Case study and case-based research in emergency nursing and care: Theoretical foundations and practical application in paramedic pre-hospital clinical judgment and decision-making of patients with mental illness

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal, 2017, 20 (1), pp. 17 - 24
Issue Date:
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© 2017 College of Emergency Nursing Australasia Generating knowledge through quality research is fundamental to the advancement of professional practice in emergency nursing and care. There are multiple paradigms, designs and methods available to researchers to respond to challenges in clinical practice. Systematic reviews, randomised control trials and other forms of experimental research are deemed the gold standard of evidence, but there are comparatively few such trials in emergency care. In some instances it is not possible or appropriate to undertake experimental research. When exploring new or emerging problems where there is limited evidence available, non-experimental methods are required and appropriate. This paper provides the theoretical foundations and an exemplar of the use of case study and case-based research to explore a new and emerging problem in the context of emergency care. It examines pre-hospital clinical judgement and decision-making of mental illness by paramedics. Using an exemplar the paper explores the theoretical foundations and conceptual frameworks of case study, it explains how cases are defined and the role researcher in this form of inquiry, it details important principles and the procedures for data gathering and analysis, and it demonstrates techniques to enhance trustworthiness and credibility of the research. Moreover, it provides theoretically and practical insights into using case study in emergency care.
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