Research Article  |   January 2017
Single-Case Experimental Design: Current Standards and Applications in Occupational Therapy
Author Affiliations
  • Justin D. Lane, PhD, BCBA-D, is Assistant Professor, Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling, University of Kentucky, Lexington; justin.lane@uky.edu
  • Jennifer R. Ledford, PhD, BCBA-D, is Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • David L. Gast, PhD, is Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Special Education, University of Georgia, Athens
Article Information
Evidence-Based Practice / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / School-Based Practice / Research Methodology
Research Article   |   January 2017
Single-Case Experimental Design: Current Standards and Applications in Occupational Therapy
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 2017, Vol. 71, 7102300010p1-7102300010p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.022210
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 2017, Vol. 71, 7102300010p1-7102300010p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.022210
Abstract

Occupational therapy is a field with a long-standing history of recommending and implementing interventions designed to improve the quality of life of clients with disabilities. Often, the interventions are individualized to meet the needs of this diverse group of clients in dynamic settings. Identifying effective and efficient interventions for such a diverse group of clients and settings requires a flexible research approach. Single-case experimental designs (SCEDs) allow practitioners and researchers to answer experimental questions within the context of rigorous research designs. The purpose of this article is to highlight the similarities between the mission of occupational therapy and SCEDs. Recommendations for designing single-case studies with the framework provided by the Single-Case Reporting Guideline in Behavioral Interventions are provided. In addition, common problems and proposed solutions, along with implications for practitioners and researchers, are provided.