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Res Nurs Health. 1996 Dec;19(6):525-9.

One is the liveliest number: the case orientation of qualitative research.

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Department of Women's and Children's Health, School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 27599, USA.


The epistemological thrust of qualitative research is case oriented. Regardless of qualitative methodology or sample size, qualitative research is quintessentially about understanding a particular in the all-together. Regardless of the kind of analytic technique employed, qualitative analysis are obliged, first and foremost, to make sense of individual cases. Looking at and through each case in a qualitative project is the basis from which researchers may make idiographic generalizations and move to cross-case comparisons to construct aggregations, syntheses, or interpretations of data from and faithful to individual cases.

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