Research Abstract Structure
Structured abstracts facilitate explicitpresentation of critical information and objective assessment of scientificvalidity. There are five required topic headings: Background,Objectives, Methods, Results and Conclusions.
Background: A brief introduction summarizing past work or relevantcontroversies that place the study in perspective.
Objectives: A precise statement of the study’s purpose, including apre-study hypothesis.
Methods: Sub-headings will be determined by the nature of the study. Itis not necessary to identify each of the following sub-headings separately andit may be possible to incorporate several features of the study methodologyinto a single sentence.
- DESIGN – clearly statethe study design identifying it as observational or experimental. Forobservational studies, specify the temporal profile of the study asprospective, retrospective or cross-sectional. Other descriptive terms such ascohort, case-control or survey should be used as appropriate. Blinding shouldbe described where relevant.
- SETTING – for clinicalinvestigations, describe the study site (e.g. community hospital ED, universitytertiary referral center, urban Level I trauma center, etc.).
- PARTICIPANTS/SUBJECTS –Indicate the study population, study dates, inclusion/exclusion criteria andmethod of sampling (conservative, convenience, random). If matching wasemployed, specify the criteria by which subjects were matched. If controls wereutilized identify them as concurrent or historical.
- INTERVENTIONS/OBSERVATIONS– for experimental studies, clearly describe interventions. The data analysissection should include the type(s) of descriptive or inferential statisticalmethods used. The observations should be a list of major data elements or outcomemeasures relevant to the study objective. Negative studies should beaccompanied by a statement of power, beta error, or confidence intervals.
Results: Specify measurements critical to the study objective orhypothesis. Specify associations or differences between or among groups undercomparison using p values or, preferably, confidence intervals. Note totalnumber of subjects or participants, number meeting inclusion criteria who wereexcluded, and number enrolled who were lost to follow-up.
Conclusions: Conclusions should be succinctly stated and firmly supportedby the data presented. Note important limitations.
Figures/Tables: Two (2) figures/tables are permitted perabstract. Abstract text character count is not reduced for the inclusion ofthese figures/tables. For optimum publishing quality, images/figures should behigh resolution JPEG files.