1. Ryan, Polly PhD, RN, APRN, BC

Article Content


To present single case design (SCD) as a practice evaluation method that can be incorporated easily into practice and that results in measurable outcomes.



Information obtained is a reflection of patient outcomes, practitioner and system effectiveness, and evidence-based care and programs.



Since the inception of the CNS role, practitioners have been challenged to find expedient methods of evaluating the effectiveness of interventions-and to do so in a manner that produces information meaningful to patients, other healthcare professionals, and administrators.



SCD is a simple, flexible method of evaluating effectiveness of interventions over time for individuals or groups of patients. Together, CNSs and patients identify clinical problem(s) and mutually set goal(s) designed to achieve target outcomes. Preliminary data are obtained repeatedly during a baseline phase using available assessment parameters and Individualized Rating Scales. Evidence-based interventions are implemented and repeated measures are collected.



Using visual inspection methods, data from the baseline phase are compared with data from the intervention phase. Changes in outcomes are evaluated by visually inspecting changes over time. In addition, evaluation of CNS practice can occur by inspecting data across multiple patients.



SCD includes simple designs allowing clinicians to determine association between the use of an intervention and outcomes.