Case Study vs. Ethnography

What's the difference.

Case study and ethnography are both research methods used in social sciences to gain a deeper understanding of a particular phenomenon or group of people. However, they differ in their approach and focus. A case study typically involves an in-depth examination of a single individual, group, or event, aiming to provide a detailed analysis of a specific situation. On the other hand, ethnography involves immersing oneself in a particular culture or community over an extended period, observing and interacting with its members to understand their beliefs, behaviors, and social dynamics. While case studies provide detailed insights into specific cases, ethnography offers a broader understanding of the cultural context and social interactions within a community.

AttributeCase StudyEthnography
Research MethodQualitativeQualitative
FocusSpecific instance or phenomenonCulture or social group
Data CollectionInterviews, observations, documentsObservations, interviews, field notes
Data AnalysisInductive, thematic analysisInductive, thematic analysis
Sample SizeSmallSmall to medium
Time FrameShort to medium termLong term
Research SettingVaries, can be controlledNaturalistic, real-life settings
Researcher's RoleActive, involvedActive, participant observer
GeneralizabilityLow, specific contextMedium, cultural insights

Further Detail


Case study and ethnography are two research methods commonly used in social sciences and other fields to gain a deeper understanding of a particular phenomenon or group of people. While both methods aim to provide rich and detailed insights, they differ in their approach, scope, and data collection techniques. In this article, we will explore the attributes of case study and ethnography, highlighting their similarities and differences.

Definition and Purpose

Case study is a research method that involves an in-depth examination of a specific individual, group, or event. It aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of a particular case, often focusing on a unique or rare occurrence. On the other hand, ethnography is a qualitative research method that involves immersing the researcher in the natural environment of a group or community to observe and understand their culture, behaviors, and social interactions.

Scope and Generalizability

One key difference between case study and ethnography lies in their scope and generalizability. Case studies are typically more focused and specific, aiming to provide detailed insights into a particular case or situation. The findings of a case study may not be easily generalized to a larger population due to the uniqueness of the case being studied.

On the other hand, ethnography aims to capture the broader cultural and social dynamics of a group or community. By immersing themselves in the natural setting, ethnographers can observe and document the behaviors, beliefs, and practices of the group. Ethnographic research often seeks to uncover patterns and themes that may be applicable to similar groups or communities, allowing for a higher level of generalizability.

Data Collection

Another important aspect to consider when comparing case study and ethnography is their data collection techniques. In case studies, researchers often rely on multiple sources of data, including interviews, surveys, observations, and document analysis. These various data sources help provide a comprehensive understanding of the case being studied.

On the other hand, ethnography primarily relies on participant observation, where the researcher actively engages with the group being studied, often for an extended period. This immersive approach allows the researcher to gain firsthand experience and insights into the culture, norms, and practices of the group. Ethnographers may also conduct interviews and collect artifacts or documents to supplement their observations.

Time and Resources

Case studies and ethnography also differ in terms of the time and resources required to conduct the research. Case studies are often more time-efficient, as they focus on a specific case or event. Researchers can collect data relatively quickly and analyze it in a shorter timeframe. However, the depth of analysis and the level of detail may vary depending on the complexity of the case.

On the other hand, ethnography is a time-consuming process that requires a significant investment of time and resources. Researchers need to spend an extended period in the field, building rapport with the community, and gaining their trust. The immersive nature of ethnography allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the group, but it also demands a longer-term commitment from the researcher.

Analysis and Interpretation

Both case study and ethnography involve a detailed analysis and interpretation of the collected data. In case studies, researchers often employ various analytical frameworks or theories to make sense of the data and draw conclusions. The analysis may involve identifying patterns, themes, or causal relationships within the case being studied.

Similarly, ethnographic research involves a rigorous analysis of the collected data. Ethnographers often engage in a process called coding, where they categorize and organize the observations, interviews, and other data sources. This coding process helps identify recurring themes, cultural practices, and social dynamics within the group. Ethnographers may also use theoretical frameworks to interpret their findings and provide a deeper understanding of the observed phenomena.


Both case study and ethnography have diverse applications across various disciplines. Case studies are commonly used in psychology, business, medicine, and law to examine individual cases, diagnose specific conditions, or understand unique situations. They provide valuable insights into complex phenomena that cannot be easily replicated or studied through other research methods.

On the other hand, ethnography finds its applications in anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, and other social sciences. Ethnographic research allows for a holistic understanding of different cultures, communities, and social groups. It helps uncover the underlying meanings, values, and practices that shape the lives of individuals within a specific cultural context.

In conclusion, case study and ethnography are two distinct research methods that offer valuable insights into specific cases or cultural contexts. While case studies provide a detailed analysis of a particular case, ethnography allows for a broader understanding of social and cultural dynamics. Both methods have their strengths and limitations, and the choice between them depends on the research objectives, scope, and available resources. By employing these research methods appropriately, researchers can gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of human behavior, culture, and society.

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Home » Education » Difference Between Case Study and Ethnography

Difference Between Case Study and Ethnography

Main difference – case study vs ethnography.

Case studies and ethnographies are two popular detailed, qualitative studies used in the field of social science . Although there are certain similarities between these two methods such as their holistic nature, and the extended time period, there are also some differences between the two. The main difference between case study and ethnography is their focus; ethnography aims to explore cultural phenomenon whereas case studies aim to describe the nature of phenomena through a detailed investigation of individual cases.

Difference Between Case Study and Ethnography - Comparison Summary

What is a Case Study

A case study is a detailed investigation of a single event, situation or an individual in order to explore and unearth complex issues. Yin (1984) defines case study as “an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context; when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident; and in which multiple sources of evidence are used.” Although case studies are always associated with qualitative research, they can also be quantitative in nature. They are often used to explore community-based issued such as poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, prostitution, and drug addiction.

A successful case study is context-sensitive, holistic, systematic, layered and comprehensive. The process of a case study involves,

  • Identifying and defining the research questions
  • Selecting the cases and deciding techniques for data collection and analysis
  • Collecting data in the field
  • Evaluating and analysing the data
  • Preparing the report

Data collection methods in a case study may involve interviews, observations, questionnaires, checklists, analysis of recorded data and opinionnaires. Case studies can also be divided into different categories. Exploratory, descriptive and explanatory case studies are three such categories.

Case studies are preferred by many researchers in the field of social sciences since they offer detailed and in-depth information about a particular phenomenon. However, it is difficult to use the data obtained from a case study to form generalisation since it only focuses on a single event or phenomenon.

Main Difference - Case Study vs Ethnography

Figure 1: Questionnaires are one method of data collection in a case study.

What is an Ethnography

Ethnography is a detailed and in-depth study of everyday life and practice. In other words, it is the systematic study of people and cultures. A researcher who is engaged in ethnography is known as an ethnographer . Ethnographers explore and study culture from an insider’s point of view (emic perspective).

Ethnography traditionally involved focusing on a bounded and a definable race, ethnicity or group of people; for example, study of a particular African tribe. However, modern ethnography also focus on different aspects of the contemporary social life.

Ethnographic research mainly involves field observations, i.e., observations of behaviour in a natural setting. The researchers have to spend a considerable amount of time inside a community in order to make such observations. Information about particular socio-cultural phenomena in a community is typically obtained from the members of that particular community. Participant observation and interviews are two of the main data collection methods in this type of studies. Ethnographic studies take a longer period of time than other types of research since it takes long-term involvement and observation to understand the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours of a community.

Difference Between Case Study and Ethnography

Figure 2: Observation and participant interviews are main data collection methods in ethnography.


Case Study: A case study is a detailed investigation of a single event, situation or an individual in order to explore and unearth complex issues.

Ethnography: An ethnography is the detailed and systematic study of people and cultures.

Case Study: Case studies focus on a single event, incident or individual.

Ethnography: Ethnography observes cultural phenomenon.

Case study: Case study intends to uncover the tacit knowledge of culture participants.

Ethnography: Ethnography aims to describe the nature of phenomena through detailed investigations of individual cases.

Data Collection Methods

Case Study: Case studies may use interviews, observations, questionnaires, checklists, analysis of recorded data and opinionnaires.

Ethnography: Ethnographic studies use participant observations and interviews.

Special Requirements

Case Study: The researcher does not have to live in a particular community.

Ethnography: The researcher has to spend a considerable amount time inside that particular community.


Case study and ethnography may have some similarities; however, there is a considerable difference between case study and ethnography as explained above. The main difference between case study and ethnography lies in their intent and focus; case studies intend to uncover the tacit knowledge of culture participants whereas ethnographic studies intend to describe the nature of phenomena through detailed investigations of individual cases. There are also differences between them in terms of data collection and analyis. 

  • Cohen, Arie. “Ethnography and case study: a comparative analysis.”  Academic Exchange Quarterly  7.3 (2003): 283-288.
  • Yin, Robert. “Case study research. Beverly Hills.” (1984).

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ethnography case study compare

Difference between case study & ethnography

Maria Nguyen


In the social sciences, case study and ethnography are two popular research methodologies. While there are similarities between the two, there are also differences in data collection and the overall purpose of the study. This article aims to clarify these differences.

A case study is an in-depth study of a particular instance, event, individual, or group. It can be explanatory or descriptive in nature, but its focus is on understanding the why’s and implications of the subject of study. Case studies draw conclusions based on prior research and systematic analysis of data.


Ethnography is the art and science of describing a group or culture. It is an investigative approach that requires the ethnographer to behave like a neutral observer, without imposing personal viewpoints or making subjective judgments. Participant observation is often used as a method of data collection in ethnography, where the ethnographer becomes a part of the group being studied and records observations without analysis.


– Ethnography focuses on describing a group or culture, while a case study focuses on a particular instance, event, individual, or group. – Ethnography requires participant observation as a data collection method, while it is not necessary for a case study. – A case study is more outward looking, focusing on the why’s and implications, whereas ethnography is more inward looking. – Ethnography takes a longer time to conduct than a case study.

In summary, a case study is an in-depth analysis of a specific subject, while ethnography is an in-depth study of a group or culture. The methods of data collection and the perspectives of analysis differ between the two methodologies.

Key Takeaways

1. The difference between a case study and ethnography is that ethnography is a study of a culture or ethnic group, while a case study investigates a particular instance, event, or individual. 2. Ethnography requires participant observation as a data collection method, while it is not necessary in a case study. 3. A case study is more outward-looking, focusing on the why’s and implications of an event, while ethnography is more inward-looking and focused on describing a group or culture.

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  • DOI: 10.24002/jik.v5i1.221
  • Corpus ID: 15484022

Comparing Case Study and Ethnography as Qualitative Research Approaches

  • Published 4 December 2013
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Research Guides

Ethnographic Case Studies

Jeannette Armstrong; Laura Boyle; Lindsay Herron; Brandon Locke; and Leslie Smith


This research guide discusses ethnographic case study. While there is much debate over what, precisely, delimits a case study , the general consensus seems to be that ethnographic case studies differ from other types of case studies primarily in their focus, methodology, and duration. In essence, ethnographic case studies are case studies “employing ethnographic methods and focused on building arguments about cultural, group, or community formation or examining other sociocultural phenomena” (Schwandt & Gates, 2018, p. 344), typically with a long duration, per the demands of ethnographic work. In essence, ethnographic case studies are case studies “employing ethnographic methods and focused on building arguments about cultural, group, or community formation or examining other sociocultural phenomena” (Schwandt & Gates, 2018, p. 344), typically with a long duration, per the demands of ethnographic work. Indeed, in its very situatedness, ethnography has a “case study character” and is “intimately related” to case studies (Ó Rian, 2009, p. 291); though there is currently a move to extract ethnographic work from overly situated contexts and use extended case methods, “[e]thnographic research has long been synonymous with case studies, typically conceived of as grounded in the local and situated in specific, well-defined and self-contained social contexts” (Ó Rian, 2009, p. 290). Because ethnography, in practice, is often a kind of case study, it’s useful to consider ethnography and case studies each in their own right for a fuller picture of what ethnographic case study entails.

Ethnographic research is one approach under the larger umbrella of qualitative research. Methodologically, it is, “a theoretical, ethical, political, and at times moral orientation to research, which guides the decisions one makes, including choices about research methods” (Harrison, 2014, p. 225), that is at its crux “based upon sharing the time and space of those who one is studying” (Ó Rian, 2009, p. 291)–a situated, nuanced exploration seeking a thick description and drawing on methods such as observation and field notes. According to …an ethnography focuses on an entire culture-sharing group and attempts to develop a complex, complete description of the culture of the group. Creswell and Poth (2018), an ethnography focuses on an entire culture-sharing group and attempts to develop a complex, complete description of the culture of the group. In doing so, ethnographers look for patterns of behavior such as rituals or social behaviors, as well as how their ideas and beliefs are expressed through language, material activities, and actions (Creswell & Poth, 2018). Yin (2016)  suggests that ethnographies seek “to promote embedded research that fuses close-up observation, rigorous theory, and social critique. [Ethnographies foster] work that pays equal attention to the minutiae of experience, the cultural texture of social relations, and to the remote structural forces and power vectors that bear on them” (p. 69).

Case study research, meanwhile, is characterized as an approach “that facilitates exploration of a phenomenon within its context using a variety of data sources” (Baxter & Jack, 2008, p. 544). The aim of case studies is precise description of reconstruction of cases (Flick, 2015). The philosophical background is a qualitative, constructivist paradigm based on the claim that reality is socially constructed and can best be understood by exploring the tacit, i.e., experience-based, knowledge of individuals. There is some debate about how to define a The philosophical background is a qualitative, constructivist paradigm based on the claim that reality is socially constructed and can best be understood by exploring the tacit, i.e., experience-based, knowledge of individuals. “case” (e.g., Ó Rian, 2009), however. As Schwandt and Gates (2018) write, “[A] case is an instance, incident, or unit of something and can be anything–a person, an organization, an event, a decision, an action, a location”; it can be at the micro, meso, or macro level; it can be an empirical unit or a theoretical construct, specific or general; and in fact, “what the research or case object is a case of may not be known until most of the empirical research is completed” (p. 341). The two authors conclude that given the multifarious interpretations of what case study is, “[b]eyond positing that case study methodology has something to do with ‘in-depth’ investigation of a phenomenon . . . , it is a fool’s errand to pursue what is (or should be) truly called ‘case study’” (p. 343, 344).

Baxter, P., & Jack, S. (2008). Qualitative case study methodology: Study design and implementation for novice researchers. The Qualitative Report, 13 (4), 544-559.

Creswell, J. W., & Poth, C. N. (2018). Qualitative inquiry & research design: Choosing among five approaches (4th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.

Flick, U. (2015). Introducing research methodology . Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.

Rian, S. (2009). Extending the ethnographic case study. In D. Byrne & C. C. Ragin (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of case-based methods (pp. 289–306). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Schwandt, T. A., & Gates, E. F. (2018). Case study methodology. In N. K. Dezin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (5th ed.; pp. 341-358). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Yin, R. K. (2016). Qualitative research from start to finish (2nd ed.). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Key Research Books and Articles on Ethnographic Case Study Methodology

Fusch, G. E., & Ness, L. R. (2017). How to conduct a mini-ethnographic case study: A guide for novice researchers. The Qualitative Report , 22 (3), 923-941.  Retrieved from

In this how-to article, the authors present an argument for the use of a blended research design, namely the Ethnographic Case Study, for student researchers. To establish their point of view, the authors reiterate recognized research protocols, such as choosing a design that suits the research question to ensure data saturation. Additionally, they remind their reader that one must also consider the feasibility of the project in terms of time, energy, and financial constraints.

Before outlining the benefits and components of the Ethnographic Case Study approach, the authors provide detailed narratives of ethnographic, mini-ethnographic (sometimes referred to as a focused ethnography ), and case study research designs to orient the reader. Next, we are introduced to the term mini-ethnographic case-study design, which is defined as a blended design that is bound in time and space and uses qualitative ethnographic and case study collection methods. The benefits of such an approach permit simultaneous generation of theory and the study of that theory in practice, as it allows for the exploration of causality.

Ethnographic Case Study research shares many characteristics with its parent approaches.  For example, subjectivity and bias are present and must be addressed. Next, data triangulation is necessary to ensure the collected qualitative data and subsequent findings are valid and reliable. Data collection methods include direct observation, fieldwork, reflective journaling, informal or unstructured interviews, and focus groups. Finally, the authors discuss three limitations to the ethnographic case study. First, this design requires the researcher to be embedded, yet the duration of time may not be for as long when compared to full-scale ethnographic studies.  Second, since there are fewer participants, there should be a larger focus on rich data as opposed to thick data, or said differently, quality is valued over quantity. Third, the researcher must be aware that the end-goal is not transferability, but rather the objective is to gain a greater understanding of the culture of a particular group that is bound by space and time.

Gregory, E. & Ruby, M. (2010) The ‘insider/outsider’ dilemma of ethnography: Working with young children and their families in cross-cultural contexts. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 9 (2), 1-13.

This article focuses on the dilemma of insider and outsider roles in ethnographic work. It challenges the notion that a researcher can be both an insider and an outsider at the same time. There is no insider/outsider status; it is one or the other–not both.

It is easy to make assumptions about one’s status as an insider. It is not uncommon for a researcher to assume that because one is working amongst his/her “own” people sharing a similar background, culture, or faith that she/he is an insider. Likewise, a researcher may assume that it will be easy to build rapport with a community with which he/she has commonalities; however, it is important to keep in mind that the person may be an insider but the researcher may not have this same status. When the person enters into the protective space of family or community as a researcher, it is similar to being an outsider. Being a researcher makes one different, regardless of the commonalities that are shared. It is not the researcher’s presumed status of “insider” or “outsider” that makes the difference; rather, researcher status is determined by the participants or community that is being studied. It is wise for researchers to understand that they are distinctively one of “them” as opposed to one of “us”. This is not to say that researchers cannot become an “insider” to some degree. But to assume insider status, regardless of the rationale, is wrong. Assuming common beliefs across cultures or insider status can lead to difficulties that could impact the scope or nature of the study.

In conclusion, regardless of the ethnographic design (e.g., realist ethnography, ethnographic case study, critical ethnography), it is important for the researcher to approach the study as an “outsider”. Although the outsider status may change over time, it essential to understand that when one enters a community as a researcher or becomes a researcher within a community, insider status must be earned and awarded according to the participants in the community.

Ó Rian, S. (2009). Extending the ethnographic case study. In D. Byrne & C. C. Ragin (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of case-based methods (pp. 289–306). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

In this chapter, Ó Rian valorizes the problems and potential hiding within the vagaries of ethnographic “case” boundaries, arguing that “whereas the fluid and multi-faceted aspects of the ethnographic case pose dilemmas for ethnographers, they can also become resources for ethnographers in exploring theoretical and empirical questions” (p. 292). Indeed, he views the idea of firm case boundaries as a weakness, as “definitions of the case will rule in and out certain social processes,” and suggests ethnography’s flexibility can deal with this problem well because it permits researchers to “question the boundaries of the case as the study proceeds,” leading to a “de- and re-construction of the case that . . . places ethnography at the centre of a resurgent contextualist paradigm of social inquiry . . . that is increasingly self-consciously exploring its own theoretical and methodological foundations” (p. 304). Most of the chapter delves into these possibilities for exploration, offering an insightful (if occasionally difficult to follow) perspective on how they have been proceeding.

The chapter offers considerations that might be particularly helpful to researchers undertaking ethnographic case studies who are struggling to connect their cases, so firmly rooted in a particular context and their own personal experiences and observations, to a bigger picture. Ó Rian elucidates the reflexive strategies various ethnographers have adopted as they’ve sought “[t]o achieve a link between context-specific data and meso- or macro-level generalizations,” categorizing these strategies into three “interlocking extensions of case study research” (p. 292): personal extensions (related to “the shaping of the boundaries of the case by the ethnographer’s location within the field and . . . how ethnographers can convey their personalized experiences and tacit learning to readers” [p. 292]), theoretical extensions (which bridge the gap between the situated worlds being explored and “the larger structures and processes that produced and shaped them” [p. 292]), and empirical extensions (“creative efforts to experiment with the empirical boundaries of the ethnographic case” [p. 292] by bringing in, for example, historical context, social networks, etc.). The crux of his argument is that ethnographic researchers have a prime opportunity to push against the boundaries of their context and “extend their cases across space, time and institutional structures and practices” so that the ethnographer is “multiply, if perhaps a bit uncomfortably, situated” (p. 304), and also to include an “emphasis on the ongoing process of theoretical sampling within the process of the ethnographic study, with close attention to be paid to the paths chosen and rejected, and the reasons for these decisions” (p. 304). These kinds of extensions offer an opportunity for theories to “be refined or reconstructed” as the researcher attempts to locate their personal experience within a broader framework, allowing “[t]he case study . . . to challenge and reconstruct the preferred theory” while also connecting the case to a larger body of work, particularly because theory “carries the accumulated knowledge of previous studies” (p. 296).

Ó Rian’s in-depth descriptions of how other researchers have varyingly handled these personal, theoretical, and empirical extensions might be a bit overwhelming to novice researchers but overall can offer a way to “locate their cases within broader social processes and not solely within their own personal trajectories” (p. 294)–while also helping to situate their reflections and extensions within a larger body of literature replete with researchers struggling with similar questions and concerns.

This chapter offers an  in-depth, generally accessible (but occasionally overwhelming) overview of case studies of all sorts and integrates an extensive review of relevant literature. The authors provide an informed perspective on various considerations and debates in the case study field (e.g., varying definitions of what a “case” is construed to be; interpretive vs. critical realist orientations; the relative benefits of and techniques involved in different types of approaches), helping novice researchers locate and better describe their own approach within the context of the field. The information is quite detailed and delves into a wide variety of case study types, suggesting this chapter might best be first skimmed as an initial introduction, followed by more careful readings of relevant sections and perusal of the key texts cited in the chapter. The breadth of this chapter makes it a helpful resource for anyone interested in case-study methodology.

The authors do not specifically explore ethnographic case studies as a separate type of case study. They do, however, briefly touch on this idea, locating ethnography within the interpretive orientation (comprising constructivist approaches offering “phenomenological attention to lived experience” [p. 344]). The authors also cite researchers who distinguish it due to its “[employing] ethnographic methods and focus on building arguments about cultural, group, or community formation or examining other sociocultural phenomena” (p. 344). Ethnographic case study is placed in contrast to case studies that use non-ethnographic methods (e.g., studies “relying perhaps on survey data and document analysis”) or that “are focused on ‘writing culture’” (p. 344).

Two aspects of this chapter are particularly useful for novice researchers. First, it is worth highlighting the authors’ discussion of varying definitions of what a “case” is, as it can provide an interesting reconceptualization of the purpose of the research and the reason for conducting it. The second noteworthy aspect is the authors’ detailed descriptions of the four main case study uses/designs ( descriptive, hypothesis generation or theory development, hypothesis and theory testing , and contributing to normative theory ), which the authors beautifully align with the respective purposes and methods of each type while also offering insight into relevant conversations in the field.

Further Readings

Moss, P. A., & Haertel, E. H. (2016). Engaging methodological pluralism. In D. H. Gitomer & C. A. Bell (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Teaching (pp. 127–247). Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.

Simons, H. (2014). Case study research: In-depth understanding in context. In P. Leavy (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of qualitative research (pp. 455–470). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Recent Dissertations Using Ethnographic Case Study Methodology

Cozzolino, M. (2014). Global education, accountability, and 21st century skills: A case of curriculum innovation . Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (Order Number 3648007)

This dissertation is self-described as an ethnographic case study of a small, public, suburban high school in Pennsylvania. In this study, the researcher investigates the school’s process of integrating global education into its curriculum by implementing a school-wide initiative (Global Studies Initiative or GSI) as well as a program of study (Global Studies Credential or GSC). Cozzolino asserts that her framework has been shaped by both social constructivism and critical/Freirean pedagogy. From the constructivist view, she views knowledge as constructed through social interaction, and thus she sought to understand the world in which the research participants work, learn, and experience large parts of their lives. It is here that she situates the first three research questions that entail looking at the the GSI and the GSC in terms of their features, rationales, and implementations. The fourth question involves understanding the students’ views and perceptions of the GSC and here the author takes up a critical and Freirean pedagogy to honor and hear the voices of the students themselves.

The study design is therefore an embedded single-case study in that it is bound by the place (Olympus High School) and by its population. Furthermore, it is also a case within a case, as it seeks to understand the students’ perspectives of the global programming. The case study is ethnographically rooted through the multiple ethnographic data sources such as participant-observations and a prolonged engagement at the research site. Cozzolino embedded herself in the research site over a five-year period and became an active and invested member of the school community, thereby establishing a sound rationale for an ethnographic case-study approach.

The author concludes that there were some competing priorities about the overall initiative from stakeholders inside and outside the school district. This resulted in a less than ideal implementation of the program of study across the curriculum. Nonetheless, the students who were enrolled in these courses reported it to be a worthwhile experience. While Cozzolino presents specific recommendations for the improvements at Olympus High, she also offers implications for several other groups. First, she provides advice for implementation to other educational institutions that aim to integrate a global focus into their curriculum. Next, she gives recommendations for local, state, and national policy changes. Finally, she gives suggestions for engaging all parties in fruitful discourse to achieve their ultimate goal of implementing a meaningful and valuable global education curriculum.

Hamman, L. (2018). Reframing the language separation debate: Language, identity, and  ideology in two-way immersion . Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (Order Number 2089463322)

This study explored the issues of surrounding language separation in two-way immersion (TWI) classrooms. The author looked at how classroom language practices and teacher ideologies influenced the student experience and how the students’ understanding of what it means to be bilingual is influenced in a classroom that purports to be equitable in terms of language use.

The study is theoretically grounded in sociocultural, critical, and postcultural theories and adapted Lemke’s ecosocial system to conceptualize TWI classroom. Hamman also drew upon translanguaging theory and dynamic bilingualism to provide a framework for a more modern and nuanced perspective of bilingualism, bilingual learning, and bilingual students.

The author combined a single-case study approach with ethnographic methods to “engage in close analysis of classroom language use and the discursive negotiation of identities and ideologies, while situating these analyses within a rich understanding of the sociolinguistic context of this TWI classroom” (p. 78-79). She employed various ethnographic methods such as taking fieldnotes, conducting participant observations, interviewing, and memoing. The study is “bound” in that it takes place in one 2nd-grade classroom with one teacher and 18 students over the course of one year.

Hamman concludes that student perspectives on language separation should be considered, since this forced separation of language influenced how they thought of their developing bilingualism and identity as bilinguals. Furthermore, the study envisages a linguistic “middle ground” to strict separation that allows for appropriate and meaningful spaces for linguistic negotiation. Finally, this dissertation asserts that the strict separation of languages codifies a monoglossic ideology mindset and limits learners’ possibilities for learning and making connections across languages.

Kim, S. (2015). Korean migrant youth identity work in the transnational social field: A link between identity, transnationalism, and new media literacy . Retrieved from University of Missouri-St. Louis Institutional Repository Library.

This doctoral dissertation takes an ethnographic case study approach to explore the identity formation of transnational Korean youth. The researcher, herself a Korean immigrant to the U.S. navigating complex identity processes, focuses on these research questions: “1) what are the contexts in which migrant youth negotiate their identities? 2) how do youth understand and negotiate their sense of belonging? 3) how do youth’s [sic] cultural and literacy practices inform and shape their identities? 3i) how do youth make use of transnational new media for their identity work? 3ii) how do literacy practices potentially shape their identities?” (p. 7).

Drawing on Leander and McKim (2013), the author conceptualizes her study as a “connective ethnography” (p. 36) encompassing multiple spaces, both digital and physical, in which “space” comprises a variety of relationships, instead of a more traditional ethnography bounded by physical space. The “case study” aspect, meanwhile, refers to the four specific participants in which she chose to focus. She chose Korean immigrants in St. Louis, in general, due to their mobility between the U.S. and Korea, their high use of digital communication and information technology, and their limited access to the cultural resources of Korea in a Midwestern city. From an initial 32 possible participants purposively selected, the researcher chose four focal participants based on their Korean ethnicity, biliteracy in Korean and English, age (between 11 and 19 years old), residence in the U.S. (for at least 2 years), and their use of digital communication technologies. Data sources included an initial screening survey, an identity map each participant created, informal recorded conversations, recorded interviews in either English or Korean, field notes from the researcher’s interactions with the youth in various settings (home, school, community centers), and “literacy documents” (evidence of literacy practices from participants’ school and home, emails to the researcher, or activities in digital spaces). She used social semiotic multimodal discourse analysis and what she describes as “grounded theory thematic analysis” to analyze the data.

This is a reflective, thoughtful, and interesting dissertation. The author carefully notes the relationship between the data sources and her research questions, specifically addresses steps she took to ensure the validity of the data (e.g., triangulation via multiple data sources and theoretical frameworks, member checks, and feedback from her professors and other researchers), and discloses her own positionalities and biases. Her discussion includes not only a clear thematic exploration of her findings but also offers specific practical suggestions for how her findings can be applied and extended in the classroom.

Internet Resources

Abalos-Gerard Gonzalez , L. (2011). Ethnographic research . Retrieved from

Created by Lance Gerard G. Abalos, teacher at the Department of Education-Philippines, this SlideShare, Ethnographic Research , explains that, regardless of specific design, ethnographic research should be undertaken “without any priori hypothesis to avoid predetermining what is observed or that information is elicited from informants . . .hypotheses evolve out of the fieldwork itself” (slide 4). It is also suggested that researchers refer to individuals from whom information is gathered as ‘informants’ is preferred over the term ‘participants’ (slide 4).

According to Abalos, “It is not the data collection techniques that determine whether the study is ethnographic, but rather the ‘socio-cultural interpretation’ that sets it apart from other forms of qualitative inquiry” (slide 6). A social situation always has three components: a place, actors, and activities (slide 8) and it is the socio-cultural interpretation of the interactions of these three that is the focus of the ethnographic research.

Ethnographic questions should guide what the researcher sees, hears, and collects as data (slide 9). When writing the ethnography, it is essential to ‘bring the culture or group to life’ through the words and descriptions used to describe the place, actors, and activities.

Abalos describes three types of ethnographic designs:

  • Realist Ethnographies : an objective account of the situation, written dispassionately from third-person point of view, reporting objectively on information learned from informants, containing closely edited quotations (slide 11-12).
  • Ethnographic Case Studies : researchers focus on a program, event, or activity involving individuals rather than a group, looking for shared patterns that develop as a group as a result of the program, event, or activity (slide 13).
  • Critical Ethnographies: incorporating a ‘critical’ approach that includes an advocacy perspective, researchers are interested in advocating against inequality and domination (slide 14).

As ethnographic data is analyzed, in any design (e.g., realist, case study, critical), there is a shift away from reporting the facts to making an interpretation of people and activities, determining how things work, and identifying the essential features in themes of the cultural setting (slide 22). “The ethnographer must present the description, themes, and interpretation within the context or setting of the culture-sharing group (slide 23).

Brehm, W. (2016, July 21). FreshEd #13 – Jane Kenway . Retrieved from (EDXSymposium: New Frontiers in Comparative Education).

Jane Kenway is with the Australian Research Council and is an emeritus professor at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. In this podcast, she explains “traditional’ forms of ethnography and multi-sited global ethnography, which are her area of specialization. She considers “traditional” ethnography to have three components: space, time, and mobility.

Insider/outsider stance is explained within the context of spatiality, community, and culture of space specific to ‘traditional” ethnography. Researchers are outsiders who are attempting to enter a space and become insiders, then leave the space once the research is completed. Research is conducted over an extended period of time in one place/space. As a result, researchers will get to know in an extremely intimate manner the ways of life of the community or group. “Work is supposed to be a temporality of slowness. In other words, you don’t rush around like a mad thing in a field, you just quietly and slowly immerse yourself in the field over this extended period of time and get to understand it, get to appreciate it bit by bit.” (minute 7:56).

“Traditional” ethnographers are not necessarily interested in mobility over time or exploring who enters and exits the site. Most ethnographers are only interested in the movement that occurs in the space that is being studied during the time that they are in the field. It is about looking at the roots of the space, not necessarily about looking at the movements into and out of the space.

Multi-sited global ethnography tries to look at the way bounded sites can be studied as unbounded and on the move, as opposed to staying still. It considers how certain things (e.g., things, ideas, people) are  followed as they move. The researcher moves between sites, studying change that is encountered in different sites. From this perspective, the interested lies in the connections between sites. Multiple sites with commonalities can also be studied at the onset, without the need to physically follow.

Paulus, T. M., Lester, J. N., & Dempster, P. G. (2014). Digital Tools for Qualitative Research. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.

While this text is not solely about ethnographic case studies, it is rich with countless ideas for utilizing digital tools to aid in the multiple facets of qualitative research. In Chapter 5 of their text, entitled Generating Data, the authors dedicate a section to exploring Internet archives and multimedia data. They state that, “in addition to online communities, the Internet is rich with multimedia data such as professionally curated archives, ameteur-created YouTube and Vimeo videos and photo-sharing sites” (p. 81). They provide three specific examples, each explained below: The Internet Archive, CADENSA, and Britain’s BBC Archives.

The Internet Archive ( ) is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. The site also contains a variety of cultural artifacts that are easily available and downloadable. CADENSA ( ) is an online archive of the British Library Sound and Moving Image Catalogue. And finally, the BBC Archives ( ) is a particularly useful site for researchers interested in reviewing documentary film and political speeches.

Wang, T. (2016, September). Tricia Wang: The human insights missing from big data. [Video file]. Retrieved from

In this TED Talk, Tricia Wang discusses her ethnographic work with technology and advocates for the need to save a place for thick data as opposed to relying only on big data. She argues that while companies invest millions of dollars in generating big data because they assume it will efficiently provide all the answers, it routinely does not provide a good return on investment. Instead, companies are left without answers to the questions about consumer preferences and behaviors, which leaves them unprepared for market changes.

In turn, Wang coins the term thick data, which is described as “precious data from humans, like stories, emotions, and interactions that cannot be quantified” (Minute 11:50). Wang suggests that this thick data may only come from a small group of individuals, but it is an essential component that can provide insights that are different and valuable. As an example, while working for Nokia, her ethnographic experiences in China provided her with new understandings on the future demand for smartphones. However, her employer did not take her findings seriously, and as a result, they lost their foothold in the technology market. She posits that a blended approach to collecting and analyzing data (i.e. combining or integrating thick data analysis with big data analysis) allows for a better grasp on the whole picture and making informed decisions.

Her conclusions for a blended approach to data collection also have implications for blending ethnographic and case-study approaches. While Wang took more of an ethnographic approach to her research, one could envision what her work might have looked like if she had used an Ethnographic Case Study approach. Wang could have clearly defined the time and space boundaries of her various ethnographic experiences (e.g. as a street vendor, living in the slums, hanging out in internet cafés). This would have allowed her to infer causality through the generation of thick data with a small sample size for each location and bound by each group.

Ethnographic Case Studies Copyright © 2019 by Jeannette Armstrong; Laura Boyle; Lindsay Herron; Brandon Locke; and Leslie Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Music Education Research: An Introduction

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10 Additional Qualitative Approaches: Ethnography, Grounded Theory, Narrative, and Phenomenology

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This chapter introduces four approaches to inquiry—grounded theory, narrative, phenomenology, and ethnography—that, together with case study, comprise five primary qualitative research designs. The purpose of grounded theory is to develop a unified theoretical explanation for a process, action, or interaction. The theory is “grounded” in data generated with participants who have experienced that process, as opposed to being adopted from existing literature. “Stories lived and told” are the focal point of narrative inquiry. Inquirers elicit, interpret, and report detailed stories of individuals’ life experiences in order to illuminate phenomena or raise questions for readers’ consideration. In phenomenological research, the study’s central phenomenon will be some kind of human experience, such as grief or enjoyment. Analysis focuses on identifying the essence of that phenomenon for individuals who have experienced it. In ethnography, the researcher describes and interprets the shared and learned patterns of a culture-sharing group. The product of inquiry is a rich, complex description of the culture-sharing group at the heart of the study. Exemplar studies drawn from music education illustrate the common types and key features of each design.

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Ethnography and case study: a comparative analysis.

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For a case study on a specific topic, legal archaeology and the case study approach are highly recommended methodologies. Legal archaeology, as a micro-level case study research method, delves into the socio-historical context of a case using original sources to construct a detailed narrative, emphasizing the uniqueness and subjective nature of cases . On the other hand, the case study approach allows for a holistic understanding of a bounded system within real-life contexts, making it ideal for research that seeks to answer "how" and "why" questions . Additionally, case studies in health research have shown to contribute significantly to understanding causal relationships, providing evidence on system actors' theories of causality, causal mechanisms, and conditions under which these mechanisms operate, enhancing the overall evidence base for public health interventions .

Ethnography differs from traditional qualitative research in its emphasis on participant observation, cultural relativism, and the integration of insider and outsider perspectives . While traditional qualitative research may rely more on interviews and surveys, ethnography involves prolonged fieldwork where researchers immerse themselves in the lives of the subjects to gain a deep understanding of their practices and behaviors . Additionally, ethnography places a strong focus on reflexivity, acknowledging the researcher's positionality and continuous self-reflection throughout the study process . Furthermore, ethnography allows for the exploration of complex activities within specific contexts, such as translation and interpreting practices, through specialized forms like cognitive ethnography and microethnography . This methodological approach provides a holistic and in-depth understanding of cultural groups and phenomena, setting it apart from more traditional qualitative research methods.

Ethnography is crucial due to its ability to capture social forms effectively . It offers a detailed understanding of implementation processes by focusing on the social milieu of change . Despite its strengths, ethnography may not always be the recommended approach due to contextual weaknesses . This method examines routine interactions, providing rich descriptions and interpretations of social activities . Ethnography involves immersive fieldwork and detailed writing, making it both a method and an approach to understanding human behavior . Through participant observation and reflexivity, ethnographers can delve into the symbolism of cultures, organizations, and interactions, offering unique insights into various societal aspects.

Both phenomenological and ethnographic study designs offer valuable contributions to research. Phenomenology focuses on understanding individuals' lived experiences, while ethnography delves into cultural dynamics and social interactions. Phenomenography, a methodology closely related to phenomenology, aims to explore variations in how people experience a particular phenomenon. Additionally, combining narrative inquiry and hermeneutic phenomenological inquiry can provide a comprehensive understanding of complex phenomena like professional identity development. In the context of first responders assisting accident victims, interpretive phenomenological analysis revealed themes of helping victims and hoping for cooperation with the healthcare system. Therefore, the choice between phenomenological and ethnographic study designs depends on the research objectives and the depth of understanding required regarding individual experiences or cultural contexts.

Case studies are important in post qualitative comparative analysis studies because they allow researchers to explore and understand the impact of policy and practice in various fields, including education . Comparative case studies are particularly effective as they can synthesize information across time and space, providing a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter . These studies also help in formulating or assessing generalizations that extend across multiple cases, allowing researchers to identify similarities and differences among cases and analyze them against concepts and hypotheses . Comparative case studies offer opportunities to identify the role played by national and local factors in shaping practices and outcomes, such as attitudes to management and workplace performance . Additionally, the integration of qualitative and quantitative analysis in comparative case studies can strengthen the findings by providing systematic and replicable measures of uncertainty and influence . Overall, case studies provide a valuable tool for combining empirical data with theory and concepts, enhancing our understanding of complex phenomena .

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Home-based psychotherapies have shown significant utility for seniors, particularly those with long-term care needs, depression, and cognitive impairments. Research indicates that older adults are generally open to using video-to-home (VTH) treatments, although they face unique barriers such as access to technology and physical and cognitive limitations . Psychotherapists delivering at-home cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to older adults have reported experiencing dilemmas related to balancing change and limitations, providing help while maintaining boundaries, and managing the dual roles of guest and host during sessions. These challenges, however, have led to professional growth and improved therapeutic techniques . The Homebound Elderly People Psychotherapeutic Intervention (HEPPI) study protocol aims to address these issues by offering a structured, home-delivered cognitive-emotional intervention for homebound older adults with mild cognitive impairment and symptoms of depression and anxiety. This approach is expected to improve episodic memory, general cognition, quality of life, and reduce loneliness . Meta-analyses of home-based interventions further support their effectiveness, showing significant improvements in social connectedness, reductions in loneliness, and alleviation of depressive symptoms. Interventions lasting more than three months and delivered through mixed platforms (both professional and volunteer-led) were particularly effective . Overall, while there are challenges, home-based psychotherapies provide a valuable means of delivering mental health care to older adults, enhancing their mental health and quality of life. Future research should continue to refine these interventions and explore their application in diverse settings to confirm and expand upon these findings.

Children understand museum collections through interactive experiences that involve sensory engagement, mark-making, and dialogue with objects, spaces, and people within the museum . Research emphasizes the importance of children's participation, visibility, and belonging in cultural institutions, such as art museums, to support their development as cultural citizens . Studies show that young children's learning in museums can be enhanced through well-theorized curatorial practices that focus on connecting children's learning with art museum practices . By providing opportunities for children to interact with rare artifacts, engage with materials, and experience the museum environment, museums facilitate children's symbolic meaning-making practices and participation in complex aesthetic experiences, fostering their understanding and appreciation of museum collections .

Organisational psychologists can implement various strategies for stress management, as highlighted in the research papers. These strategies include promoting employee involvement, recognition, work-life balance, health and safety practices, and growth and development opportunities . Additionally, it is essential to assess stress levels using psychological methods like questionnaires and physiological measures such as blood pressure and hormonal levels . Delegating work, sharing burdens with colleagues, taking time off for family, and reducing overtime are effective stress management techniques . Furthermore, implementing stress risk assessments based on management standards and providing management training can aid in reducing work-related stress and improving psychological well-being . By combining these approaches, organisational psychologists can create a comprehensive framework tailored to the unique needs of organizations, departments, and employees, leading to more effective stress management and positive outcomes .

Peer debriefing plays a crucial role in enhancing the trustworthiness of qualitative research studies by providing researchers with a platform to critically review their research design, data collection process, and data analysis with impartial colleagues, ensuring the accuracy and completeness of the study . This process aids in addressing the subjectivity inherent in qualitative research, where researchers act as instruments, influencing data collection and analysis with their unique perspectives and characteristics . Through peer debriefing, researchers can receive feedback on their methodological activities, leading to an external check on the inquiry process and ultimately enhancing the credibility and validity of the study . Additionally, peer debriefing offers emotional support to researchers, particularly in sensitive studies, contributing to study rigor and providing valuable insights that can lead to a deeper understanding of the phenomenon under study .

Utilizing games in learning integer operations has shown various positive impacts on students' understanding and engagement. Traditional games like kempreng and Si Goal and Si Patte' have been found to contain integer counting operations, making them effective tools for teaching mathematical concepts to elementary school children . Additionally, gamified app-based approaches have been successful in enhancing children's learning experiences by incorporating arithmetic problems into quests, resulting in improved test scores and increased engagement . Furthermore, the development of a numeracy mobile game has been validated to enhance junior high school students' performance in integer operations, highlighting the potential of digital games in improving mathematical skills among students . Overall, integrating games into learning integer operations not only facilitates understanding but also makes the learning process more enjoyable and effective.

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Human Subjects Office

Medical terms in lay language.

Please use these descriptions in place of medical jargon in consent documents, recruitment materials and other study documents. Note: These terms are not the only acceptable plain language alternatives for these vocabulary words.

This glossary of terms is derived from a list copyrighted by the University of Kentucky, Office of Research Integrity (1990).

For clinical research-specific definitions, see also the Clinical Research Glossary developed by the Multi-Regional Clinical Trials (MRCT) Center of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard  and the Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC) .

Alternative Lay Language for Medical Terms for use in Informed Consent Documents

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I  J  K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W  X  Y  Z

ABDOMEN/ABDOMINAL body cavity below diaphragm that contains stomach, intestines, liver and other organs ABSORB take up fluids, take in ACIDOSIS condition when blood contains more acid than normal ACUITY clearness, keenness, esp. of vision and airways ACUTE new, recent, sudden, urgent ADENOPATHY swollen lymph nodes (glands) ADJUVANT helpful, assisting, aiding, supportive ADJUVANT TREATMENT added treatment (usually to a standard treatment) ANTIBIOTIC drug that kills bacteria and other germs ANTIMICROBIAL drug that kills bacteria and other germs ANTIRETROVIRAL drug that works against the growth of certain viruses ADVERSE EFFECT side effect, bad reaction, unwanted response ALLERGIC REACTION rash, hives, swelling, trouble breathing AMBULATE/AMBULATION/AMBULATORY walk, able to walk ANAPHYLAXIS serious, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction ANEMIA decreased red blood cells; low red cell blood count ANESTHETIC a drug or agent used to decrease the feeling of pain, or eliminate the feeling of pain by putting you to sleep ANGINA pain resulting from not enough blood flowing to the heart ANGINA PECTORIS pain resulting from not enough blood flowing to the heart ANOREXIA disorder in which person will not eat; lack of appetite ANTECUBITAL related to the inner side of the forearm ANTIBODY protein made in the body in response to foreign substance ANTICONVULSANT drug used to prevent seizures ANTILIPEMIC a drug that lowers fat levels in the blood ANTITUSSIVE a drug used to relieve coughing ARRHYTHMIA abnormal heartbeat; any change from the normal heartbeat ASPIRATION fluid entering the lungs, such as after vomiting ASSAY lab test ASSESS to learn about, measure, evaluate, look at ASTHMA lung disease associated with tightening of air passages, making breathing difficult ASYMPTOMATIC without symptoms AXILLA armpit

BENIGN not malignant, without serious consequences BID twice a day BINDING/BOUND carried by, to make stick together, transported BIOAVAILABILITY the extent to which a drug or other substance becomes available to the body BLOOD PROFILE series of blood tests BOLUS a large amount given all at once BONE MASS the amount of calcium and other minerals in a given amount of bone BRADYARRHYTHMIAS slow, irregular heartbeats BRADYCARDIA slow heartbeat BRONCHOSPASM breathing distress caused by narrowing of the airways

CARCINOGENIC cancer-causing CARCINOMA type of cancer CARDIAC related to the heart CARDIOVERSION return to normal heartbeat by electric shock CATHETER a tube for withdrawing or giving fluids CATHETER a tube placed near the spinal cord and used for anesthesia (indwelling epidural) during surgery CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM (CNS) brain and spinal cord CEREBRAL TRAUMA damage to the brain CESSATION stopping CHD coronary heart disease CHEMOTHERAPY treatment of disease, usually cancer, by chemical agents CHRONIC continuing for a long time, ongoing CLINICAL pertaining to medical care CLINICAL TRIAL an experiment involving human subjects COMA unconscious state COMPLETE RESPONSE total disappearance of disease CONGENITAL present before birth CONJUNCTIVITIS redness and irritation of the thin membrane that covers the eye CONSOLIDATION PHASE treatment phase intended to make a remission permanent (follows induction phase) CONTROLLED TRIAL research study in which the experimental treatment or procedure is compared to a standard (control) treatment or procedure COOPERATIVE GROUP association of multiple institutions to perform clinical trials CORONARY related to the blood vessels that supply the heart, or to the heart itself CT SCAN (CAT) computerized series of x-rays (computerized tomography) CULTURE test for infection, or for organisms that could cause infection CUMULATIVE added together from the beginning CUTANEOUS relating to the skin CVA stroke (cerebrovascular accident)

DERMATOLOGIC pertaining to the skin DIASTOLIC lower number in a blood pressure reading DISTAL toward the end, away from the center of the body DIURETIC "water pill" or drug that causes increase in urination DOPPLER device using sound waves to diagnose or test DOUBLE BLIND study in which neither investigators nor subjects know what drug or treatment the subject is receiving DYSFUNCTION state of improper function DYSPLASIA abnormal cells

ECHOCARDIOGRAM sound wave test of the heart EDEMA excess fluid collecting in tissue EEG electric brain wave tracing (electroencephalogram) EFFICACY effectiveness ELECTROCARDIOGRAM electrical tracing of the heartbeat (ECG or EKG) ELECTROLYTE IMBALANCE an imbalance of minerals in the blood EMESIS vomiting EMPIRIC based on experience ENDOSCOPIC EXAMINATION viewing an  internal part of the body with a lighted tube  ENTERAL by way of the intestines EPIDURAL outside the spinal cord ERADICATE get rid of (such as disease) Page 2 of 7 EVALUATED, ASSESSED examined for a medical condition EXPEDITED REVIEW rapid review of a protocol by the IRB Chair without full committee approval, permitted with certain low-risk research studies EXTERNAL outside the body EXTRAVASATE to leak outside of a planned area, such as out of a blood vessel

FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the branch of federal government that approves new drugs FIBROUS having many fibers, such as scar tissue FIBRILLATION irregular beat of the heart or other muscle

GENERAL ANESTHESIA pain prevention by giving drugs to cause loss of consciousness, as during surgery GESTATIONAL pertaining to pregnancy

HEMATOCRIT amount of red blood cells in the blood HEMATOMA a bruise, a black and blue mark HEMODYNAMIC MEASURING blood flow HEMOLYSIS breakdown in red blood cells HEPARIN LOCK needle placed in the arm with blood thinner to keep the blood from clotting HEPATOMA cancer or tumor of the liver HERITABLE DISEASE can be transmitted to one’s offspring, resulting in damage to future children HISTOPATHOLOGIC pertaining to the disease status of body tissues or cells HOLTER MONITOR a portable machine for recording heart beats HYPERCALCEMIA high blood calcium level HYPERKALEMIA high blood potassium level HYPERNATREMIA high blood sodium level HYPERTENSION high blood pressure HYPOCALCEMIA low blood calcium level HYPOKALEMIA low blood potassium level HYPONATREMIA low blood sodium level HYPOTENSION low blood pressure HYPOXEMIA a decrease of oxygen in the blood HYPOXIA a decrease of oxygen reaching body tissues HYSTERECTOMY surgical removal of the uterus, ovaries (female sex glands), or both uterus and ovaries

IATROGENIC caused by a physician or by treatment IDE investigational device exemption, the license to test an unapproved new medical device IDIOPATHIC of unknown cause IMMUNITY defense against, protection from IMMUNOGLOBIN a protein that makes antibodies IMMUNOSUPPRESSIVE drug which works against the body's immune (protective) response, often used in transplantation and diseases caused by immune system malfunction IMMUNOTHERAPY giving of drugs to help the body's immune (protective) system; usually used to destroy cancer cells IMPAIRED FUNCTION abnormal function IMPLANTED placed in the body IND investigational new drug, the license to test an unapproved new drug INDUCTION PHASE beginning phase or stage of a treatment INDURATION hardening INDWELLING remaining in a given location, such as a catheter INFARCT death of tissue due to lack of blood supply INFECTIOUS DISEASE transmitted from one person to the next INFLAMMATION swelling that is generally painful, red, and warm INFUSION slow injection of a substance into the body, usually into the blood by means of a catheter INGESTION eating; taking by mouth INTERFERON drug which acts against viruses; antiviral agent INTERMITTENT occurring (regularly or irregularly) between two time points; repeatedly stopping, then starting again INTERNAL within the body INTERIOR inside of the body INTRAMUSCULAR into the muscle; within the muscle INTRAPERITONEAL into the abdominal cavity INTRATHECAL into the spinal fluid INTRAVENOUS (IV) through the vein INTRAVESICAL in the bladder INTUBATE the placement of a tube into the airway INVASIVE PROCEDURE puncturing, opening, or cutting the skin INVESTIGATIONAL NEW DRUG (IND) a new drug that has not been approved by the FDA INVESTIGATIONAL METHOD a treatment method which has not been proven to be beneficial or has not been accepted as standard care ISCHEMIA decreased oxygen in a tissue (usually because of decreased blood flow)

LAPAROTOMY surgical procedure in which an incision is made in the abdominal wall to enable a doctor to look at the organs inside LESION wound or injury; a diseased patch of skin LETHARGY sleepiness, tiredness LEUKOPENIA low white blood cell count LIPID fat LIPID CONTENT fat content in the blood LIPID PROFILE (PANEL) fat and cholesterol levels in the blood LOCAL ANESTHESIA creation of insensitivity to pain in a small, local area of the body, usually by injection of numbing drugs LOCALIZED restricted to one area, limited to one area LUMEN the cavity of an organ or tube (e.g., blood vessel) LYMPHANGIOGRAPHY an x-ray of the lymph nodes or tissues after injecting dye into lymph vessels (e.g., in feet) LYMPHOCYTE a type of white blood cell important in immunity (protection) against infection LYMPHOMA a cancer of the lymph nodes (or tissues)

MALAISE a vague feeling of bodily discomfort, feeling badly MALFUNCTION condition in which something is not functioning properly MALIGNANCY cancer or other progressively enlarging and spreading tumor, usually fatal if not successfully treated MEDULLABLASTOMA a type of brain tumor MEGALOBLASTOSIS change in red blood cells METABOLIZE process of breaking down substances in the cells to obtain energy METASTASIS spread of cancer cells from one part of the body to another METRONIDAZOLE drug used to treat infections caused by parasites (invading organisms that take up living in the body) or other causes of anaerobic infection (not requiring oxygen to survive) MI myocardial infarction, heart attack MINIMAL slight MINIMIZE reduce as much as possible Page 4 of 7 MONITOR check on; keep track of; watch carefully MOBILITY ease of movement MORBIDITY undesired result or complication MORTALITY death MOTILITY the ability to move MRI magnetic resonance imaging, diagnostic pictures of the inside of the body, created using magnetic rather than x-ray energy MUCOSA, MUCOUS MEMBRANE moist lining of digestive, respiratory, reproductive, and urinary tracts MYALGIA muscle aches MYOCARDIAL pertaining to the heart muscle MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION heart attack

NASOGASTRIC TUBE placed in the nose, reaching to the stomach NCI the National Cancer Institute NECROSIS death of tissue NEOPLASIA/NEOPLASM tumor, may be benign or malignant NEUROBLASTOMA a cancer of nerve tissue NEUROLOGICAL pertaining to the nervous system NEUTROPENIA decrease in the main part of the white blood cells NIH the National Institutes of Health NONINVASIVE not breaking, cutting, or entering the skin NOSOCOMIAL acquired in the hospital

OCCLUSION closing; blockage; obstruction ONCOLOGY the study of tumors or cancer OPHTHALMIC pertaining to the eye OPTIMAL best, most favorable or desirable ORAL ADMINISTRATION by mouth ORTHOPEDIC pertaining to the bones OSTEOPETROSIS rare bone disorder characterized by dense bone OSTEOPOROSIS softening of the bones OVARIES female sex glands

PARENTERAL given by injection PATENCY condition of being open PATHOGENESIS development of a disease or unhealthy condition PERCUTANEOUS through the skin PERIPHERAL not central PER OS (PO) by mouth PHARMACOKINETICS the study of the way the body absorbs, distributes, and gets rid of a drug PHASE I first phase of study of a new drug in humans to determine action, safety, and proper dosing PHASE II second phase of study of a new drug in humans, intended to gather information about safety and effectiveness of the drug for certain uses PHASE III large-scale studies to confirm and expand information on safety and effectiveness of new drug for certain uses, and to study common side effects PHASE IV studies done after the drug is approved by the FDA, especially to compare it to standard care or to try it for new uses PHLEBITIS irritation or inflammation of the vein PLACEBO an inactive substance; a pill/liquid that contains no medicine PLACEBO EFFECT improvement seen with giving subjects a placebo, though it contains no active drug/treatment PLATELETS small particles in the blood that help with clotting POTENTIAL possible POTENTIATE increase or multiply the effect of a drug or toxin (poison) by giving another drug or toxin at the same time (sometimes an unintentional result) POTENTIATOR an agent that helps another agent work better PRENATAL before birth PROPHYLAXIS a drug given to prevent disease or infection PER OS (PO) by mouth PRN as needed PROGNOSIS outlook, probable outcomes PRONE lying on the stomach PROSPECTIVE STUDY following patients forward in time PROSTHESIS artificial part, most often limbs, such as arms or legs PROTOCOL plan of study PROXIMAL closer to the center of the body, away from the end PULMONARY pertaining to the lungs

QD every day; daily QID four times a day

RADIATION THERAPY x-ray or cobalt treatment RANDOM by chance (like the flip of a coin) RANDOMIZATION chance selection RBC red blood cell RECOMBINANT formation of new combinations of genes RECONSTITUTION putting back together the original parts or elements RECUR happen again REFRACTORY not responding to treatment REGENERATION re-growth of a structure or of lost tissue REGIMEN pattern of giving treatment RELAPSE the return of a disease REMISSION disappearance of evidence of cancer or other disease RENAL pertaining to the kidneys REPLICABLE possible to duplicate RESECT remove or cut out surgically RETROSPECTIVE STUDY looking back over past experience

SARCOMA a type of cancer SEDATIVE a drug to calm or make less anxious SEMINOMA a type of testicular cancer (found in the male sex glands) SEQUENTIALLY in a row, in order SOMNOLENCE sleepiness SPIROMETER an instrument to measure the amount of air taken into and exhaled from the lungs STAGING an evaluation of the extent of the disease STANDARD OF CARE a treatment plan that the majority of the medical community would accept as appropriate STENOSIS narrowing of a duct, tube, or one of the blood vessels in the heart STOMATITIS mouth sores, inflammation of the mouth STRATIFY arrange in groups for analysis of results (e.g., stratify by age, sex, etc.) STUPOR stunned state in which it is difficult to get a response or the attention of the subject SUBCLAVIAN under the collarbone SUBCUTANEOUS under the skin SUPINE lying on the back SUPPORTIVE CARE general medical care aimed at symptoms, not intended to improve or cure underlying disease SYMPTOMATIC having symptoms SYNDROME a condition characterized by a set of symptoms SYSTOLIC top number in blood pressure; pressure during active contraction of the heart

TERATOGENIC capable of causing malformations in a fetus (developing baby still inside the mother’s body) TESTES/TESTICLES male sex glands THROMBOSIS clotting THROMBUS blood clot TID three times a day TITRATION a method for deciding on the strength of a drug or solution; gradually increasing the dose T-LYMPHOCYTES type of white blood cells TOPICAL on the surface TOPICAL ANESTHETIC applied to a certain area of the skin and reducing pain only in the area to which applied TOXICITY side effects or undesirable effects of a drug or treatment TRANSDERMAL through the skin TRANSIENTLY temporarily TRAUMA injury; wound TREADMILL walking machine used to test heart function

UPTAKE absorbing and taking in of a substance by living tissue

VALVULOPLASTY plastic repair of a valve, especially a heart valve VARICES enlarged veins VASOSPASM narrowing of the blood vessels VECTOR a carrier that can transmit disease-causing microorganisms (germs and viruses) VENIPUNCTURE needle stick, blood draw, entering the skin with a needle VERTICAL TRANSMISSION spread of disease

WBC white blood cell


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