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AUDIOLOGY CASE STUDIES

The Hearing Journal's Case Study Writing Guidelines

BASIC REQUIREMENTS

  • A total of 750 to 1,400 words (excluding references)
  • No more than two figures/tables/images
  • No more than 15 numbered citations (in superscript format), with a reference list in chronological order (Vancouver System)
  • Author headshot and a two- to three-sentence biographical sketch

COMPONENTS

Title

  • Short, straightforward yet descriptive.
  • Ten-word limit to make the article more easily searched

Abstract

  • Present the most important features of the case, namely, the clinical issue and learning points, to draw readers to the article.
  • Present the clinical or diagnostic problem in no more than two sentences, emphasizing why the case is relevant.
  • Limit the abstract to one paragraph or 150 words.
  • Keywords

    • Select a few keywords to refine the article search.

    Introduction

    • Center the reader on the primary objective, like the title and abstract.
    • Demonstrate the purpose of your case study, the reason it was written, and, if possible, the prevalence rate associated with the disease, disorder, injury, or condition.
    • Clearly state your educational message.
    • A brief review of the pertinent literature may be included, referencing relevant and recent research on the topic.
    • Limit the Introduction to one or two paragraphs.

    Case Presentation

    • Chronologically deliver any pertinent clinical details associated with the patient, including medical/social/family history, examination data, outcome measurements, and/or treatment regimens. Always maintain patient confidentiality.
    • If indicated, demonstrate the effect, including unanticipated effect, of treatment.
    • Describe your preferred treatment protocol and the patient's condition when the manuscript was written.
    • Explain why your case is relevant, what influenced your decisions, and how you reached your final diagnosis.
    • Use tables, figures, images, or videos to support your case presentation (see above limitations).
    • Commit at least two paragraphs to the case presentation.

    Outcome (Follow-up)

    • Information on outcome or follow-up can be incorporated into the case presentation, or presented alone in a subsequent section of the manuscript.
    • If the patient was seen for follow-up, describe any clinical differences and present outcome data if available.
    • Present the timeline and duration of follow-up for your reader.
    • Limit this section to one paragraph unless this is the main purpose of the case study.

    Discussion

    • The most demanding, yet often interesting and engaging, part of the case study is the discussion. Present the age, sex, ethnicity, and occupation of the patient, followed by the most important diagnostic and treatment observations. The case should be compared to any evidence in the literature about the diagnosis, illness, injury, or treatment. If a treatment or clinical procedure is the focus of your case, a causal and temporal relationship must be shown.
    • Maintain patient anonymity.
    • Make a compelling argument about your clinical disposition of the patient.
    • After presenting the patient's symptoms, describe any supporting evidence used to reach the final diagnosis, including any similar case publications.
    • You may explain why other diagnoses were not selected.
    • Present any limitations or weaknesses of your case study.
    • Limit yourself to two to four paragraphs.
    • Cite and summarize any relevant clinical practice guidelines if applicable.

    Take-Home Message/Points (Conclusion)

    • Conclude with a statement derived from the evidence provided in foregoing sections of the manuscript.
    • Provide a list of three or four important take-home points that clinicians should glean from your case. This should be the closing message that you want the reader to take from the case study and apply in clinical practice.
    • Limit the conclusion to one paragraph.

    References

    • As noted in the length summary above, include no more than 15 citations formatted in Vancouver style.
    • Emphasize more recent, peer-reviewed articles.

    Tables/Figures/Images/Videos

    • Describe the table, figures, images, and videos within the text, but place them at end of the manuscript.
    • Tables and figures should be easy to understand, and they should contribute to the reader's understanding of the paper. Captions should be short but precise.
    • Limit yourself to two tables, figures, images or videos.
    • If a photo of the patient is used, the patient's eyes must be concealed, and the image made unidentifiable.
    • All protected health information must be removed.

    Patient Permission

    • Consent is required prior to publication of the case study. 
    • Complete the Case Study Consent Form (download here: bit.ly/HJConsentForm). Obtain the appropriate signatures from patients or the parents or legal guardians of children and other vulnerable patients who are unable to consent directly.
    • Allow the patient or family member to provide feedback on the manuscript and their experience in the clinic.
    Submissions must be sent via email to hj@wolterskluwer.com.