Paul D. Mullin, D.C.
Research Forum 1985 (Summer); 123–124
Abstract: The technique for preparing a case report is presented. The use of the case report as a vehicle for the practicing chiropractor to present significant Clinical Findings is discussed.
The chiropractic profession has contributed little to the scientific literature (as of 1985, when this article was written). This is not due to a lack of clinical data, but rather a failure to write in a form recognized by the scientific community. The case report may provide a vehicle for introducing chiropractic clinical findings to scientific journals. Many other benefits may be derived from case reports:
The case report represents "the first phase of clinical research".
It provides the basis, stimulus, and direction for further research.
Case reports are written by clinicians for clinicians to share clinically useful information.
Case reports are of great interest to clinicians since they are linked to the care of actual patients. 2 Case reports are not difficult to write and may provide a vehicle for those not involved in formal clinical research projects to present their findings. A case report may be a clinician's first significant paper. 3
The writing of a case report focuses and solidifies the author's thoughts.
Case reports may help to establish new standards of care.
The case report is an accurate, brief, and clear narrative report of a clinical experience. It requires the same rigorous analytical thinking and as much attention to detail as other research papers. 4 Hutht 5 states:
"Three kinds of case reports still occasionally merit publication:
(1) the unique or nearly unique case that may represent a previously undescribed syndrome or disease
(2) the case with an unexpected association of two or more diseases or disease manifestations that may represent an unsuspected casual relation
(3) the case with an unexpected evolution suggesting a therapeutic effect or an adverse drug effect