Case reports make important contributions to evidence-based practice. As with research of any methodological design, the quality and completeness in how the evidence is reported influences the strength of the evidence. Quality in reporting is best achieved through the use of a consensus-based reporting guideline. ‘Case Reports’ (CARE) is a 13-item reporting guideline for case reports. To make CARE more applicable, several discipline specific ‘extensions’ have been developed. Pre-hospital care is an emerging clinical discipline rich in its own specific context and character. Therefore, the aim of this project is to develop and disseminate a pre-hospital extension of the CARE reporting guideline (PREHOSPITAL-CARE).
This project will consist of four phases and will be undertaken in accordance with the Enhancing the Quality and Transparency of Health Research (EQUATOR) Network’s guidance for developers of health research reporting guidelines. Phase 1 will comprise a systematic review aimed at identifying features commonly reported in pre-hospital case reports. In phase 2, two consensus-based processes will be conducted, including a Delphi method and an interactive consensus meeting, to produce a list of items that will form the draft guideline items for PREHOSPITAL-CARE. Phase 3 will see this draft being piloted among a selected group of pre-hospital clinicians, academics and students. In the fourth and final phase, an extensive dissemination strategy will be executed, including publication of the PREHOSPITAL-CARE reporting guideline and an ‘elaboration and explanation’ (E&E) companion paper to advocate for the standardised, high-quality reporting of pre-hospital case reports.
The final outcome will be the publication of the PREHOSPITAL-CARE reporting guideline with an associated E&E paper.
The reporting of health research, including pre-hospital case reports, has been criticised for a lack of completeness and consistency. The development of PREHOSPITAL-CARE will enable the improvement and standardised reporting of pre-hospital case reports.
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