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Case Reports

This guide provides an overview of case reports and guidelines for writing them.

What is a Case Report?

A case report:

  • Contributes new concepts to medical knowledge
  • Presents novel understanding of a diagnosis, or management of a disease or procedure
  • Presents unique, unusual or previously undocumented medical occurrences

What a case report is NOT

  • Case reports are based upon a single patient, and NOT considered rigorous evidence
  • A case report may lead to future research studies

How to write a case report?

Topics for a Case Report

  • Previously unreported observations, unique procedures, complications or diagnoses
  • Unexpected associations between disease, symptoms or treatments
  • New knowledge regarding pathogens or adverse effects
  • Unique features of a disease or therapeutic intervention
  • Novel disease, interventions or procedures
  • Medical challenges in diagnoses or treatments
  • Therapeutic enhancements
  • Diagnosis, intervention or medication failures or adverse effects

Where to start?

  1.  Always obtain patient consent
  2. Familiarize yourself with the CARE Guidelines
  3. Perform a literature search about the condition 
  4. Gather background information regarding the diagnosis
  5. Review previous clinical and research findings
  6. Gather all relevant clinical information
  7. Write the report according to the CARE guidelines
  8. Review journal publication requirements specific to that journal
  9. More information is found here

Research and Liaison Librarian

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Julia Peters