How to Write a Case Report: Main Points
In medical practice, a case report is such a type of paper that is documenting a case follow up, applied treatment, and diagnosis of a patient. In medical literature, case reports are considered to be the initial piece of evidence. The aim of case reports is to communicate evidence-grounded data on clinical trials. Furthermore, such reports help medical professionals outline a hypothesis by sharing clinical observations by them in order to back up a scientific study.
JMCR and BMCRN, with various criteria, are publishing a lot of case reports in order to support medical practitioners. A lot of writers are looking for assistance from case databases, that are being updated continually and provide a free reaching to millions of the case studies from various publishers.
The Importance and Value of Case Reports
Being a medical profession’s time-honored tradition, composing case reports was a phenomenon among medical professionals for a long time. Such a practice has started as anecdotal reporting about a particular medical case or personal communication between medical practitioners. It has become a scholarly publication within years. Now we may call them rapid knowledge dissemination used for a medical audience.
Beginning with the medical condition’s diagnosis and finishing with an optimal method of treatment and scientific observations, a manuscript promotes clinical insights that target at expanding on the medical piece of knowledge. Apart from considering documents to be significant, practicing physicians utilize them as a strong reference in order to understand different medical conditions. Have a look at the basic data on how to write such a report below.
When, where, and How to Begin
A proper start to compose such a paper is in following the exclusive medical case. When you have something bizarre, it will be better to investigate it with other consultants and colleagues. They might give you more striking data about a certain patient and guide you.
It will be good to seek permission from a consultant of a patient before you begin to assess the patient. Begin your evaluating process when you have permission and a confirmation that nobody else would write a paper about the same patient. Confer and discuss the case with your colleagues, follow the proper treatment and investigation to compose your preliminary draft.
Following an in-patient course of treatment throughout his or her hospitalization and after their discharge is obligatory. The patient should be under observation during their reexamination visits after discharge. It would assist you in tracking their progress and clinical course. When a patient suffers from an acute or rapid illness, you are able to manage your timeline and schedule when you follow their neurological examination.
Review medical literature
This step is of great functional significance, even if it seems to be not important at first sight. It is really useful to discuss a case together with physicians and colleagues in order to evaluate a clinical scenario. Nevertheless, doing modern investigation is a fast way to support your manuscript with some credible literature.
To look for relevant information, you might take the help of the hospital’s nursing station. Additionally, you may use Ovid, Medline, Embase, PubMed, and Google Scholar to get authentic articles and publications. Being a staff manager, you are able to utilize individual references, search for keywords, and access UpToDate.
Moreover, utilize the internet in the role of a global forum. Join medical discussions and communities. You are able to post your case with de-identified images and details, petition the medical pieces of advice from medical professionals that are working worldwide. The following communities and forums might be helpful:
Note that each of them is with free membership. You might also look for guidance concerning your case in presentations, simple discussions, conferences, seminars, teaching bases of local medical universities.
Take into consideration the medical journal’s criteria
At the preliminary case reporting phase, this step is important. By determining of medical journal’s publishing criteria, it will be easy to publish your case report. Here are short and concise guidelines concerning publishing criteria of JMCR and BMRCN:
- There must be a significant contribution to medical knowledge by a case report.
- The following things are to be discussed:
- Innovative variation which is involved in the process of disease.
- Unreported yet side effects of the proper medication that was utilized during the treatment.
- Unexpected disease presentation.
- Details of management, treatment, and diagnosis.
- Unexpected links between disease and symptoms.
- Any kind of unexpected event which occurred during treatment as a repercussion of clinical treatment.
- Significant findings to make the side effects of the illness clearer.
- All cases should be genuine and present the educational importance to a medical domain.
- A clinical case must be described in a case report.
- Medical preventives and therapeutic interventions should not be present in a case report since they need considerable pieces of evidence.
How to Do a Proper Case Report Formatting?
The word count is different in every journal, but the vast majority of them are rather short. So you would rather make a draft of the case manuscript, including pertinent details. Here you can get help to format your case report correctly:
1. Title page
The title page is the initial page of your case report. It includes full names of the participants and authors, a comprehensive and short description of the manuscript, email and institutional addresses. The corresponding author should be clearly identified. Don’t use cute wordings, puns, and abbreviations since they create obscurity.
A piece of the abstract consists of a lesser of 350 words being a concise description of the manuscript. Here are the main 3 sections of the abstract structure:
- Background. In this part, you will have to elaborate on the importance and value of the manuscript. Tell why your case is considered to be exclusive concerning its significance in medicine.
- Case Presentation. Here you should tell about ethnic background, age, gender, demographic data of the patient, and nature of the ailment.
- Conclusion. This section is summarizing of the learning points and findings for the medical staff. It includes the case report clinical impacts also. Here you should list whether the report affects a broader spectrum or deals with a certain clinical specialty.
Make sure the data there is very succinct because it is to be one of the most crucial parts of the document. Here are all the details to build up interest to the readers.
When you are comprising the keywords list you are utilizing in your case report, add a keyword section. With it, the researchers will be able to easily retrieve the content online.
4. Background or introduction
This section explains the progression, treatment, and disorder. To explain a new disease, you are to incorporate a comprehensive presentation here. Include relevant data concerning side effects and drug use, when your case report is about the adverse effects of using drugs. It is good to provide concise background data to back up the case report in the intro. It will make the standpoint of modern research in a certain area more understandable. The final claim of the intro must recapitulate the case report’s objective briefly.
5. Case presentation
The CP involves the patient’s demographic data, signs, medical history, description of intervention or medical tests, and disease symptoms. It should be presented in chronological order, explaining ailment history and primary complaints. For instance, it must include social and family history details of taking medications and allergies. Additionally, the cp must include disease symptoms at the first stage, physical examination of the details, and short results description.
You may add extra information to make the document more comprehensive. With it, the researchers will be able to understand the case, accordingly to the context. Besides, it will evaluate the situation for accuracy, validity, and uniqueness. For an expanded conclusion, you are able to incorporate more literature reviews and references.
This section states the significance and relevance of your case. The effect of your document upon the medical literature is evaluated here. Ensure you add data, concerning the way your case evolves medical knowledge, regarding a disease etiology, drug mechanism, and its treatment.
8. Patient’s prospect
To provide an innovative dimension to your case report, you may add this section. For instance, you may incorporate a description of symptoms, patient’s experience when looking for treatments and medical advice, personal reflection about their disease. Nevertheless, you are to add only relevant details here not to make it patient-centered or subjective.
9. Ethical consideration
It is an important section in both BMC and JMCR guidelines. You will have to look for the consent of the patient for publishing their case report in a medical journal. Submit a statement in a written form to the BMC with your document.
10. Formal report compulsory sections
- Author’s Contribution: Acknowledge the contribution of each author to the domain.
- Abbreviation List: Give a list of abbreviated words that were utilized in the text.
- Author Data: Incorporate the author’s background data, name, and current position.
- Acknowledgement: Mention people who have contributed to analyze, conceptualize, interpret, and design the report.
- Cover Letter and References: Cite and include at least 15 references to your paper. Include a cover letter, which will state the significance and aim of your report.
Before submitting, you need to:
- Revise the fee policies
- Take into consideration the journal’s aims
- Make sure the case report is readable and accurate
- Follow the policy of copyright agreement
- Follow the rules of formatting
- Make sure you follow the journal’s editorial policy
All in all, case reports follow the formal formatting, but when you want to share your insights and medical experience with other people, it may become a hobby for you. With the guidelines mentioned above, you will produce an impactful, clear, and coherent case report to contribute to the scientific community.