Systematic Use of Visual Analysis for Assessing Outcomes in Single Case Design Studies

Jennifer R. Ledford, Justin D. Lane, Katherine E. Severini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Single case designs (SCDs) allow researchers to objectively evaluate the impact of an intervention by repeatedly measuring a dependent variable across baseline and intervention conditions. Rooted in baseline logic, SCDs evaluate change over time, with each participant serving as his or her own control during the course of a study. Formative and summative evaluation of data is critical to determining causal relations. Visual analysis involves evaluation of level, trend, variability, consistency, overlap, and immediacy of effects within (baseline and intervention) and between conditions (baseline to intervention). The purpose of this paper is to highlight the process for visually analysing data collected in the context of a SCD and to provide structures and procedures for evaluating the six data characteristics of interest. A checklist with dichotomous responses (i.e., yes/no) is presented to facilitate implementation and reporting of systematic visual analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-17
Number of pages14
JournalBrain Impairment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment 2017.


  • formative analysis
  • single case design
  • single case synthesis
  • summative analysis
  • visual analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing


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