A case report, or case study, is the documentation of observations concerning a single individual or small group of individuals with respect to a new treatment or theory. Case studies describe the effects of innovative, less well known interventions and/ or the clinical course of unusual conditions. Case reports are valuable as a discovery-type of research. The value of case reports is to share novel clinical information and provide new theories and insights based on clinical experience. The analysis of a number of case reports, referred to as case series often provides the information required to test the theory/ intervention in a well designed randomized controlled trial.
- Documents novel observations
- Provides practitioners a means of sharing clinical experience
- Inexpensive form of research
- Allows an opportunity to highlight key clinical observations
- Source of information for further research
- Often a lack of generalizability to a wider population
- Many possible contributing factors and lack of an adequate comparator group by which to identify and control for them