1st Edition

Single-Case Experimental Designs for Clinical Research and Neurorehabilitation Settings Planning, Conduct, Analysis and Reporting

By Robyn Tate, Michael Perdices Copyright 2019
    292 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    292 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book is a practical resource designed for clinicians, researchers, and advanced students who wish to learn about single-case research designs. It covers the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of single-case designs, as well as their practical application in the clinical and research neurorehabilitation setting. The book briefly traces the history of single-case experimental designs (SCEDs); outlines important considerations in understanding and planning a scientifically rigorous single-case study, including internal and external validity; describes prototypical single-case designs (withdrawal-reversal designs and the medical N-of-1 trial, multiple-baseline designs, alternating-treatments designs, and changing-criterion designs) and required features to meet evidence standards, threats to internal validity, and strategies to address them; addresses data evaluation, covering visual analysis of graphed data, statistical techniques, and clinical significance; and provides a practical ten-step procedure for implementing single-case methods. Each chapter includes detailed illustrative examples from the neurorehabilitation literature.

    Novel features include:

    • A focus on the neurorehabilitation setting, which is particularly suitable for single-case designs because of the complex and often unique presentation of many patients/clients.
    • A practical approach to the planning, implementation, data analysis, and reporting of single-case designs. 
    • An appendix providing a detailed summary of many recently published SCEDs in representative domains in the neurorehabilitation field, covering basic and instrumental activities of daily living, challenging behaviours, disorders of communication and cognition, mood and emotional functions, and motor-sensory disabilities.  

    It is valuable reading for clinicians and researchers in several disciplines working in rehabilitation, including clinical and neuropsychology, education, language and speech pathology, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. It is also an essential resource for advanced students in these fields who need a textbook for specialised courses on research methodology and use of single-case design in applied clinical and research settings.


    1. Introduction to Single-Case Experimental Designs: Historical Overview and Basic Concepts

    2. Maximising Validity in Single-Case Designs

    3. The Dependent Variable: Measuring the Outcomes

    4. The Independent Variable: Implementing the Intervention

    5. Withdrawal/Reversal Designs

    6. Multiple-Baseline Designs

    7. Alternating-Treatments Designs

    8. Changing-Criterion Designs

    9. Data Evaluation

    10. Practical Application of Single-Case Methods in the Neurorehabilitation Setting: Hints for the Researcher and Clinician

    Appendix: Summary Components of Selected Neurorehabilitation Studies



    Robyn L. Tate is Research Professor at the John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Australia.

    Michael Perdices is Senior Clinical Neuropsychologist at the Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia.

    "This volume represents no less than a quantum leap in the application of single-case designs to the rehabilitation setting. With crisp writing and meticulous scholarship, Tate and Perdices have given us an instant classic on an increasingly important route to evidence-based practice. They unpack the confusing terminology, explain all of the design variations, and offer a valuable ten-step approach to implementation. This book will fill a much-needed niche in clinics, classrooms, and laboratories the world over." - Tessa Hart, Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute, USA

    "Tate and Perdices have written a comprehensive, crystal clear guide for how to conduct and analyze SCED studies specific to the field of neurorehabilitation. This book will be my go to resource for designing and evaluating SCED studies and teaching this methodology to my students. Without a doubt, this text will elevate the evidence-base for interventions designed to improve the lives of people affected by neurological disease and injury." - McKay Moore Sohlberg, University of Oregon, USA

    "Several ingredients make this book a valuable guideline for applied researchers: advice on enhancing internal and external validity when planning and conducting studies that can contribute to identifying evidence-based practices, overview of the myriad of data analytical options, and suggestions for comprehensive reporting. The practical approach is boosted by the integration of all these aspects in a ten-step illustration." - Rumen Manolov, University of Barcelona, Spain

    "Tate and Perdices have produced a text that captures their years of experience and expertise, and they clearly set the standard for applying single-case experimental designs in the context of neuropsychological rehabilitation. The text provides in-depth discussion of scientific methodology that informs clinical research, but goes beyond that to provide practical advice and direct guidance that will allow clinicians to evaluate the effectiveness of their treatments and inform their future practice. This work is a unique contribution to the field for scientist-practitioners."Keith Cicerone, JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, USA