evidence and practice
Using local communities to establish geographical boundaries for case studies
Helen Bosley Doctoral researcher, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Institute of Nursing, Midwifery, and Allied Health Professionals, Oxford Brookes University, Headington, Oxford, England
Jane Appleton Professor of primary and community care, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Headington, Oxford, England
Catherine Henshall Senior nursing research fellow, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Headington, Oxford, England
Debra Jackson Faculty of Health, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW, Australia and professor of nursing, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, England
Background Case studies are widely used in the social sciences to explore complex phenomena in natural settings. Applying boundaries is vital to ensure cases are easily identifiable and similar enough to be treated as instances of the same phenomenon.
Aim To discuss using local communities to establish geographical boundaries in case studies.
Discussion Postal codes can be used to define geographical boundaries. A broad range of statistical data can be collected from these areas, including demographic information, which can assist in identifying communities that have issues or characteristics that may benefit from further research. Collecting data from communities enables researchers to access appropriate populations.
Conclusion Using local communities to identify case boundaries helps to provide a clear periphery to the case and generate local solutions to local problems.
Implications for practice This approach enables researchers to immerse themselves in the local community, ensuring it engages with research projects and findings.
Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2019.e1623Peer review
This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated softwareCorrespondence
Bosley H, Appleton J, Henshall C et al (2019) Using local communities to establish geographical boundaries for case studies. Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2019.e1623
Published online: 28 February 2019