The personal motif in naturalistic case study research: developing “innerstandings” in woman’s compulsive behaviour

Tineke A. Abma*, Andrea Ruissen, Ellen den Oude, Petra Verdonk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this article is to show case study research focused on persons as a case and our personal engagement with the case can improve our innerstandings and understanding of person-centred care. Method: We present the methodology and epistemology of naturalistic case study research and illuminate this approach with the case study of Ellen, a young, Dutch, white-middle class woman with a compulsive disorder. We combine naturalistic case study research with the personal narratives of those involved in the research, including ourselves, and interpreted through a feminist and gender lens. Results: The case study research enhanced the personal and mutual understanding of all involved, including the researchers. Feminist and gender theory revealed the hidden personal motif for the choice of the case, and led to a re-viewing of the original story, offering a re-storying. Conclusion: We conclude that the personal motif as well as the use of our personal experiences to understand the case deserve more attention in case study research to address the complex interplay of social and intrapsychic dimensions, and develop more in-depth innerstandings for all engaged.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1730552
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

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