells.
When the cells are less than two weeks old, the post-induced mitotic cells are larger. This means that the post-age cells are smaller than the postmitotic cells. It is possible to have both post-mitosynaptic and post-mitogenic cells, and they are similar to the postmitomatic cells. There are a number of different ways of using CT scans to assess postmitotic cell activity. These include evaluating the intensity of the injury, the rate of injury, and the time-course of the injury. For example CT scans are shown in Appendix A. ItParts Of Case Study Research — No. 1 This study was published online in the Journal of Applied Computational Biology and Biomedical Sciences, in which it was performed.
Problem Statement of the Case Study
This article is part of a previous article re the paper “General Characteristics of Integrative Cellular Dynamics” published online in  2013. Abstract This paper focuses on the role of the cellular compartment of a single cell in the regulation of the formation of a stable, functionally graded, and/or graded brain structure, as well as of the functioning of the micro-organism cells themselves. The micro-organisms have evolved to sense and respond to the environment in which they live, such as the environment in the brain, but they do not necessarily respond to the micro-organisms themselves. Thus, the micro-organic cells themselves are the fundamental determinants of the neuro-environmental interactions in the brain. This paper argues that functional, graded, and graded brain structures, and micro-organisomes, are indispensable in determining the physical and chemical properties of the brain cells. Introduction The brain is an important organ for countless functions and is essential for a wide range of neurological and physiological processes. The brain is comprised of many cells, including neurons, glial cells, astrocytes, and macrophages. The brain cells are cells of the immune system and are fundamentally important for the functioning of this organ.
Case Study Analysis
They are also the basis of the decision-making, decision-making processes, and the formation and development of new and old brain structures. The central nervous system (CNS) is a large and complex area of the brain that is composed of many cells that form the cerebral cortex. These cells are the basis of many different functions, including language, memory, and reward processing. The brain has a network of both cell types, the microglia, and the astrocytic cells. The microglial cells are the cells of the central nervous system that are important in the development of many types of neurons, including neurons of the central and peripheral nervous systems, and in the maintenance of function, such as in the development and maintenance of the brain. Synapse formation, the formation of the synaptic junctions between the two types of cells, is critical to the formation and/or the maintenance of synaptic connections between the two cells. Synapses are the key elements of the synaptic circuit, and they are formed by the two types, the glia and the astroglia. It is well known that the glia in the central nervous systems are the major cells in the brain that play a role in the synapse formation.
The glia play an important role in the dendritic spine formation and the axonal sprout formation, and in forming check it out axonal outgrowth of the axons in the barrel cortex. This is the first study to investigate the role of glia in synapse formation, and to explore the role of astroglia in synapse development. This study was performed using the mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease and the control models of Huntington’s disease, which are also known as Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. This study indicated that the glial cells in the hippocampus are present in the brain and play an important part in the his response stages of the formation and maintenance of hippocampal function. Methods The study was performed in the laboratory animal facility of the Department of Neurobiology and Experimental Medicine
Case study assignment, if you need help with writing your case study assignment online visit casecheckout.com service. our expert writers will provide you with top-quality case .get 30% off now..
- Open access
- Published: 14 November 2023
Experiences of living with binge eating disorder and facilitators of recovery processes: a qualitative study
- Marit Fjerdingren Bremer 1 ,
- Lisa Garnweidner-Holme 2 ,
- Linda Nesse 1 , 3 &
- Marianne Molin 2 , 4
Journal of Eating Disorders volume 11 , Article number: 201 ( 2023 ) Cite this article
Binge eating disorder (BED) is the most prevalent eating disorder worldwide. BED is often associated with low quality of life and mental health problems. Given the complexity of the disorder, recovery may be challenging. Since BED was only recently specified as a diagnostic category by the World Health Organization (2021), little is known about how patients experience living with BED in everyday life. This study aimed to explore how patients experience living with BED and to investigate factors perceived as facilitating recovery.
Individual interviews were conducted with six patients in a rehabilitation programme for recovery from BED. Interviews were conducted digitally and verbally transcribed between December 2020 and January 2021. The analysis was based on Malterud’s systematic text condensation.
Being diagnosed with BED could be experienced as a relief. The participants perceived living with BED as a challenging addiction. They struggled with a low self-image and experienced a lack of understanding from others, resulting in shame. Self-compassion and social support from friends and family and through participation in a rehabilitation programme were important facilitators of recovery.
Participants perceived living with BED as a challenging addiction. They struggled with low self-esteem and experienced a lack of understanding from others, resulting in shame. Being diagnosed with BED was perceived as a relief. They appreciated that issues related to mental health were addressed during rehabilitation to better understand the complexity of BED. Knowledge about BED, as well as the difficulties of living with BED among family members and friends might help patients with BED feel less ashamed of their disorder and could thus contribute to increased self-compassion.
Plain English summary
We interviewed six patients with binge eating disorder (BED) about their experiences living with BED, which is the most prevalent eating disorder worldwide. However, difficulties diagnosing patients with BED and a lack of knowledge about BED among healthcare professionals make it challenging to provide patients with appropriate help to recover from BED. The participants in our study participated in a rehabilitation programme for BED. They experienced living with BED as a challenging addiction. Low self-image and others’ lack of understanding made the individuals ashamed of their eating disorders. Self-compassion and social support through taking part in the rehabilitation programme were important facilitators of recovery. This study indicates that more knowledge about BED among family members, friends and healthcare professionals and social support are notable facilitators for recovering from BED.
Even though BED is the most prevalent eating disorder, we have limited knowledge about how patients experience living with BED and their recovery processes
Patients with BED described the disorder as a challenging addiction
Low self-image and lack of understanding by others made the participants ashamed of their disordered eating behaviours
Self-compassion and social support were perceived as core facilitators of recovery
The key characteristics of binge eating disorder (BED) are the tendency to engage in binge eating episodes during which excessive amounts of food are consumed in a short period of time, paired with a subjective sense of loss of control [ 1 ]. BED was first recognised as a diagnostic category in the fifth version of the American Diagnostic and Statistical Model of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 2013 [ 2 ]. In the European System’s International Classification of Diseases, BED was first specified in 2018 [ 3 ]. The lifetime prevalence of BED is estimated to between 1.5 and 1.9%, making it the most prevalent of the eating disorders [ 4 , 5 ]. Although BED is considered the most common eating disorder, it can be argued to be the eating disorder that receives the least attention in mental health care. Several models of environmental factors contributing to BED have been proposed [ 6 ]. These for instance include media exposure, thin-ideal internalisation, and personality traits such as negative emotionality [ 6 ]. People with overweight or obesity appear to be at particular risk of developing BED although the directionality in the relationship between overweight, obesity and BED is complex and unclear [ 7 ].
Recovery from eating disorders is a non-linear process that includes psychological and social changes, including experiences of empowerment, relationships with others, as well as improvements in body image and reductions in disordered eating patterns [ 8 ]. Given the complexity of BED, recovery can be a challenging process [ 9 ]. Recovery rates, on average, remain below 50% and largely depend on how recovery is defined [ 10 ]. Recovery from BED may be understood and defined differently by patients and health professionals [ 10 ].
There is an increasing awareness of BED in the research literature on eating disorders, with several studies exploring patients’ positive and negative experiences of participation in treatment and rehabilitation [ 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 ]. However, there appears to be fewer studies on patients’ experiences of living with BED in everyday life [ 15 , 16 , 17 , 18 , 19 ]. In qualitative studies, patients have described living with BED as characterized by experiences of guilt and shame, as well as a loss of control [ 15 , 16 , 17 , 18 , 19 ]. However, accepting the disorder and being validated by others have been described as important steps in the recovery process [ 17 ]. Furthermore, psychotherapy and person-centred treatment may facilitate recovery [ 15 , 16 , 17 ]. Although some studies have investigated patients’ experiences with recovery from BED [ 8 , 17 , 20 , 21 ], we have limited in-depth knowledge on facilitators of recovery. Knowledge about how patients experience living with and recovering from BED may be important for better informing our understanding of the influence of BED on everyday life and for tailoring treatment to best promote recovery [ 22 ]. This study explores how persons with BED experience living with this eating disorder and investigates factors that were perceived as facilitating recovery.
Design and data collection
Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted by MFB between December 2020 and January 2021. MFB holds a master’s degree in public health science and a bachelor’s degree in public nutrition. MFB currently works at a rehabilitation centre as a nutritionist with patients with obesity. The individuals in this study were recruited from another rehabilitation centre and MFB did not have former knowledge to the participants. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the interviews took place online using a digital platform called Visiba Care (visibacare.com), an application or web interface that offers secure communication through video. The interview guide (Additional file 1 ) was developed by MFB, LN and MM. LN is a clinical psychologist with a PhD in public health science who works in addiction research. MM holds a PhD in nutrition and is a professor in public health and public health nutrition. The themes in the interview guide were developed inductively guided by the research questions of the investigators. The interview guide was pilot tested with a patient with BED. The pilot interview did not change the interview guide. Hence, the pilot interview was included in the sample and analysis of this article. 11 participants attending the rehabilitation programme were invited to participate in the study. 6 agreed to participate. We did not include more participants because we reached information power [ 23 ], due to these 6 informants provided very relevant information for the actual research questions in the study. Before participation, the interviewees gave their written informed consent. Recruitment continued until we reached informational power related to the richness of the data [ 23 ]. Interviews were audio-recorded with a Dictaphone application [ 24 ] and lasted 45–60 min. The interviews were transcribed verbatim by MFB. All the authors read the transcribed interviews. The study was conducted in accordance with COREQ guidelines [ 25 ].
Participants and setting
The participants were all women between 30 and 70 years old. In Norway, persons who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) > 40 without comorbidities or a BMI > 35 with comorbidities qualify for treatment at rehabilitation centres [ 26 ]. In some of these centres, patients are screened for eating disorders to identify the potential coexistence of BED. Participants in this study were in treatment for obesity at one of these rehabilitation centres. Based on screening procedures after entering rehabilitation, patients who experienced co-occurring challenges with binge eating were offered participation in a rehabilitation programme focusing on coping with and recovering from BED. The screening process consisted of six questionnaires and a consultation with a psychologist. A clinical assessment was made of whether the person met BED criteria. The questionnaires explored the patients’ eating behaviours and thoughts and feelings related to food. Two questionnaires mapped the patients’ mental health, including anxiety and depressive symptoms.
As part of the rehabilitation programme, sessions were held once a week over three months. The programme involved individual and group-based sessions, with 10 participants, about behaviour change, physical activity, diet, mental health, motivation and empowerment. The group-based sessions were led by a specialist in clinical psychology and a clinical nutritionist. The group-based sessions focused on challenges with binge eating, and important parts of the group discussions were self-esteem, causes and triggers of binging, knowledge of physiological mechanisms, understanding of thoughts and emotions’ influence on behaviours, and further work on recovery. Respondents were given fictive names in the presentation of the results to secure their privacy.
The analysis was conducted by MFB and was guided by Malterud’s systematic text condensation [ 27 ], a descriptive and explorative method inspired by phenomenology. LGH, LN and MM assisted with the analysis. The analysis involved the following steps: (1) reading all the transcribed interviews to obtain an overall impression and rereading them with a focus on the study’s aim; (2) identifying and sorting meaning units representing aspects of participants’ lived experiences with BED and perceived facilitators for recovery and coding; (3) condensing the contents and meanings of each coded group and (4) synthesising the contents of each code group to generalise descriptions and concepts. The process to formulate meaning units and the subsequent coding of the content and meaning involved discussion and clearance of the text. The main focus was to discuss understanding of the text, compare main impressions and themes, which again could provide an overview of similarities and differences. We highlighted recurring citations and citations that gave information on equal topics.
We identified the following two main themes related to patients’ experiences with BED (Fig. 1 ): (1) A challenging addiction with the subthemes giving it a name , living in a negative spiral and it’s in your head ; and (2) shame with the subthemes painful thoughts and feelings , negative self-image and feeling misunderstood . We found three main themes regarding the perceived facilitators of recovery: (1) recovery is a long process with the subthemes acceptance of the disorder and give yourself time ; (2) coping with the subthemes self-compassion and strategies to manage the disorder ; (3) community with the subthemes group affiliation and social support .
Main themes and subthemes concerning the experience of living with BED
Experiences of living with BED
The participants described living with BED as a challenging addiction . Berit explained how difficult it was to stop eating: ‘When I eat, I get happy right there and then, but when I think about it, and the dopamine or whatever it is stops working, I feel completely unsuccessful, and then I think that I can just give up. It is over. I just continue to eat. … I can’t do anything right anyway’.
Giving it a name describes participants’ experienced relief of being diagnosed with BED. The participants experienced BED as a complex condition and a challenging disorder that removed their focus from other notable areas of life. They often told stories of repeated feelings of failure in their management of BED. They felt too embarrassed to tell anyone in their lives about their diagnoses and, thus, kept it a secret, even though they thought their family members already probably knew. Their frustration with not being able to control their eating was described as confusing and time consuming. They felt hopeless and stupid. However, being diagnosed with BED was often described as a relief, which Nora expressed:
‘It’s actually been really nice. (...) I was referred because of my overweight, uhh, and based on mapping and such, I was diagnosed with binge eating disorder. And I was about to say, uhh, that I wasn’t completely surprised. I’ve realised in a way that there has been a problem, uhh, but at the same time, it was kind of good to have it confirmed (...)’.
All participants were diagnosed with BED at the rehabilitation centre.
The participants described living with BED as a negative spiral that was difficult to escape and characterised by periods of guilt when they could not control their eating habits. Tuva explained, ‘Yes, it’s like I don’t use my head. I don’t do what I’m supposed to, ehh, and I don’t enjoy it. I sit and eat with a guilty conscience’. Conversely, the participants stated that binging gave them good feelings and satisfaction. These binge eating episodes were considered a reward or a strategy to escape stressful experiences in daily life.
Dealing with binge eating was often viewed in the context of how they otherwise felt in life. A negative spiral was also mentioned concerning weight management experiences. Individuals had experiences in which they lost weight but had trouble maintaining weight loss. This led to dissatisfaction and hopelessness and resulted in episodes of increased binge eating. Some participants had lived with BED for a long time and had experienced BED as a permanent part of them.
Participants experienced BED as something that is in your head , as Pia expressed: ‘At least it starts there, that the body is a symptom of what’s in the head. I think that about my suffering, that the physical kind of reflects the mental’. It was vital for participants to understand the connection between physical and mental challenges and how these affect each other. Negative thoughts and feelings often led to binge eating episodes, and subjects appreciated the focus on mental health in the rehabilitation centre to learn strategies to cope and choose differently.
All participants associated BED with shame , as illustrated by Berit’s statement:
‘It is very taboo, very taboo. I try to hide it from everyone. When we’re with others, I don’t eat more than others, but when I’m at home and no one sees me, that’s when I eat. So, it’s tiring, and you always watch out. You never feel well enough, and uhh yeah, it really hurts’. Shame was often described as painful feelings and negative thoughts . The participants often felt ashamed when other people asked them, ‘Why can’t you just stop eating?’ This question made them feel ashamed of not being in control of their eating behaviours. In this context, the respondents explained that most binge eating episodes occurred when they were alone to avoid feelings of shame. The participants had many negative thoughts and spent much time ruminating about what others thought about them. Thus, shame often related to subjects’ negative self-image , as this comment by Pia illustrated: ‘That’s kind of what the body ideals are today, thin and slim, and if you don’t fit in that category, there’s something wrong with you’.
Several participants described having a negative self-image and critical thoughts about their bodies and behaviours. They mentioned that they already had negative self-images before developing obesity and being diagnosed with BED. Obesity was considered challenging in terms of physical limitations and mental health struggles. They described feelings of not fitting into the bodily ideals in today’s society, where thinness and health are expected.
Living with shame was also connected to a feeling of being misunderstood by family members, friends or even health professionals. Berit stated: ‘I had a doctor who said, “You just have to pull yourself together. You just have to eat right”. I think there are probably a lot of doctors who don’t have knowledge about binge eating’.
Participants experienced little openness about BED. They expressed that they feel it is more common to talk and hear about anorexia and bulimia. Having a less-known eating disorder makes it harder to be open and honest. Some kept the disorder a secret from family and friends, which again worsened their shame and hopelessness.
Facilitators of recovery processes
Recovery from BED was often considered a long process involving accepting the disorder and giving oneself time . Participants defined ‘recovery’ as the process of reducing binge eating and enhancing coping. Being healthy did not imply the total absence of binge eating episodes, but having greater control over the occurrence and amount of food consumed during binge eating episodes, as Kari explained: ‘It is about coping with it so that it does not happen so often and regularly, but to accept that it can happen once in a while and that it is normal and that you should not feel that you have failed. Because I think that when it happens once, seldom, that I have succeeded in recovering’. The participants did not perceive recovery from BED as being healthy, since they often had other diseases that they had to handle, such as diabetes.
They perceived it as important to have strategies to manage recovery, as Pia described: ‘ I think that you have to work on it continuously. But I see a change because I have gotten some tools that I can use in such situations, and I have another mindset now. I feel more relaxed’.
Managing to cope with recurring binge eating episodes was considered an important facilitator of recovery. Participants associated coping with exerting control over their eating behaviours. Many subjects felt more in control with others but felt they could lose it when they were alone, as Silje explained: ‘It’s kind of like how you compare yourself to others and how they manage to control their eating, uhh, and that's what I want, too’.
The participants often managed to have control by avoiding access to foods that triggered BED (e.g. sweets). Nora said, ‘I have the knowledge to choose the food that’s right for me, and I need to have it available’ . Furthermore, they related coping to ‘inner factors’ that influence their health and quality of life. For instance, focusing on health aspects was considered more important than focusing on weight. Health aspects were also an important motivation for recovery. Several participants explained that pain due to being overweight, such as knee arthrosis, motivated them to control their BED.
In addition, self-compassion was often mentioned as a significant facilitator of recovery. Participants gave themselves credit and bragged about periods without binge eating as positively self-reinforcing, often disrupting their negative spirals. Pia explained, ‘Self-compassion is very important for me, hm, being good with myself, being my own best friend and to think about what is good for me. Like, ‘Are episodes with binge eating good for me? No, they are not. It is better for me to go for a walk or to eat fruit’. However, the participants said that self-compassion requires awareness and practice. They highlighted getting older, gaining life experience and being more mature and reflective as factors that made it easier to give oneself acceptance.
‘Time outs’ from eating were reported as an important strategy to manage the disorder . The patients stated that breaks gave them time to reflect on why they were eating, as Berit explained: ‘It has also helped me to wait for 15 min and to eat what you like. Take a 15-min break to see if I really want to eat. Very often, you actually don’t want to. I may start to eat, but then I am at least more aware of eating.’ Another participant stated that it was important not to be too strict with oneself and not to have overly strict rules, such as ‘yes food’ and ‘no food’, to cope with BED. Good eating routines were another factor that facilitated recovery. Outdoor activities, listening to music, reading books, knitting and talking to oneself often helped interviewees to avoid new BED episodes. They appreciated that the present rehabilitation programme focused on mental health, well-being and personal relationships with food. Learning about BED gave them a better understanding that obesity did not just result from a lack of self-control and willpower.
One of the most significant facilitators for managing recovery was a community characterised by group affiliation and social support . All outlined the importance of the community at the rehabilitation centre, as Pia described: ‘It was very good to meet others in the same situation and to get validation that there are more people in the same situation and that you can talk to them openly about these episodes without being judged’.
Some participants feared how they would cope with BED once they no longer belonged to a rehabilitation programme. The perceived social support of others in the group gave them safety. Nora explained, ‘It was very good to not feel alone (…) to hear that others have the same problems. This made it easier to share my experiences. Being together with others in the same situation makes me feel safe’. The subjects learned to share BED-related experiences and feelings in the group. For recovery, they also considered it important to learn to share their feelings with others outside the programme, as Nora said: ‘I have been better about talking about my feelings at home, for example “Now I am alone, and I am sad because you are not here”’.
The participants in this study perceived living with BED as a challenging addiction. Being diagnosed with BED could be a relief; however, a negative self-image and experiencing a lack of understanding from others made the participants ashamed of their disorder. The participants experienced limited openness about BED and mental disorders in their social surroundings. Even though participants were still living with BED, perceived facilitators of recovery were self-compassion and social support received during rehabilitation.
In a study comparing how obese women with and without BED experienced binge eating [ 28 ], the authors found that women experienced BED as a form of addiction. In this context, the participants in our study experienced living with BED as characterised by negative thoughts and feelings. A review of research on emotion regulation in BED found that negative emotions play an important role in the onset and maintenance of binge eating [ 29 ]. Likewise, the participants in our study perceived living with BED as a rollercoaster ride of emotions, where the distance between positive and negative feelings was short. Experiences of living with BED as a negative spiral was also described in another study of patients with BED in the US [ 14 ].
The participants in our study often experienced living with BED as characterized by the shame of not having control over their eating habits and weight. Negative comments from family members or friends about their eating habits or obesity exacerbated shame. The participants also related shame to feeling misunderstood by family members, friends or even health professionals. This finding corroborates studies that found that patients with BED often felt misunderstood by health professionals [ 8 ]. There are indications that health professionals have limited knowledge of BED. A cross-sectional study in the US identified low awareness of and knowledge about BED among health professionals.
Shame of not having control was identified as hindering recovery in other studies [ 17 , 29 , 30 ]. For instance, a qualitative study investigating using online messages in a rehabilitation programme for BED found that self-blame promoted a feedback cycle of binging, which was perceived as barrier for recovery [ 17 ]. As mentioned in the background, some studies have investigated patients’ experiences with recovery from BED [ 8 , 17 , 20 , 21 ]. Our participants experienced recovery as a long process that mainly concerned coping. Interestingly, recovery did not imply being fully recovered from binge eating episodes but rather control over the disorder. We found that self-compassion and social support within a rehabilitation programme were the most important facilitators for recovery. Self-compassion involves developing an accepting relationship with oneself, particularly in instances of perceived failure, inadequacy and personal suffering [ 31 ], while social support constitutes the availability of potential supporters, or structural support, and the perception of support, or functional support [ 32 ]. Studies have revealed promising results for compassion-focused therapy for recovery from BED [ 33 , 34 ]. Social support may play an important role in BED recovery process [ 32 , 35 , 36 ]. An Australian mixed-methods study outlined the social support in a Instagram community as important facilitator for recovery [ 37 ]. Similarly, social support was also a notable facilitator of group-based recovery for patients with BED, combining guided physical exercise and dietary therapy in a study from Norway [ 14 ]. Our participants outlined that for recovery, they considered it important to learn to share their feelings with others outside the programme.
All of our participants outlined the importance of being part in a rehabilitation programme for recovery from BED. Several studies have investigated participants’ experiences with different rehabilitation programmes for BED [ 12 , 14 , 17 , 37 ]. For instance, a qualitative study exploring participants’ experiences of a web-based programme for bulimia and BED found that interventions should be flexible, considering individual preferences [ 38 ]. The participants in our study described the value of addressing cognitive behavioural change and mental health and appreciated receiving support from an interprofessional team that collaborated in their recovery process. However, it should be acknowledged that all of the participants were overweight or obese before their diagnosis with BED. Their experiences with previous weight-loss programmes might have influenced their preferences for addressing mental health in rehabilitation. Women with BED in the US have also reported appreciating receiving weight-neutral rehabilitation programmes for BED after experiences of being blamed for their weight and health conditions [ 11 ]. Thus, rehabilitation programmes for patients with BED should be tailored towards subjectively relevant themes to facilitate recovery.
This study was conducted in a small sample size, which is usual for qualitative research aiming to investigate participants’ experiences [ 23 ]. However, it has to be acknowledged that the findings of this study are primarily applicable to the specific setting of the study and perhaps only transferable to patients in similar situations or rehabilitation programmes. Participants were interviewed a short time after they completed the programme. Hence, their responses might have been influenced by the focus of the content in programme in regard to facilitators for recovery. In addition, interviews were conducted digitally, which might have influenced the openness of the participants [ 39 ].
Conclusion and implications for practice
The participants perceived living with BED as a challenging addiction. They struggled with low self-esteem and experienced a lack of understanding from others, resulting in shame. They appreciated that issues related to mental health were addressed during rehabilitation to better understand the complexity of BED. Knowledge about BED as well as the difficulties of living with BED among family members and friends might help patients with BED feel less ashamed of their disorder and could thus contribute to increased self-compassion.Rehabilitation programmes should address social support in order to promote recovery from BED.
Availability of data and materials
The data analysis for this manuscript can be made available upon reasonable request by contacting the corresponding author.
- Binge eating disorder
World Health Organization
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We thank the patients and the recruitment site for their participation in this study.
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Department of Public Health Science, Faculty of Landscape and Society, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, 1433, Ås, Norway
Marit Fjerdingren Bremer & Linda Nesse
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Lisa Garnweidner-Holme & Marianne Molin
SERAF, Norwegian Centre for Addiction Research, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Department of Health and Exercise, Faculty of Health Sciences, Kristiania University College, Oslo, Norway
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MFB, LN and MM designed the research. MFB performed the analysis. MFB conducted the interviews. LN, MM and LGH assisted with the analysis. MFB and LGH drafted the manuscript. LN and MM critically reviewed and revised the manuscript. All the authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Correspondence to Lisa Garnweidner-Holme .
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The Norwegian Centre for Research Data (NSD, approval number 121485) approved the study. All subjects gave written informed consent according to the Declaration of Helsinki.
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Additional file 1.
. Interview guide.
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Bremer, M.F., Garnweidner-Holme, L., Nesse, L. et al. Experiences of living with binge eating disorder and facilitators of recovery processes: a qualitative study. J Eat Disord 11 , 201 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40337-023-00929-2
Received : 10 August 2023
Accepted : 10 November 2023
Published : 14 November 2023
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1186/s40337-023-00929-2
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What Are Palliative Care and Hospice Care?
On this page:
What is palliative care?
What is hospice care.
- What are some similarities and differences between palliative care and hospice care?
Many Americans die in facilities such as hospitals or nursing homes receiving care that is not consistent with their wishes. It’s important for older adults to plan ahead and let their caregivers, doctors, or family members know your end-of-life preferences in advance. For example, if an older person wants to die at home, receiving end-of-life care for pain and other symptoms, and makes this known to health care providers and family, it is less likely he or she will die in a hospital receiving unwanted treatments.
If the person is no longer able to make health care decisions for themselves, a caregiver or family member may have to make those decisions. Caregivers have several factors to consider when choosing end-of-life care, including the older person's desire to pursue life-extending treatments, how long he or she has left to live, and the preferred setting for care.
Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness, such as cancer or heart failure. Patients in palliative care may receive medical care for their symptoms, or palliative care, along with treatment intended to cure their serious illness. Palliative care is meant to enhance a person's current care by focusing on quality of life for them and their family.
Who can benefit from palliative care?
Palliative care is a resource for anyone living with a serious illness, such as heart failure , chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , cancer , dementia , Parkinson's disease , and many others. Palliative care can be helpful at any stage of illness and is best provided soon after a person is diagnosed.
In addition to improving quality of life and helping with symptoms, palliative care can help patients understand their choices for medical treatment. The organized services available through palliative care may be helpful to any older person having a lot of general discomfort and disability very late in life.
Who makes up the palliative care team?
A palliative care team is made up of multiple different professionals that work with the patient, family, and the patient's other doctors to provide medical, social, emotional, and practical support. The team is comprised of palliative care specialist doctors and nurses, and includes others such as social workers, nutritionists, and chaplains. A person's team may vary based on their needs and level of care. To begin palliative care, a person's health care provider may refer him or her to a palliative care specialist. If he or she doesn't suggest it, the person can ask a health care provider for a referral.
Where is palliative care provided?
Palliative care can be provided in hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient palliative care clinics and certain other specialized clinics, or at home. Medicare , Medicaid , and insurance policies may cover palliative care. Veterans may be eligible for palliative care through the Department of Veterans Affairs . Private health insurance might pay for some services. Health insurance providers can answer questions about what they will cover.
Visit the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization website to find palliative care near you.
In palliative care, a person does not have to give up treatment that might cure a serious illness. Palliative care can be provided along with curative treatment and may begin at the time of diagnosis. Over time, if the doctor or the palliative care team believes ongoing treatment is no longer helping, there are two possibilities. Palliative care could transition to hospice care if the doctor believes the person is likely to die within six months (see What does the hospice six-month requirement mean? ). Or, the palliative care team could continue to help with increasing emphasis on comfort care .
For more information, check out NIA’s article on Frequently Asked Questions About Palliative Care .
Increasingly, people are choosing hospice care at the end of life. Hospice care focuses on the care, comfort, and quality of life of a person with a serious illness who is approaching the end of life.
At some point, it may not be possible to cure a serious illness, or a patient may choose not to undergo certain treatments. Hospice is designed for this situation. The patient beginning hospice care understands that his or her illness is not responding to medical attempts to cure it or to slow the disease's progress.
Like palliative care, hospice provides comprehensive comfort care as well as support for the family, but, in hospice, attempts to cure the person's illness are stopped. Hospice is provided for a person with a terminal illness whose doctor believes he or she has six months or less to live if the illness runs its natural course.
It's important for a patient to discuss hospice care options with their doctor. Sometimes, people don't begin hospice care soon enough to take full advantage of the help it offers. Perhaps they wait too long to begin hospice and they are too close to death. Or, some people are not eligible for hospice care soon enough to receive its full benefit. Starting hospice early may be able to provide months of meaningful care and quality time with loved ones.
Where is hospice care provided and who provides it?
Hospice is an approach to care, so it is not tied to a specific place. It can be offered in two types of settings — at home or in a facility such as a nursing home, hospital, or even in a separate hospice center.
Read more about where end-of-life care can be provided .
Hospice care brings together a team of people with special skills — among them nurses, doctors, social workers, spiritual advisors, and trained volunteers. Everyone works together with the person who is dying, the caregiver, and/or the family to provide the medical, emotional, and spiritual support needed.
A member of the hospice team visits regularly, and someone is usually always available by phone — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Hospice may be covered by Medicare and other insurance companies. Check to see if insurance will cover the person’s particular situation.
It is important to remember that stopping treatment aimed at curing an illness does not mean discontinuing all treatment. A good example is an older person with cancer. If the doctor determines that the cancer is not responding to chemotherapy and the patient chooses to enter into hospice care, then the chemotherapy will stop. Other medical care may continue as long as it is helpful. For example, if the person has high blood pressure , he or she will still get medicine for that.
Source: www.nhpco.org/palliativecare/explanation-of-palliative-care .Copyright © National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. All rights reserved.
Although hospice provides a lot of support, the day-to-day care of a person dying at home is provided by family and friends. The hospice team coaches family members on how to care for the dying person and even provides respite care when caregivers need a break. Respite care can be for as short as a few hours or for as long as several weeks.
What are the benefits of hospice care?
Families of people who received care through a hospice program are more satisfied with end-of-life care than those who did not have hospice services. Also, hospice recipients are more likely to have their pain controlled and less likely to undergo tests or be given medicines they don't need, compared with people who don't use hospice care.
You may also be interested in
- Exploring frequently asked questions about hospice care
- Learning about different care settings at the end of life
- Reading about making care decisions at the end of life
Sign up for caregiving tips from NIA
For more information about hospice and palliative care.
NIA Alzheimer’s and related Dementias Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center 800-438-4380 [email protected] www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers The NIA ADEAR Center offers information and free print publications about Alzheimer’s and related dementias for families, caregivers, and health professionals. ADEAR Center staff answer telephone, email, and written requests and make referrals to local and national resources.
Alzheimers.gov www.alzheimers.gov Explore the Alzheimers.gov website for information and resources on Alzheimer’s and related dementias from across the federal government.
CaringInfo National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization 800-658-8898 [email protected] www.caringinfo.org
Center to Advance Palliative Care 212-201-2670 [email protected] www.getpalliativecare.org
Hospice Foundation of America 800-854-3402 [email protected] www.hospicefoundation.org
Education in Palliative and End-of-Life Care 312-503-3732 [email protected] www.epec.net
Visiting Nurse Associations of America 888-866-8773 [email protected] www.vnaa.org
This content is provided by the NIH National Institute on Aging (NIA). NIA scientists and other experts review this content to ensure it is accurate and up to date.
Content reviewed: May 14, 2021
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