Global Case Reports are really useful for learning Global Health?

  • Sudip Bhattacharya sr
  • Amarjeet Singh


In medical sciences ,a case report means a comprehensive description of the symptoms ,signs, diagnosis , treatment, and follow-up of an individual patient. It may or may not contain a demographic profile of the patient, but generally depicts an unusual or novel manifestation. Case reports are basically professional chronicles that offer an important feedback on clinical practice guiding principle and offer an outline for early indicators of effectiveness, adverse events, and cost. They can be shared for scientific or educational purposes. A case report is usually considered as a type of an anecdotal evidence. Due to their inherentmethodological  limitations, i.e.  lack of statistical sampling, case reports are placed at the foot of the grading of clinical evidence. Yet, case reports do have genuinely valuable roles in clinical research and evidence based medicine. In precise, they have facilitated to recognize of new diseases i.e. Ebola, Zika etc. 

Clinical trial is much lengthier and resource consuming that a case report, so it is now gaining popularity among clinical researchers. In fact, there is a definite need to further popularize the concept of case reports.With the consonance of case reports, in clinical trials the concept of sample size calculation is rapidly changing.  Such trials are labeled as “n-of-1 or single subject clinical trials.” It this  trials, the researcher consider an individual patient as the sole unit of observation in a study. The final goal of this trial is to determine the optimal intervention for an individual patient by using objective driven criteria.Despite their clear appeal and extensive use in educational settings, n-of-1 trials have been used sparingly in medical settings. This is because that n-of-1 trials demand serious attention among the health research and clinical care communities and it is focused on individualized medicine.

Over a period of time global case reports (GCR) have also evolved as an effective mean to highlight issues related to global health. Superior quality global case reports of (BMJ, NEJM etc.) and content can easily capture the local knowledge of programmes and services.Global case reports with structured guidelines (e.g. BMJ case reports) and format are very easy to assess.  Public health researchers are benefitted from global case reports. As they often describe complex interventions, implementation and different contexts across the globe. All public health professionals need to be active lifelong learners. For this reason, they are in a place to underpin their practice with the most recent evidence; yet, often conversion of evidence into practice can be fraught with hitches. Global case reports offer a lens in which to view single episodes of care. It is often used to facilitate the understanding of a larger body of evidence. The readers horizon of thinking and understanding about health care scenarios in other part of the world will be widened more through global case reports in future.


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How to Cite
BHATTACHARYA, Sudip; SINGH, Amarjeet. Global Case Reports are really useful for learning Global Health?. Indian Journal of Community Health, [S.l.], v. 29, n. 4, dec. 2017. ISSN 2248-9509. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 23 mar. 2018.
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