The CARE guidelines: Consensus-based clinical case report guideline development

Joel J. Gagnier, Gunver Kienle, Douglas G. Altman, David Moher, Harold Sox, David Riley, the CARE Group, Alyshia Allaire, Jeffrey Aronson, James Carpenter, Joel Gagnier, Patrick Hanaway, Carolyn Hayes, David Jones, Marietta Kaszkin-Bettag, Michael Kidd, Helmut Kiene, Gunver Kienle, Ben Kligler, Lori KnutsonChristian Koch, Karen Milgate, Michele Mittelman, Hanna Oltean, Greg Plotnikoff, Richard Alan Rison, Anil Sethi, Larissa Shamseer, Richard Smith, Harold Sox

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    61 Citations (Scopus)


    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 (a) pre-meeting literature review and interviews to generate items for the reporting guidelines; (b) a face-toface consensus meeting to draft the reporting guidelines; and (c) 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 languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)381-390
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Dietary Supplements
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


    • Case report
    • Case study
    • EQUATOR Network
    • Health research reporting guidelines
    • Meaningful use
    • Patient reports


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