Distinguishing Between Case Study & Case History

Case Study vs Case History

Often, people confuse case study and case history as being the same thing. However, there is a difference between these two terms. Both are used in various disciplines and allow researchers to be more informative about people and events. A case study is a research method where a person, group, or event is investigated, while a case history refers to a record of data that contributes to a case study. This is the main difference between a case study and case history. This article will explore this difference further.

What is a Case Study?

A case study is a research method used to investigate an individual, a group of people, or a particular phenomenon. It is conducted in many sciences, such as sociology, psychology, and political science. A case study allows the researcher to gain an in-depth understanding of the topic. To conduct a case study, the researcher can use various techniques, including observation, interviews, and the usage of secondary data such as documents and records. A case study usually goes on for an extended period because the researcher has to explore the topic deeply.

The case study method was first used in clinical medicine to give the doctor a clear understanding of the patient’s history. Although case studies are referred to as methods within the case study, various methods are used in the case study. For example, a psychologist who conducts a case study of an individual uses different methods, such as observation to observe the individual and interviews to broaden their understanding. The questions in the interview can be directed not only to the individual being studied but also to those related to the individual. This creates a clearer picture. A special feature of case studies is that it produces qualitative, rich, and authentic data.

What is a Case History?

Unlike a case study that refers to a method, a case history refers to a record of an individual or a group. Case histories are used in many disciplines, such as psychology, sociology, medicine, and psychiatry. A case history consists of all the necessary information about the individual.

In medicine, a case history refers to a specific record that reveals the personal information, medical condition, medication used, and special conditions of the individual. Having a case history can be beneficial, especially in the case of mental patients, as it can be used before treatments.

However, a case history does not necessarily have to be connected to an individual; it can even be of an event that took place. The case history is a recording that narrates a sequence of events, allowing the researcher to look at an event in retrospect.

Key Takeaways

  • Case Study: A research method used to investigate an individual, group, or event.
  • Case History: A record of an individual or group, providing necessary information.
  • Difference: A case study is a method using various techniques for data collection, while a case history is a record of information that can contribute to a case study.
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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