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A3O1 | Cross-sectional study of abstract quality

Abstract text
Abstracts are often the only lasting evidence of research presented at conferences. Abstracts provide valuable information that may not be published outside of conferences. Minimum standard quality and data should be reported in abstracts so the readers can assess the research performed.

We set out to descriptively quantify the quality of abstracts presented orally at the 19th Joint Colloquium of the Cochrane and Campbell.

A modified version of the CONSORT for Abstracts was developed to measure the quality of abstracts for all study types. The checklist consisted of 11 items evaluating title, methods, results, and conclusion. Two independent reviewers used the checklist to review 126 abstracts presented orally at the 18th Joint Colloquium of the Cochrane and Campbell in 2010. Descriptive analysis was used to characterize the quality of abstracts.

Of the 126 abstracts, 25 were not research in nature and excluded from the analysis. The mean score was 8.1 [range 1-11] and the median score was 8. The items most abstracts did not report were study design in the title (76%) and participant eligibility (37%). Outcomes were not clearly defined in 30% of the abstracts. Studies were incomplete in 22% of the abstracts at the time of submission.

We recommend the use of a standardized methodology for reporting in abstracts to ensure quality of the report. The findings of abstracts that were incomplete should be published in print or website as an addendum. We suggest conferences provide abstract submission guidelines that are more concrete and descriptive.
Pawlak M1, Bierling S1, Dellavalle R1
1 University of Colorado Denver, USA
Presenting author and contact person
Presenting author: 
Sandra Bierling
Contact person: 
Mary Pawlak (Contact this person)
Sandra Bierling (Contact this person)
Date and Location
Oral session A3O1
Friday 21 October 2011 - 11:15 - 11:35