DOUGLAS G. ALTMAN, B.SC.; MARTIN J. GARDNER, B.SC., Ph.D.
To the editor: Many abstracts of published papers are uninformative, or even misleading (1); suggestions for improvement are welcome. We wish to comment on a recent proposal by an ad hoc working group for more informative abstracts for clinical articles (2).
The working group has suggested that abstracts include key information on objectives, design, setting, patients or other participants, interventions, measurements and main results, and conclusions. However, we believe authors should state their primary outcome measures or endpoints, and other (secondary) outcomes of interest (3), and at least the main outcome measures should be identified and reported in the abstract.
ALTMAN DG, GARDNER MJ. More Informative Abstracts. Ann Intern Med. 1987;107:790–791. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-107-5-790_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1987;107(5):790-791.
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