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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) pre-meeting 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) post-meeting 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.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.jclinepi.2013.08.003

Type

Journal article

Journal

Journal of clinical epidemiology

Publication Date

01/2014

Volume

67

Pages

46 - 51

Addresses

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Keywords

CARE Group, Humans, Consensus, Biomedical Research, Guidelines as Topic, Checklist, Research Report