resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
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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