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Glob Adv Health Med. 2013 Sep;2(5):38-43. doi: 10.7453/gahmj.2013.008.

The CARE Guidelines: Consensus-based Clinical Case Reporting Guideline Development.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Michigan, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, United States.
2
Institute for Applied Epistemology and Medical Methodology, University of Witten/Herdecke, Freiburg, Germany.
3
Centre for Statistics in Medicine, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
4
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ontario.
5
The Dartmouth Institute and Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire, United States.
6
editor-in-chief, Global Advances in Health and Medicine, Portland, Oregon, United States.

Abstract

in English, Chinese, Spanish

BACKGROUND:

A case report is a narrative that describes, for medical, scientific, or educational purposes, a medical problem experienced by one or more patients. Case reports written without guidance from reporting standards are insufficiently rigorous to guide clinical practice or to inform clinical study design.

PRIMARY OBJECTIVE:

Develop, disseminate, and implement systematic reporting guidelines for case reports.

METHODS:

We used a three-phase consensus process consisting of (1) premeeting literature review and interviews to generate items for the reporting guidelines, (2) a face-to-face consensus meeting to draft the reporting guidelines, and (3) postmeeting feedback, review, and pilot testing, followed by finalization of the case report guidelines.

RESULTS:

This consensus process involved 27 participants and resulted in a 13-item checklist-a reporting guideline for case reports. The primary items of the checklist are title, key words, abstract, introduction, patient information, clinical findings, timeline, diagnostic assessment, therapeutic interventions, follow-up and outcomes, discussion, patient perspective, and informed consent.

CONCLUSIONS:

We believe the implementation of the CARE (CAse REport) guidelines by medical journals will improve the completeness and transparency of published case reports and that the systematic aggregation of information from case reports will inform clinical study design, provide early signals of effectiveness and harms, and improve healthcare delivery.

KEYWORDS:

Case report; EQUATOR Network; case study; health research reporting guidelines; meaningful use; patient reports

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