Reporting on individual experience
A proposal of a patient-centred model for the medical case report
Keywords: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.
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