Writing a Case Report

Writing a Case report for publication and Conference Presentation

  • A case report (case study) is a method of descriptive research that documents a practitioner’s experiences, thoughts, or observations related to the care of a single patient
  • A case series combines the observations from a group of similar patients

TYPES

  • Education case report
  • Diagnostic/Assessment case reports
  • Treatment/Management case reports

STEPS

IDENTIFYING CASES IN PRACTICE

LITERATURE SEARCH

  • Tells you what you need to know to design your study
  • Tells you what you need to know to understand and interpret your study results/outcomes
  • Helps you develop an unbiased, objective understanding of your topic

Search Engines

  • Ebsco
  • Ovid
  • Pub med
  • Index to Chiropractic literature  MANTIS
  • CINHAL

CHOOSING YOUR AUDIENCE

CHOOSE YOUR JOURNAL BEFORE YOU START WRITING
  • This is very important because all journals have different requirements for case reports:
  • – Some do not allow case reports to be published.
  • – Others range from about 1,000 to 3,000 words allowed for a case report.
  • – The number of references also ranges. Some limit to 5, other journals allow unlimited.
  • – Finally, the sections of the manuscript may differ based on the journal instructions.

ACCESS THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR AUTHORS

  • The instructions are listed in every scientific journal and are different for every journal  Check to see if they allow case reports
  • Read them thoroughly

OBTAINING PATIENT CONSENT OUTCOME MEASURES

  • All the possible measurements of results that may stem from exposure to a causal factor, or from preventive or therapeutic interventions
  • Qualitative
    – Anything that can be described in words (usually in quotes)
    – Examples: “I have not been able to sleep through the night in years!”
  • Quantitative
  • – Anything that can be described in numbers (subjective or objective)
  • – Examples
  • — Lab results
  • — Height/weight
  • — Pain levels on VAS
  • — Quality of life on SF36

Which outcome measures should be used?

  • Look at which measures are consistently used in the literature  Check out texts on outcome measures
  • Read articles on new outcome measures

STRUCTURE OF A CASE REPORT

  • Title
  • Abstract/Key words
  • Introduction
  • – Background information and overview of previous research (if any)  Gaps in previous research
  • – Significance of topic area
  • – Objective of your case report
  • Case study section
  • – Profile of patient
  • – Treatment plan
  • – Outcome measures
  • Results
  • Discussion/Conclusions
  • – Briefly restate the findings of the study, and then discuss how previous research findings correlate.
  • – Provide a rationale for the treatment techniques and modalities selected.
  • – Describe why the results may have occurred
  • – Discuss any policy or practice implications
  • – Limitation
  • – Conclusion
  • References

This page can be downloaded in .pdf format here: Writing a Case report for publication and Conference Presentation (2)