Designing and Reporting Case Series in Plastic Surgery
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The case series is the most prevalent type of clinical research in the plastic surgery literature. However, this is a lower level study design in the hierarchy of evidence. The case series is nevertheless a useful hypothesis generator for future studies. These in turn can be tested with more robust study designs such as the randomized controlled trial. Because the case series remains the most common study design used to communicate our new innovations, there is a need to improve its reporting so that readers will know why the study was undertaken, what the results were, and how the results affect patient care. The authors provide a guide to help future investigators improve the conduct and the reporting of their case series.
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