Qualitative Abstracts at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting: Are They Less Likely to be Accepted for Presentation?



      To determine the proportion of abstracts submitted to the 2010 Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) meeting that were exclusively qualitative, and to examine whether these abstracts were more or less likely than all others to be designated as platform, poster, or publish only.


      The database of abstracts submitted to the 2010 PAS meeting was searched using qualitative terms. Authors reviewed abstracts to identify exclusively qualitative abstracts. The proportions and mean score ± standard deviation for qualitative abstracts and those designated platform, poster, or publish only were calculated. Student's t test was used to analyze mean differences; pairwise comparisons and odds ratios (ORs) were used to examine differences in the disposition of qualitative versus all other abstracts. The main outcome was the proportion of abstracts designated as platform, poster, or publish only.


      Of 4057 abstracts, 1.6% used only qualitative methods. Scores for qualitative and all other abstracts were 4.26 ± 0.60 and 3.88 ± 0.92, respectively (P < .001). The disposition of qualitative abstracts among platform, poster, and publish only differed from all other abstracts (P = .04). Compared with all others, qualitative abstracts had lower odds of platform presentation (OR 0.36; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.15–0.91), demonstrated a nonsignificant trend toward publish only (OR 1.6; 95% CI 0.95–2.7), and were equally likely to be posters (OR 1.1; 95% CI 0.65–1.8).


      Compared with all other abstracts, qualitative abstracts were about 3 times less likely to be chosen for platform presentations; in addition, they demonstrated a trend toward greater odds of publish only. These findings may be the result of inferior quality or an inadequate review process.


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