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A case report is a comprehensive report of the signs, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of a specific patient in the field of medicine. The patient's demographics may be included in case reports, although most of the time they focus on an unusual or novel occurrence. A literature evaluation of prior reported cases is also included in some case reports. Case reports are professional narratives that give input on clinical practice recommendations and provide a structure for early signs of effectiveness, adverse events, and cost. They may be shared for medical, scientific, or educational purposes.
Most case reports are on one of six topics:
An unexpected association between diseases or symptoms.
An unexpected event in the course of observing or treating a patient.
Findings that shed new light on the possible pathogenesis of a disease or an adverse effect.
Unique or rare features of a disease.
Unique therapeutic approaches.
A positional or quantitative variation of the anatomical structures.
Roles in research and education
Anecdotal evidence is typically referred to as a form of case report. Case reports and case series are placed at the bottom of the hierarchy of clinical evidence due to their intrinsic methodological limitations, which include a lack of statistical sampling. However, case reports do play genuinely beneficial roles in scientific research and evidence-based medicine. In particular, they have facilitated recognition of new diseases and adverse effects of treatments (e.g., recognition of the link between administration of thalidomide to mothers and malformations in their babies was triggered by a case report).
Case reports are useful for pharmacovigilance. Additionally, they also help in understanding the clinical spectrum of rare diseases as well as peculiar appearances of common diseases. They can aid in developing research hypotheses, especially those involving plausible health processes. The personalization of therapies in clinical practice may also be influenced by case reports.
Case reports and series have a high sensitivity for detecting novelty and therefore remain one of the cornerstones of medical progress and they provide many innovative ideas in medicine. The case report can go into great depth about many different aspects of the patient's medical status, whereas randomised clinical studies often only investigate one variable or very few factors, rarely reflecting the complete representation of a difficult medical situation (e.g., patient history, physical examination, diagnosis, psychosocial aspects, follow up).
Case reports can be useful in medical education by giving case-based learning a structure.
Case Report Uses:
Case reports can be used for a number of purposes. They offer readers innovative and rare medication side effects, provide them with a pattern to recognize such rare situations in their own practice, and highlight advances in medical care, ethical problems, and advancements in medical science.
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