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News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
August, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 08
How To Write a Case Report: The Introduction Section
By Jerrilyn Cambron, LMT, DC, MPH, PhD
As a massage therapist, you are on the front lines of client care. Aside from caring for clients, many practitioners would like to get involved in the research efforts, but they just aren't sure how.But you can shape the research that is being conducted in the scientific community by writing a case report based on a client within your own practice. You do not have to be a scientist or researcher to contribute to the body of knowledge within your profession. Case reports are the perfect way for you to get involved.
A case report is an article in a scientific publication that describes a practitioner's experience with a particular case. At times, researchers read such cases and become inspired to pursue bigger studies on the topic. But to get a case report published in a journal, these reports must be written based on the journal's instructions to authors. We have previously discussed this and several other important preliminary steps in "Writing a Case Report: Where to Start" in the March 2011 issue of Massage Today.
Research articles are usually divided into sections (introduction, methods, results, discussion and conclusions). Case reports have a similar structure, except instead of methods and results sections, a case report has a "presentation of the case" section instead. Each section of a research article has a specific purpose and certain elements are expected to be present. The introduction section is the initial section that "introduces" the reader to the topic of the case. This section usually includes three parts: a brief discussion on previous research on this topic (if there is any), the significance of this case to the health care field and the objective of the case report.
The first part of the introduction is an overview of the previous research conducted on this topic. It is important to be aware of any previously published studies that might have been written, including other case reports. If other studies are published, you might need to consider whether or not your case adds to the literature so I recommended that a thorough literature search is done before you begin writing. There are many resources for finding additional literature on the topic of your case. PubMed.gov is one of the best resources because this site is run by the National Library of Medicine and includes abstracts from thousands of scientific journals from around the world. If you haven't used PubMed before, there are wonderful tutorials on their site that will help you find your way around. You could also ask your local or university librarian for help.
The best research citations to use in your introduction would be relatively new (within the past five years), from a scientific journal such as the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (www.IJTMB.org) or the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies (www.bodyworkmovementtherapies.com), and covering the same or a similar topic. Typically journals do not allow you to include citations that are from a magazine, website, course or interview. Sometimes there are topics that do not have any published information on massage as a treatment option for the condition you intend to write about. In these situations, you might want to include references on the standard of care for that condition. Or you might want to include references on massage therapy for a similar condition, even if it is not the exact same condition. Ultimately, the introduction is written for the reader to get a better understanding of what is already in the literature about the condition of interest, how this condition is usually treated and perhaps why massage would be a possible alternative.
Along with some background information, the introduction should also include the significance of the case. You need to make sure the readers understand why this case is important. Actually, the significance may differ based on who your readers are. If you are writing a case report for a massage therapy journal, the case may be significant because you are describing treatment for a condition commonly seen in a massage practice. If you are writing a case report for a medical journal, the case may be significant because massage is a conservative treatment option not usually considered. Other possible reasons why the case report might be significant could be based on number of people who suffer with the condition on an annual basis or the amount of money that is spent each year on the condition. There are many different reasons why an article would be significant and it is your job to make sure the readers understand even if you think it's obvious.
The final part of the introduction should be the objective of your case report. This is usually the last sentence of the introduction, right before the start of the case description. The objective is a statement that clearly states the reason for writing your case. For example, a case report objective might read, "The purpose of this case report is to describe the decrease of pain and numbness in a client with bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome after six weeks of massage therapy."
There are several things that should NOT be included in an introduction to a case report. First, you want to introduce the topic not discuss the actual case. Therefore, you should not include details about your client until the case description section. The introduction should only give the background on why this case report was written and some background on the condition of interest. Second, be sure that you do not overstate the importance of this case or the findings. You want to remain neutral and not make sweeping statements such as, "This case will prove that massage therapy is beneficial for all patients with low back pain." Finally, to repeat a very important previous point, be sure that the references cited are scientific publications. Other sources of information are usually not acceptable.
Overall, writing case reports is a great way for massage therapists to get involved in the research efforts. The next article in this series will discuss what you should write in the case description section of the 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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