Abstract

Ethnography is a qualitative research design that has relevance for clinical research in occupational therapy. The ethnographic approach is illustrated in the present paper through a description of how it could be used to investigate the effectiveness of an occupational therapy leisure intervention with stroke survivors. This paper contrasts ethnography with a randomized clinical trial design addressing the same question. Background information about ethnography, its relationship to other qualitative approaches, and its relevance to occupational therapy is addressed. Additionally, specific aspects of the research process are described, including triangulation of data-gathering strategies, sampling, and analysis. The limitations of ethnography are then described. The paper concludes with some examples of ethnographic work with persons with disabilities.

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