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Case Studies An Overview

Case studies are a staple of any rotation. Such papers usually concentrate on a single patient and their progression. As such, they need not be the longest writing project you handle, though they need to be extremely detailed. The library has in the collection several journals geared towards this subject, they are listed below. Also included are guides from various medical disciplines on how to craft a case study. Assistance in case studies is also a service offered at the library, regarding flow, grammar, etc. 

How to Write a Case Study

The case study approach

Crowe S, Cresswell K, Robertson A, Huby G, Avery A, Sheikh A. The case study approach. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2011;11:100. Published 2011 Jun 27. 

"The case study approach allows in-depth, multi-faceted explorations of complex issues in their real-life settings. The value of the case study approach is well recognised in the fields of business, law and policy, but somewhat less so in health services research. Based on our experiences of conducting several health-related case studies, we reflect on the different types of case study design, the specific research questions this approach can help answer, the data sources that tend to be used, and the particular advantages and disadvantages of employing this methodological approach. The paper concludes with key pointers to aid those designing and appraising proposals for conducting case study research, and a checklist to help readers assess the quality of case study reports."

How to review a case report

Rakesh Garg, Shaheen E. Lakhan & Ananda K. Dhanasekaran, Journal of Medical Case Reports 10 (88), 2016.

"Sharing individual patient experiences with clinical colleagues is an essential component of learning from each other. This sharing of information may be made global by reporting in a scientific journal. In medicine, patient management decisions are generally based on the evidence available for use of a particular investigation or technology [1]. The hierarchical rank of the evidence signifies the probability of bias. The higher up the hierarchy, the better its reliability and thus its clinical acceptance (Table 1). Though case reports remain lowest in the hierarchy of evidence, with meta-analysis representing the highest level, they nevertheless constitute important information with regard to rare events and may be considered as anecdotal evidence [2] (Table 1). Case reports may stimulate the generation of new hypotheses, and thus may support the emergence of new research."

Guidelines To Writing A Clinical Case Report

Guidelines To Writing A Clinical Case Report. (2017). Heart views : the official journal of the Gulf Heart Association, 18(3), 104–105.
"A case report is a detailed report of the symptoms, signs, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of an individual patient. Case reports usually describe an unusual or novel occurrence and as such, remain one of the cornerstones of medical progress and provide many new ideas in medicine. Some reports contain an extensive review of the relevant literature on the topic. The case report is a rapid short communication between busy clinicians who may not have time or resources to conduct large scale research."
Sun Z. (2013). Tips for writing a case report for the novice author. Journal of medical radiation sciences, 60(3), 108–113.
"A case report is a description of important scientific observations that are missed or undetectable in clinical trials. This includes a rare or unusual clinical condition, a previously unreported or unrecognized disease, unusual side effects to therapy or response to treatment, and unique use of imaging modalities or diagnostic tests to assist diagnosis of a disease. Generally, a case report should be short and focussed, with its main components being the abstract, introduction, case description, and discussion. This article discusses the essential components of a case report, with the aim of providing guidelines and tips to novice authors to improve their writing skills."


Open-Access Case Study Resources

The Case for Case Reports

"A case report at its best is a clever idea that arises from a physician-patient interaction. The authors may uncover an exception to the current paradigm, raising the proposition of “if 1, then some,” and as such demanding a new paradigm able to incorporate these exceptions. A case report may be a starting point for hypothesis-testing research. The authors may suggest a new therapy or raise an early alert regarding untoward consequences of a new treatment, or they may raise the practice level of the reader. The articles in this supplement provide examples of some of these varied types of case reports."

ACP Case Reports

American College of Physicians guide to writing caste report abstracts (vignettes) & includes checklist and example PDFs

BMJ Case Reports

British Medical Journal guide on how to write a case report in ten steps


Article: Writing impactful case studies

"This paper reports on two studies that used qualitative thematic and quantitative linguistic analysis, respectively, to assess the content and language of the largest ever sample of graded research impact case studies, from the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF). The paper provides the first empirical evidence across disciplinary main panels of statistically significant linguistic differences between high- versus low-scoring case studies, suggesting that implicit rules linked to written style may have contributed to scores alongside the published criteria on the significance, reach and attribution of impact."

Intro to Writing Case Reports

Case Report Abstract Writing