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Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
March, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 03
Writing a Case Report: Where to Start
By Jerrilyn Cambron, LMT, DC, MPH, PhD
Over the past few years, many massage therapists have asked me how to write a case report. There is such a great need for more research in this profession, I wish I could meet their expectations and rattle off a simple answer, as though I am giving directions to my Aunt Diane's house.Unfortunately, it is not that easy. However, there are certainly many therapists who have written and published case reports, showing all of us that it is possible - with the right directions.
Case reports can have a tremendous impact on our profession: recognition in the public sector, acceptance in the medical community, and advancement in our treatments and client outcomes, to name a few.
Published case reports have the potential to improve nearly every aspect in the massage profession. This is the first article in a series on writing case reports for the massage therapy profession. Generally, case reports describe the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of an individual patient, which we will cover in proceeding articles. However, to get you started on your path to authorship, here are five important steps to follow before you ever begin writing.
Five Steps Before You Write
First and foremost, you need to choose a case to report. While this may seem obvious, it can be somewhat daunting to narrow down. Consider what interests you. Think about which clients you enjoy discussing with your colleagues, such as the client who was not expecting improvement but who now considers massage therapy the "miracle cure". Perhaps you want to discuss the client who had a negative reaction with one form of health care, but then greatly improved after bodywork sessions.
There are also plenty of unusual cases that would be of interest. Perhaps a gunshot victim for whom you increased the mobility of some of his scar tissue; or the person with an amputation who felt "whole" again after massage. Or, perhaps you want to discuss the typical clients you treat so that there is more evidence in the literature on massage therapy for back pain, headaches, stress disorders, and such. You will be spending time with this case, so it is a good idea to choose one you enjoy discussing.
Second, you need to consider why you want to write about a case. Is it because the case was so unique that you want to tell your fellow massage therapists about it? Do you want to write because you want to inform other health care professionals about the improvements that occurred due to massage therapy? Are you hoping to increase your credibility by publishing a case report in a peer-reviewed journal? Were you looking for evidence on massage for a particular condition and could not find anything, so you want to help add to the evidence base? Do you want to win the Massage Therapy Foundation's case report contest? Or do you want to accomplish all of these?
Understanding why you want to publish will help your motivation levels as you work towards your goal, and you can use that energy to keep yourself moving through the process. Understanding what is motivating you to write a case report will also help you better define your audience.
Knowing your audience is the third major hurdle you need to consider before you start writing. For example, let's say you had a pregnant client with low back pain, and you were able to help manage her back pain throughout her pregnancy. Would you want to tell your fellow massage therapists about your treatment protocol so that they might be able to utilize your methods? Or would you want to tell obstetricians about the benefits of our non-pharmaceutical approach to pain reduction, such as in this case of a pregnant women with back pain?
Both aspects might be important, but they would be written very differently and, most likely, they would be written for different journals. In a journal that is focused on the massage profession such as the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork or the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapy, we would expect the article to include a more specific description of the therapy so that fellow massage therapists would be able to replicate the treatment. However, if the case was written for submission to an obstetrics journal, you might need to include a bit more background information, describing massage therapy for the pregnant woman because obstetricians may not know what their patients should expect from a pregnancy massage. Try to imagine who might be reading the journal, and write as though you are speaking directly to them.
Choosing the journal to which you want to submit your case report is the fourth issue to consider before you start writing. There are many ways to find the best journal for your case report. One way is to go to a medical library and look at the different journals. Another way is to search online.
There is a great online resource from the University of Toledo, Mulford Health Science Library (http://mulford.utoledo.edu/instr/.) This resource allows you to type in a keyword and find journals that include that topic. For example, using our case report on a pregnant woman with back pain, we could go to this Web site and type in the word "obstetrics." According to the Web site of more than 6,000 journals, 18 have a focus on obstetrics and the list is provided. If we type in the word "pregnancy" we get only two journals. The word "massage" doesn't produce any journals, but the keywords "alternative medicine" produces three journals.
The real beauty of this site is that you can click on the name of any of these journals and you will be taken to that journal's "Instructions to Authors" section. Instructions to authors can be considered the "rules of writing" for that journal. Every journal has different instructions for authors, and it is your job to make sure you know what the expectations are before you start writing. For example, one journal might allow a case report to be 3,000 words but another only allows 1,000 words. You will increase your chances of acceptance if you know the rules before you start.
Finally, I strongly suggest you read several case reports from the journal to which you intend to submit your case report. I suggest this because it gives you a flavor of how the article should be written. Try to pay attention to the article's style and formatting: section headings, the length, the number of figures or tables, and the style of writing. Published case reports went through the peer-review process and were found to be good enough to be published. If you want your case to be published in the same journal, your report needs to be of the same quality.
These five steps to take before you start writing your case report (choose the case, determine why you are writing it, know your audience, choose the journal, and read previous examples) might make the difference between getting your case accepted for publication and having it rejected.
In the next article, we will begin our discussion on how to write a case report.
Jerrilyn Cambron is a professor in the Department of Research at the National University of Health Sciences and an adjunct faculty member in the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Division of the School of Public Health, University of Illinois. She has taught numerous research-related courses and post-graduate seminars. She has also served as a principal investigator on research studies focused on massage therapy and chiropractic care for more than 20 years. Jerrilyn is on the board of trustees for the Massage Therapy Foundation and is the founder and principal investigator of MassageNet, a practice-based research network for massage therapists. For more, go to www.massagenet.org.
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