Case studies and one example study: e.g. Lavarenne et al. (2013)

The case study as a research method in clinical psychology

Example 1: Lavarenne et al. (2013) : A group case study

Example 2: Bradshaw (1998): An individual case study

Practice Questions

  1. Describe the main features of the case study as a research method in clinical psychology with reference to one research study (6)


2. Psychologists often use case studies as a research method to investigate mental disorders in clinical psychology. You will have learnt about one study in detail that uses the case study as its research method.

            Evaluate this study with reference to the research method of “case study” (5)


Q: If the above question was offered for 12 marks how would your answer need to differ?

A: Suggested differences

An applied evaluation question:

Dr Cotter works with offenders in a high security psychiatric hospital. He has developed a new intervention to try and help patients to develop their social and emotional skills. He has been working intensively with two patients, Hal and Del for several months. He wants to summarise the effectiveness of his new method and decides to write up his work in the form of a case study.

Assess Dr Cotter decision to use the case study as the research method to investigate the effectiveness of his intervention in comparison with one other research method. You may refer to published research studies in your answer. (12)

Suggestions Dr Cotter essay