Case Studies / Case Reports

Obtain written patient consent for case studies / case reports.

The British Medical Journal Confidentiality Position Statement and Consent Form (link to BMJ website) is useful for reference. Please contact the journal in which you wish to publish for their equivalent.

This also applies in respect of a case series, which is "a report on a series of cases with similarities."

Research Ethics Committee approval is not required in respect of a single case study or case report, or in respect of a case series, which involves less than five reports. Please refer to table below to ensure the 'case series' is not a research study.

Case Series Research (requires REC approval)
Less than 5 case reports 5 or more case reports
Not meant to be a representative sample (not drawing conclusions) Drawing conclusions about a broader population based on the reported cases (even if not statistically significant e.g. pilot studies can be 'research')
Reported / Published without attempting to draw broader conclusions Reported / Published in such a way that suggests broad findings or recommendations.
Write up of case only (report / publication may include photographs, images)

Table content adapted from
Emory University Institutional Review Board
link to Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia) website