Medical Definition of Naturalistic study

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Naturalistic study: A type of study in which the researcher very carefully observes and records some behavior or phenomenon, sometimes over a prolonged period, in its natural setting while interfering as little as possible with the subjects or phenomena.

In medical research, a naturalistic study usually involves observing people as they go about their normal activities. The presence of an observer obviously has an effect as one goes about one's daily activities.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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