Reporting on individual experience

A proposal of a patient-centred model for the medical case report


  • Magdalena Zabielska Adam Mickiewicz University



medical discourse, genre, case report, patient-centredness, patient reference


This paper proposes a new model for a patient-centred medical case report. Patient-centred approaches adopt the patient’s perspective and emphasise the individual’s experience of illness, and are intended to answer criticisms that medical texts for professionals, by focusing solely on a disease phenomenon presented within a framework of biomedical reasoning, depersonalise the patient and fail to engage in patient advocacy. The paper provides a systematic review of the most important strands in research on medical case reporting, taking a socio-cultural approach that focuses specifically on the evolution of the genre and on existing examples of patient-centredness that could form a basis for the new model. The aim here is to offer the first systematised proposal containing guidelines already available in the literature, as well as to provide recommendations on how to write about patients in medical case reports in way that does not depersonalise them.

Author Biography

Magdalena Zabielska, Adam Mickiewicz University

Magdalena Zabielska, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociolinguistics and Discourse Studies at the Faculty of English at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. She is particularly interested in the issue of the patient’s presence in specialist medical publications in the context of a patient-centred approach to medical practice. 


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How to Cite

Zabielska, M. (2021). Reporting on individual experience: A proposal of a patient-centred model for the medical case report. Communication and Medicine, 16(3), 292–303.