Case reports are particularly valuable in specialist clinical areas such as acupuncture to report new adverse events and to suggest possible new hypotheses. They can also be used to report events that have been reported previously but are rare or serious, in order to illustrate their frequency. They may illuminate the wider side of clinical practice by describing personal experiences of one practitioner. Constraints to writing case reports include finding time, working in isolation, and not having enough experience at the task. This article reproduces and develops a set of guidelines that were previously published, in an attempt to help authors to write thorough but succinct reports in a structured manner. The format for case reports includes an abstract, description of the case, literature search, discussion and summary or conclusions. Recommendations are made for the material to be included in each section. The policy of Acupuncture in Medicine is to require patient consent before accepting a report for publication.
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