A Quick Guide to Writing a Case Study

A Quick Guide to Writing a Case Study

Case studies are an invaluable record for clinical practice. Focusing on individuals or small groups they are detailed but non-generalised, so not designed for statistical analysis.

There are different types of case study:

Illustrative case studies report on an unfamiliar situation to help people understand it.

Exploratory case studies are preliminary projects to help guide further larger scale projects.

Critical Instance case studies focus on unique cases with generalised purpose, these can be rare or specific cases, to determine whether a broadly applied 'universal' theory would work.

Case studies provide essential teaching material, so it falls on clinicians in the field to record and share their experiences to allow others to learn from their practice.  

As such, it is important when writing a case study to be clear and succinct. A finished case study should be between 500-1500 words and as well as a title and the list of authors, your case study should include a number of sections:

  • Background
  • Aims
  • Method
  • Results
  • Conclusions


Write a few sentences about your situation or current practice and why you chose to undertake this particular case study.


The aims should clearly tell the reader what you are hoping to achieve. For example, you may want to improve patient outcomes, get a product accepted onto formulary or influence the practice of peers.


Try to keep the method succinct. This can be difficult if you are describing new ways of working or evaluating. You may want to present your method as a flow diagram if you think it will make it easier to understand.


The results are the main part of the case study and the part that everyone is most interested in!

Wound images are well received - make sure they are clearly labelled with treatment days and include the final 'healed' image where possible.

If you have a lot of results to show, you can present them in a graph or table with labels.

You may also like to include feedback from your patients and their family in your results.


Write a few sentences discussing the implications of your finings. Refer back to your aims so you can explain whether the findings support what you'd hoped to achieve.

You may also want to include a discussion on any changes to your practice or if you plan to do further research.