Case studies: a research strategy appropriate for palliative care?

Palliat Med. 2004 Dec;18(8):677-84. doi: 10.1191/0269216304pm962ra.


Selecting an appropriate research strategy is key to ensuring that research questions are addressed in a way which has value and is congruent with the overall topic, questions and purpose of the research. This paper will argue that there are situations when a case study strategy is appropriate to use in palliative care research. These include: when complex situations need to be addressed; when context is central to the study; when multiple perspectives need to be recognized; when the design needs to be flexible; when the research needs to be congruent with clinical practice; when there is no strong theory to which to appeal; and when other methodologies could be difficult to conduct. Using case study strategies rigorously and appropriately can contribute to knowledge in a way which is sensitive to the complex, context-dependent and multiprofessional nature of palliative care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Services Research / methods*
  • Organizational Case Studies
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Research Design*