Difference Between Case Study and Case History

Case Study vs Case History
 

Although most of us confuse case study and case history to be the same, there exists a difference between these two words. These are used in many disciplines and allow the researcher to be more informative of people, and events. First, let us define the words.  A case study refers to a research method where a person, group or an event is being investigated. A case history, on the other hand, refers to a record of data which contributes to a case study. This is the main difference between a case study and case history. Through this article let us examine 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. Case studies are conducted in many sciences; for example, in sociology, psychology, 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 a number of techniques. For example, observation, interviews, usage of secondary data such as documents, records, etc. A case study usually goes on for a longer period because the researcher has to explore the topic deeply.

The case study method was first used in the clinical medicine so that the doctor has a clear understanding of the history of the patient. Although case studies are referred to as methods within the case study, various methods are used in the case study. Let us comprehend this through an example. A psychologist who conducts a case study of an individual uses various methods. For example, he can use observation to observe the individual. He can also use interview method through which he can broaden the understanding. When using the interview method, the questions can be directed not only to the individual on whom the case study is being conducted but also on those who are related to the individual. This creates a clearer picture.  A special feature of case studies is that it produces qualitative data that are rich and authentic.

Difference Between Case Study and Case History

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 even a group. Case histories are used in many disciplines such as psychology, sociology, medicine, psychiatry, etc. A case history consists of all the necessary information of the individual.

In medicine, a case history refers to a specific record that reveals the personal information, medical condition, the medication that has been used and special conditions of the individual. Having a case history can be very beneficial even in the case of mental patients so that 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. Such a narrative allows the researcher to look at an event in retrospect.it can even be of an event that took place. The case history is a recording that narrates a sequence of events. Such a narrative allows the researcher to look at an event in retrospect.

Case Study vs Case History

What is the Difference Between Case Study and Case History?

Definitions of Case Study and Case History:

Case Study: A case study is a research method used to investigate an individual, a group of people or a particular phenomenon.

Case History: A case history refers to a record of an individual or even a group.

Characteristics of Case Study and Case History:

Nature:

Case Study: It is a method in which a number of techniques can be used for data collection.

Case History: It is a record of information.

Methods:

Case Study: For a case study, interviews, observation, secondary sources can be used.

Case History: A case history is a secondary source that can contribute to a case history.

 

Image Courtesy:

1.”Shimer College Discussion Class” by Shimer College – www.shimer.edu. [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

2. “Une leçon clinique à la Salpêtrière” by André Brouillet – Photo prise dans un couloir de l’université Paris V. [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons