The case studies featured on this website were written by a range of authors for the Leverhulme Trust-funded East India Company at Home project, which ran from September 2011 to August 2014. Family and local historians, academics, curators, heritage sector professionals, PhD students, undergraduate students and even a retired civil engineer all contributed to research, bringing different expertise and making the project richer and more diverse. Here is an annotated list of the case studies, organised alphabetically by author…
Hannah Armstrong – ‘Josiah Child and the Wanstead Estate’
Josiah Child (no relation to the Child family at Osterley) purchased Wanstead estate in 1673. While his East India Company wealth did not facilitate his purchase of the estate, it did allow him to maintain and refurbish it. In her case study Hannah Armstrong demonstrates how Child focused on developing the gardens at Wanstead and explores what this might have meant within the context of late seventeenth-century country house culture.
Rachael Barnwell – ‘“Chinese” Staircases in North-West Wales’
‘Partly After the Chinese Manner: ‘Chinese’ Staircases in North-West Wales’ examines a group of ‘Chinese’ staircases built within the fabric of three different house interiors in north-west Wales in the 1750s and 1760s. It locates these ‘Chinese’ staircases within both the wider, global context of ‘Asian-inspired’ material culture design, and within more local, contemporary networks of design exchange to assess the degree to which the East India Company’s trade network impacted on interior design in north-Wales in the eighteenth century.
Alison Bennett – ‘Quex Park, Kent’
This study explores the nineteenth-century interiors of Quex Park created by Major Percy Powell-Cotton (1866-1940). More particularly, it examines how the family’s earlier connections to the East India Company in the eighteenth century shaped the aesthetic choices and inclinations of later descendants. Responding both to his family’s earlier connections to Eurasian trade and his own experiences of Kashmir, India, China and Japan, Major Powell Cotton created a series of interiors that were understood by contemporaries as ‘Indian’.
Helen Clifford – ‘The Dundas Property Empire and Nabob Taste’
This case study shows how ascriptions of ‘Nabob’ taste by contemporaries could be applied to people, places and possessions that appeared, on the surface at least, to have had little connection with the East India Company. Sir Lawrence Dundas, unlike the owners of many of the other houses in this project, was never an East India Company servant, nor did he visit India. However, by digging a little deeper, the tentacles of East India Company involvement can be seen to have impacted on Sir Lawrence’s social, political and domestic life.
Helen Clifford – ‘Chinese Wallpaper: An Elusive Element in the British Country House’
‘Chinese Wallpaper: An Elusive Element in the British Country House’ explores an Asian luxury good that while seemingly emblematic of the genteel British country house interior has received little attention from scholars. Helen Clifford’s study examines the relationship between members of the East India Company and the British houses in which Chinese wallpaper was displayed. In writing the study Helen benefited from a close collaboration with Emile de Bruijn and Andrew Bush from the National Trust, who have formed a Chinese wallpaper study group. Members include curators, conservators and country house owners, as well as current manufacturers, and students and scholars. Crossing boundaries of fine and decorative art, fixture and chattel, fact and fantasy, the reading of Chinese wallpaper requires a combined effort and multidisciplinary approach. Working from this research base, this case study highlights the complex relationships that existed between the East India Company and British country house interiors in the eighteenth and nineteenth century.
Brian Crossley – ‘Caned Furniture’
Written by Dr Brian Crossley, a retired Chartered Civil Engineer and a second generation chair caner, ‘Caned Furniture’ focuses on one particular Asian material – rattan – and its relationship to changes in furniture design and production skills. In doing so, it highlights the ways in which one commodity (which was initially treated as a waste product) can illuminate our understanding of the multiple links that existed between the material worlds of Asia, America and Europe from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century.
Francesca D’Antonio – ‘The Willow Pattern: Dunham Massey’
Unlike other ‘object studies’ featured in the East India Company At Home, this case study focuses on a specific ceramic ware pattern rather than a particular item associated with the East India Company. With particular attention to the contents of Dunham Massey, Greater Manchester, Francesca’s study focuses on the Willow Pattern, a type of blue and white ‘Chinese style’ design, which was created in 1790 at the Caughley Factory in Shropshire. To explore and reveal the contradictions and intricacies of Willow Pattern wares, the study asks several questions. First, what did Willow Pattern wares mean in nineteenth-century Britain? Second, did EIC families—who, as a group, enjoyed privileged access to Chinese porcelain—engage with these imitative wares and if so, how, why and what might their interactions reveal about these household objects?
Pauline Davies – ‘East India Company and the Indian Ocean Material World at Osterley, 1700-1800′
By focusing on the Child family and its many links to the East India Company, this case study (co-authored with Yuthika Sharma) provides a different lens through which to see this stately family home. Although Osterley is now primarily read as a Robert Adam house, the many Asian luxury objects it contains have remained hidden in plain sight since the eighteenth century. In this study, a different house comes to light – one which was deeply connected to trade with Asia.
Penelope Farmer – ‘The Career of William Gamul Farmer in India, 1763-1795′
In her case study Penelope Farmer primarily analyses a series of letters written by East India Company civil servant William Gamul Farmer in India to his mother and brother in Britain between 1763 and 1795. The letters, still in the possession of the Farmer family, suggest the ways in which Company families held themselves together despite the vast distances in time and space that separated them. Together they offer insights into the private and social workings that underpinned the imperial and mercantile enterprise of the East India Company.
Ellen Filor –‘William Rattray of Downie Park’
The Rattrays of Rannagulzion, Drimmie, and Corb were an old Scottish family who supported the Jacobite cause in both 1688 and 1745. They also entered the East India Company in large numbers from the 1770s onwards. This case study focuses on William Rattray (1752-1819), one of the first of the family to travel to India. Almost none of his letters survive. However, Rattray’s will and inventory, his burial records and the house he built can illuminate the life of this man and his wider family. These records reveal Rattray’s strategic use of his domestic interiors to display his Scottish ancestry, Indian career, and Jacobite heritage.
Ellen Filor –‘Alexander Hall (c. 1731/2-1764) in Scotland and Sumatra’
This case study explores the life of Scot Alexander Hall who entered the East India Company in 1750 and was appointed factor to Fort Marlborough at Sumatra. Hall’s biography offers insight into how material goods, often quotidian, structured imperial service economically and emotionally. These ‘things’ included enslaved and colonised persons.
Margot Finn –‘Swallowfield Park, Berkshire’
In this case study Margot Finn situates Swallowfield within a broad imperial context by tracing the estate’s acquisition and transformation in the late Georgian and early Victorian periods. Purchased by Sir Henry Russell, first baronet (1751-1836) in the 1820s, Swallowfield was recreated in the following decades by its new proprietor’s eldest son, Henry (later the second baronet; 1783-1852). Both father and son derived their great wealth from fortunes made in India. The Russells’ purchase and refurbishment of Swallowfield attest to the crucial role of Britain’s empire in shaping country house history.
Joanna Goldsworthy – ‘Fanny Parks: Her ‘Grand Moving Diorama of Hindustan’, Her Museum and Her Cabinet of Curiosities’
Studies of collecting as a phenomenon, from the age of the ‘cabinet of curiosity’ to the present, have focused overwhelmingly on male collectors – men whose adventures, professional lives and wealth gave them privileged access to exotic plants, animals, artwork and objects. As a result a much more detailed understanding exists of the Company men whose collecting helped to furnish British country houses and later many British museums. In contrast, by focusing on Fanny Parks and the museum she created, this case study illustrates the way in which one Company woman took advantage of her colonial experiences to collect, describe and display Indian material culture.
Georgina Green – ‘Valentines, the Raymonds and Company Material Culture’
This case study explores the history of a house (Valentines Mansion, Ilford), a ship (the Valentine, in its successive reincarnations) and a network of Georgian maritime investors associated with the East India Company (most notably Sir Charles Raymond and his family). More broadly, the case study examines the ways in which profits from commerce conducted at great risk in Asian outposts and Indian Ocean waters came to be reinvested in Britain, refurbishing homes and gardens and reshaping the neighbourhoods in which they were located.
Diane James – ‘A Fairy Palace in Devon: Redcliffe Towers, Built by Colonel Robert Smith (1787-1873), Bengal Engineers’
This study examines, Redcliffe Towers, constructed by Colonel Robert Smith in 1852-64 after his retirement from the East India Company and a sojourn in Italy where he married a French heiress. Smith, an engineer and artist, was not a member of the landed gentry, however, he used his talents to rise through the ranks of the Bengal Army in India, from Cadet to Colonel. Smith left the Company with just an army pension, and it is likely he would have been unable to build Redcliffe Towers without the gain of a considerable inheritance upon the death of his wife. This case study records Robert Smith’s journey to India, to Europe and his final days spent in Devon, where he constructed his fairy-tale fortress, Redcliffe Towers. In doing so it contributes to the project by demonstrating the ways in which EIC officials’ engagements with the subcontinent through practices such as drafting, building, painting and drawing, distinctly shaped the British homes they built on their return.
Elisabeth Lenckos –‘Daylesford’
Elisabeth Lenckos is currently using British and German archives to write a biography of Marian Hastings, wife of Warren Hastings. In her case study she explores some of the myths that surrounded the Hastings’ residence in Britain, Daylesford House, and the role that objects played in creating those ideas.
Sarah Longair – ‘The Attar Casket of Tipu Sultan’
Originating from the palace of Tipu Sultan (c.1750-1799), the casket described in this case study (co-authored by Cam Sharp-Jones) came to Britain after the siege of Seringapatam. Once in Britain it passed through different branches of the Fraser family before joining the British Museum’s collections in the early twentieth century. The study explores the enduring significance of Tipu Sultan, the particular attention paid by family members to transferring the casket between generations both in India and England as well as how material culture represented the legacy of East India Company family histories.
Stephen McDowall – ‘Shugborough: Seat of the Earl of Lichfield’
Written by Stephen McDowall of the Department of History at the University of Edinburgh, this case study focuses on the Anson family and the Chinese and Chinese-style objects that they accumulated and arranged within Shugborough. McDowall reveals the multiple family and national stories associated with the Anson objects, and their highly political meanings.
Alistair Mutch – ‘General Patrick Duff of Carnousie, Banffshire’
Rather than concentrating on his military and political exploits, which are recounted elsewhere, this case study draws on General Patrick Duff’s letters and other estate papers to reveal his home life in both India and Scotland. Mutch also uncovers the important role Duff (1742-1803) played in the Madeira wine trade and the importance of Madeira (as place and product) in allowing him to realise his hopes for a Scottish estate.
Angela Nutting – ‘Bond Family Members in the East India Company’
Written by family historian Angela Nutting, the study explores how generations of the Bond family became connected to global trade and the East India Company. Rope makers and Turkey merchants in the seventeenth century, in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century the Bond family became increasingly involved in the East India Company as captains, writers and seamen. The wealth gained from global trade allowed the family to establish Dytchley House in Essex. Alongside people and houses, Angela’s case study also evokes the material lives of those involved in the Company and reminds us of the important role ship life played in training young men to set up home.
Lowri Ann Rees – ‘Aberglasney, Carmarthenshire’
East India Company man Thomas Philipps (c.1749-1824) purchased Aberglasney at the turn of the nineteenth century. The Aberglasney case study highlights the importance of the process of homecoming and the returning to the familiarity of home. In this instance, a modest estate was purchased to reflect the lifestyle desired of a country gentleman who wished to live the rest of his life in quiet retirement following a large portion of his life spent building his career in India.
Lowri Ann Rees – ‘Middleton Hall, Carmarthenshire’
Towards the end of the eighteenth century (c.1789), the Middleton Hall estate in the parish of Llanarthney, Carmarthenshire, south-west Wales was purchased by a former East India Company man, William Paxton (c.1744-1824). Over the following thirty-five years or so, Paxton went about transforming what was a relatively modest estate, erecting a new country house, developing the surrounding parkland and introducing innovative garden features. ‘Middleton Hall, Carmarthenshire’ highlights not only that Indian fortunes found their way to Wales, but also that men from outside Wales chose to purchase estates there in an attempt to establish themselves in elite society following their return from India.
Andrew Renton –‘The Gold Cup given to the Parish Church of St Mary, Welshpool, by Thomas Davies (d. 1667)’
Written by Andrew Renton, Head of Applied Art at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, this case study examines a remarkable gold communion cup belonging to St Mary’s church, Welshpool. The communion cup was the gift of Thomas Davies, a native of the parish and a servant of the East India Company. It bears the date 1662 and a lengthy explanatory inscription which, in conjunction with archival records of the period, sheds light on a brief but fascinating West African (and Caribbean) episode in the history of the East India Company.
Yuthika Sharma – ‘East India Company and the Indian Ocean Material World at Osterley, 1700-1800′
By focusing on the Child family and its many links to the East India Company, this case study (co-authored with Pauline Davies) provides a different lens through which to see this stately family home. Although Osterley is now primarily read as a Robert Adam house, the many Asian luxury objects it contains have remained hidden in plain sight since the eighteenth century. In this study, a different house comes to light – one which was deeply connected to trade with Asia.
Cam Sharp Jones – ‘The Attar Casket of Tipu Sultan’
Originating from the palace of Tipu Sultan (c.1750-1799), the casket assessed in this case study (co-authored with Sarah Longair) came to Britain after the siege of Seringapatam. Once here it passed through different branches of the Fraser family before joining the British Museum’s collections in the early twentieth century. The study explores the enduring significance of Tipu Sultan, the particular attention paid by family members to transferring the casket between generations both in India and England as well as how material culture represented the legacy of East India Company family histories.
Jan Sibthorpe – ‘Sezincote, Gloucestershire’
Written by project associate Jan Sibthorpe, ‘Sezincote, Gloucestershire’ tracks the development of Sezincote house during the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The study begins with the Cockerell family and explores the influences and connections that inspired Charles Cockerell to work with his brother, architect Samuel Pepys Cockerell and artist Thomas Daniell to create a distinctive vision of India in the English countryside. It then goes on to examine the legacies of this house and estate and considers the house and gardens as they are enjoyed by visitors today.
Doreen Skala –‘The Scarth Family of London and Ilford’
The Scarths left no surviving grand country house or any other trinkets or treasures. In fact, they appear to have left no material evidence of their lives or their connections with the East India Company, but both the family and its East India Company connections can be traced through historical documents. This case study shows the economic, social, and domestic history of the family and how three generations were affected by the family’s connection with the East India Company. One generation bought goods from the East India Company and traded them westward across the Atlantic, and the next engaged in trade for the East India Company in the East. Partly as a result of his connections with the Company, the elder Jonathan amassed a family fortune, including a country house in Ilford, Essex, now gone. His son Jonathan’s deeper connection with the East India Company disrupted his family life so that at the age of forty-one he left his daughter an orphan after being away on Company voyages for years at a time. With risk can come great reward, but also calamity. This family experienced both as a result of their connection with the East India Company.
Kate Smith –‘Englefield House, Berkshire: Processes and Practices’
This study tracks the East India Company people, objects and wealth that shaped Englefield House, Berkshire in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Residents connected to the Company such as the former Governor of Fort St George Richard Benyon (1698-1774), Robert Clive’s widow Lady Margaret Clive (1735-1817) and Sir Francis Sykes’s daughter Elizabeth Sykes (1775-1822) all occupied the house in different ways during the period. At the same time the movement of Chinese, India and Japanese objects into and out of the house also worked to situate Englefield within the world of the East India Company.
Kate Smith –‘Warfield Park, Berkshire: Longing, Belonging and the Country House’
Warfield was home to John Walsh of the Company’s civil service and then the Benn-Walsh family in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. This case study explores how the family’s longings for home while in India shaped the country house they later reconstructed and consolidated.
Kate Smith –‘A Collaborative Endeavour: Building House, Home and Family at Montreal Park in Kent’
This case study focuses on the Amherst family during their return to Britain and examines the important role house-building projects played in re-establishing their sense of familial belonging once home from empire. Playing essential roles in the governance of early nineteenth-century India, Amherst and his family deployed their Indian fortunes to domestic ends upon return to Britain.
Kate Smith –‘The Afterlife of Objects: Anglo-Indian Ivory Furniture in Britain’
‘The Afterlife of Objects: Anglo-Indian Ivory Furniture in Britain’ examines ivory furniture, made by skilled craftsmen in the subcontinent during the eighteenth century. In the study, Kate uses ivory furniture as a lens through which to examine how individuals in the modern period related to objects from the subcontinent. More particularly, she asks whether objects purchased by East India Company (EIC) families were understood as distinct from those traded more generally by the EIC? If so, how? The study demonstrates that, like the families who bought, collected and retained them, Company objects experienced complicated and global biographies, which shaped British material cultures long after the initial point of exchange.
Kate Smith –‘Manly Objects?:Gendering Armorial Porcelain Wares’
Chinese porcelain services specially commissioned by individuals and families to include their coats of arms within the decorative scheme were distinctly fashionable and popular in eighteenth-century Britain, particularly among those with East India Company connections. Armorial porcelain services feature in various East India Company at Home case studies, including Osterley Park and House, Valentines Mansion and Gardens and the Shugborough Estate. This case study focuses on the armorial service purchased by Francis Sykes of Basildon Park in Berkshire to explore the identity politics embedded in porcelain pieces decorated with coats of arms.
Blair Southerden – ‘Ships, Steam & Innovation: An East India Company Family Story, c.1700-1877′
This contribution originates from a meeting between Helen Clifford and Blair Southerden at the Upper Dales Family History Group in July 2013. Blair’s case study reveals how through his association with the East India Company Ardaseer Cursetjee (1808-1877), Blair’s great great grandfather came not only to visit Britain several times, but also to set up home here in 1859. Ardaseer Cursetjee’s story reverses the usual tale of a white male East India Company servant travelling out to India, and coming home to England, and in so doing casts a different light on what ‘The East India Company at Home’ means.
John Sykes – ‘The Indian Seal of Sir Francis Sykes’
In this case study project associate Sir John Sykes situates the Indian seal of his ancestor, Sir Francis Sykes, first baronet (1730-1804) within the context of both East India Company and family history in England and on the subcontinent. It illuminates the intertwined histories of English and Indian families who made their fortunes in the Company era, but remain connected in the twenty-first century.
David Williams – ‘The Melvill Family and India’
This study explores the intergenerational commitment that members of the Melvill family made to the East India Company in the subcontinent and the UK in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Melvill family is a good example of those Scots who after the Act of Union took their opportunities within the British army and in the overseas empire to make their careers. By virtue of their EIC service, this Scottish family became increasingly English by marrying into established English families and settling in England. David Williams’s case study underlines the different ways in which connections to the East India Company shaped what families were and did in modern Britain.
This set of guidelines provides both instructions and a template for the writing of case reports for publication. You might want to skip forward and take a quick look at the template now, as we will be using it as the basis for your own case study later on. While the guidelines and template contain much detail, your finished case study should be only 500 to 1,500 words in length. Therefore, you will need to write efficiently and avoid unnecessarily flowery language.
These guidelines for the writing of case studies are designed to be consistent with the “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals” referenced elsewhere in the JCCA instructions to authors.
After this brief introduction, the guidelines below will follow the headings of our template. Hence, it is possible to work section by section through the template to quickly produce a first draft of your study. To begin with, however, you must have a clear sense of the value of the study which you wish to describe. Therefore, before beginning to write the study itself, you should gather all of the materials relevant to the case – clinical notes, lab reports, x-rays etc. – and form a clear picture of the story that you wish to share with your profession. At the most superficial level, you may want to ask yourself “What is interesting about this case?” Keep your answer in mind as your write, because sometimes we become lost in our writing and forget the message that we want to convey.
Another important general rule for writing case studies is to stick to the facts. A case study should be a fairly modest description of what actually happened. Speculation about underlying mechanisms of the disease process or treatment should be restrained. Field practitioners and students are seldom well-prepared to discuss physiology or pathology. This is best left to experts in those fields. The thing of greatest value that you can provide to your colleagues is an honest record of clinical events.
Finally, remember that a case study is primarily a chronicle of a patient’s progress, not a story about chiropractic. Editorial or promotional remarks do not belong in a case study, no matter how great our enthusiasm. It is best to simply tell the story and let the outcome speak for itself. With these points in mind, let’s begin the process of writing the case study:
Title: The title page will contain the full title of the article. Remember that many people may find our article by searching on the internet. They may have to decide, just by looking at the title, whether or not they want to access the full article. A title which is vague or non-specific may not attract their attention. Thus, our title should contain the phrase “case study,” “case report” or “case series” as is appropriate to the contents. The two most common formats of titles are nominal and compound. A nominal title is a single phrase, for example “A case study of hypertension which responded to spinal manipulation.” A compound title consists of two phrases in succession, for example “Response of hypertension to spinal manipulation: a case study.” Keep in mind that titles of articles in leading journals average between 8 and 9 words in length.
Other contents for the title page should be as in the general JCCA instructions to authors. Remember that for a case study, we would not expect to have more than one or two authors. In order to be listed as an author, a person must have an intellectual stake in the writing – at the very least they must be able to explain and even defend the article. Someone who has only provided technical assistance, as valuable as that may be, may be acknowledged at the end of the article, but would not be listed as an author. Contact information – either home or institutional – should be provided for each author along with the authors’ academic qualifications. If there is more than one author, one author must be identified as the corresponding author – the person whom people should contact if they have questions or comments about the study.
Key words: Provide key words under which the article will be listed. These are the words which would be used when searching for the article using a search engine such as Medline. When practical, we should choose key words from a standard list of keywords, such as MeSH (Medical subject headings). A copy of MeSH is available in most libraries. If we can’t access a copy and we want to make sure that our keywords are included in the MeSH library, we can visit this address: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/entrez/meshbrowser.cgi
Abstract: Abstracts generally follow one of two styles, narrative or structured.
A narrative abstract consists of a short version of the whole paper. There are no headings within the narrative abstract. The author simply tries to summarize the paper into a story which flows logically.
A structured abstract uses subheadings. Structured abstracts are becoming more popular for basic scientific and clinical studies, since they standardize the abstract and ensure that certain information is included. This is very useful for readers who search for articles on the internet. Often the abstract is displayed by a search engine, and on the basis of the abstract the reader will decide whether or not to download the full article (which may require payment of a fee). With a structured abstract, the reader is more likely to be given the information which they need to decide whether to go on to the full article, and so this style is encouraged. The JCCA recommends the use of structured abstracts for case studies.
Introduction: This consists of one or two sentences to describe the context of the case and summarize the entire article.
Case presentation: Several sentences describe the history and results of any examinations performed. The working diagnosis and management of the case are described.
Management and Outcome: Simply describe the course of the patient’s complaint. Where possible, make reference to any outcome measures which you used to objectively demonstrate how the patient’s condition evolved through the course of management.
Discussion: Synthesize the foregoing subsections and explain both correlations and apparent inconsistencies. If appropriate to the case, within one or two sentences describe the lessons to be learned.
Introduction: At the beginning of these guidelines we suggested that we need to have a clear idea of what is particularly interesting about the case we want to describe. The introduction is where we convey this to the reader. It is useful to begin by placing the study in a historical or social context. If similar cases have been reported previously, we describe them briefly. If there is something especially challenging about the diagnosis or management of the condition that we are describing, now is our chance to bring that out. Each time we refer to a previous study, we cite the reference (usually at the end of the sentence). Our introduction doesn’t need to be more than a few paragraphs long, and our objective is to have the reader understand clearly, but in a general sense, why it is useful for them to be reading about this case.
Case presentation: This is the part of the paper in which we introduce the raw data. First, we describe the complaint that brought the patient to us. It is often useful to use the patient’s own words. Next, we introduce the important information that we obtained from our history-taking. We don’t need to include every detail – just the information that helped us to settle on our diagnosis. Also, we should try to present patient information in a narrative form – full sentences which efficiently summarize the results of our questioning. In our own practice, the history usually leads to a differential diagnosis – a short list of the most likely diseases or disorders underlying the patient’s symptoms. We may or may not choose to include this list at the end of this section of the case presentation.
The next step is to describe the results of our clinical examination. Again, we should write in an efficient narrative style, restricting ourselves to the relevant information. It is not necessary to include every detail in our clinical notes.
If we are using a named orthopedic or neurological test, it is best to both name and describe the test (since some people may know the test by a different name). Also, we should describe the actual results, since not all readers will have the same understanding of what constitutes a “positive” or “negative” result.
X-rays or other images are only helpful if they are clear enough to be easily reproduced and if they are accompanied by a legend. Be sure that any information that might identify a patient is removed before the image is submitted.
At this point, or at the beginning of the next section, we will want to present our working diagnosis or clinical impression of the patient.
Management and Outcome: In this section, we should clearly describe the plan for care, as well as the care which was actually provided, and the outcome.
It is useful for the reader to know how long the patient was under care and how many times they were treated. Additionally, we should be as specific as possible in describing the treatment that we used. It does not help the reader to simply say that the patient received “chiropractic care.” Exactly what treatment did we use? If we used spinal manipulation, it is best to name the technique, if a common name exists, and also to describe the manipulation. Remember that our case study may be read by people who are not familiar with spinal manipulation, and, even within chiropractic circles, nomenclature for technique is not well standardized.
We may want to include the patient’s own reports of improvement or worsening. However, whenever possible we should try to use a well-validated method of measuring their improvement. For case studies, it may be possible to use data from visual analogue scales (VAS) for pain, or a journal of medication usage.
It is useful to include in this section an indication of how and why treatment finished. Did we decide to terminate care, and if so, why? Did the patient withdraw from care or did we refer them to another practitioner?
Discussion: In this section we may want to identify any questions that the case raises. It is not our duty to provide a complete physiological explanation for everything that we observed. This is usually impossible. Nor should we feel obligated to list or generate all of the possible hypotheses that might explain the course of the patient’s condition. If there is a well established item of physiology or pathology which illuminates the case, we certainly include it, but remember that we are writing what is primarily a clinical chronicle, not a basic scientific paper. Finally, we summarize the lessons learned from this case.
Acknowledgments: If someone provided assistance with the preparation of the case study, we thank them briefly. It is neither necessary nor conventional to thank the patient (although we appreciate what they have taught us). It would generally be regarded as excessive and inappropriate to thank others, such as teachers or colleagues who did not directly participate in preparation of the paper.
References: References should be listed as described elsewhere in the instructions to authors. Only use references that you have read and understood, and actually used to support the case study. Do not use more than approximately 15 references without some clear justification. Try to avoid using textbooks as references, since it is assumed that most readers would already have this information. Also, do not refer to personal communication, since readers have no way of checking this information.
A popular search engine for English-language references is Medline: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi
Legends: If we used any tables, figures or photographs, they should be accompanied by a succinct explanation. A good rule for graphs is that they should contain sufficient information to be generally decipherable without reference to a legend.
Tables, figures and photographs should be included at the end of the manuscript.
Permissions: If any tables, figures or photographs, or substantial quotations, have been borrowed from other publications, we must include a letter of permission from the publisher. Also, if we use any photographs which might identify a patient, we will need their written permission.
In addition, patient consent to publish the case report is also required.