Case studies in clinical psychology: are we giving up a publication type and methodology in research on and teaching of psychopathology and psychotherapy?

  • Scientometric results on publication trends in clinical psychology, which refer to publication type and methodology of case studies/reports, are presented. Absolute and relative frequencies of clinical case studies are identified for the segment “mental and behavioral disorders” in MEDLINE (ICD-10 Chapter V [F]) as well as for clinical psychology publications documented in PsycINFO and PSYNDEX in 40 publication years (1975-2014). Results show an increase of the absolute number of published case studies documented in MEDLINE and PsycINFO (but not in PSYNDEX), which is highly correlated with the total increase of clinical psychology publications in both databases. Relative frequencies show another picture, namely a drop of the percentage of case studies on mental and behavioral disorders in MEDLINE, and a sharp drop in PSYNDEX since the 1980s. The trend for the relative frequency of case studies within all publications on clinical psychology documented in PsycINFO is V-shaped with 6% in the 1970s, 3% in the early 1990s, and 4-5% after the millennium. Pros and cons of case studies in clinical psychology research and education are discussed. Qualitative and quantitative case study methodologies are distinguished with respect to the phases of clinical trials and observational studies in evidence-based and empirically supported psychotherapy. Subsequently, methodological constraints are balanced with specific values in clinical training, applied research, and innovative research on the symptomatology, etiology, and classification of mental disorders as well as on combined and/or integrative treatment techniques and methods.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar
Author:Dorothea Krampen, Günter Krampen
Parent Title (German):International Journal of Psychological Studies
Publisher:Canadian Center of Science and Education
Place of publication:Toronto
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2016
Date of first Publication:2016/08/04
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2016/11/25
Tag:case study; clinical psychology; psychopathology; psychotherapy; scientometrics
Page Number:15
First Page:173
Last Page:187
Copyright for this article is retained by the author(s), with first publication rights granted to the journal. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Psychologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0