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Recent developments in the case report: increasing user involvement


Rolf Wynn

UiT The Arctic University of Norway, NO
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Introduction: The case report has played a role in medicine since antiquity (1,2). The genre has traditionally been characterized by a format emphasizing biomedical aspects (1-3). As the health services have become more attentive to the importance of patients' life circumstances and patients' active involvement in treatment and research, psychosocial aspects and the patients' own perspectives are being included in more case reports (2,4).

Aims, Objectives, Theory or Methods: We discuss recent developments in the case report genre, including the focus on increasing user involvement.

Highlights or Results or Key Findings: Through the history of medicine, the core of the case report has remained the description of the illness of a patient and how the patient is treated (1-3). However, the case report genre has shown a strong ability to adjust to changes in medicine as well as in society. In modern times, it has become essential for clinicians to take into consideration the importance of psychological and social factors when communicating with patients and diagnosing and treating their illnesses (4,5). Accordingly, the medical case report should also encompass these perspectives, and this is becoming increasingly commonplace. More recently, user involvement both in clinical practice as well as in research has become mainstream (6). Patients rightly expect to have a central role in their own treatment and also to play an important role in medical research that is of importance to them. Thus, medical case reports should include the patients' perspectives on their own illness and treatment, and some patients may also take an interest in participating more broadly in the research process.

Conclusions: The medical case report is adjusting to recent developments in medicine and society. Considering the importance of psychological and social factors for the patient’s illness and treatment and inviting the patients’ perspectives to the research have become increasingly important when working on case reports.

Implications for applicability/transferability, sustainability, and limitations: As the practice of medicine is changing, so is the medical case report. Patients’ perspectives should be an integral part of case reporting, and there is also a need to take into consideration how psychological and social aspects impact the patients.


1. Nissen T, Wynn R. The history of the case report: a selective review. JRSM Open. 2014;5(4):2054270414523410.

2. Nissen T, Wynn R. The recent history of the clinical case report: a narrative review. JRSM Short Reports. 2012;3(12):1-5.

3. Nissen T, Bergvik S, Wynn R. The case of case reports: A decade of publications by staff at a major university hospital. European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare. 2015;3(2):215-221

4. Nissen T, Wynn R. Clenched fist syndrome: a case report. J Med Case Rep. 2018;12(1):1-7.

5. Wynn R. The linguistics of doctor-patient communication: An analysis of the methodology of doctor-patient communication research. Oslo: Novus Press, 1995.

6. Sangill C, Buus N, Hybholt L, Berring LL. Service user's actual involvement in mental health research practices: A scoping review. Int J Ment Health Nurs. 2019;28(4):798-815.


How to Cite: Wynn R. Recent developments in the case report: increasing user involvement. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2022;22(S3):371. DOI:
Published on 04 Nov 2022.


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