I agree with Mike. The abstracts can tell us enough to say whether it may be
a good study. Today, abstracts from many journals are very structured and
the authors can clearly tell about randomization, blindness, etc. We may
want to go to the full article to check whether the procedures were
appropriate or not, but it is definitely a good start.
If basic questions are negative, then we can exclude them (unfortunately
sometimes we have to pick them back, because there is no better evidence,
but it is another matter).
Concerning Jon's idea of appraising abstract, I thing Jadad's scale may be
applied to abstracts and checked against the score of the full report. What
do you think of it, Jon?
Roger Keller, PhD student
Institute of Social Medicine - UERJ
Rua São Francisco Xavier, 524 7o ANDAR
blocos D e E Pavilhão João Lyra Filho
Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro
Postal Code 20559-900
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jay M. Fleisher" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, July 16, 2005 6:28 PM
Subject: Re: Critically appraising abstracts
> An abstract is just that.. One cannot tell anything about the validity of
> study design, analysis etc..
> As a teacher of Epi and Biostats to Med students for 25 years, we are,
> still turning out physicians that cannot read and fully understand their
> Jay M. Fleisher Ph.D.
> Quoting Mike/Linda Stuart <[log in to unmask]>:
>> My approach is to use abstracts for exlusion only. For example,
>> abstracts can help quickly dump observational studies when you are
>> dealing with an issue of screening, prevention or therapy. Abstracts can
>> also help with getting rid of irrelevant studies, e.g., reporting
>> inappropriate (e.g. some intermediate) outcome measures. Since the
>> usual goal is to know the threats to validity and grade the study, I
>> believe full text is required in most situations. Mike
>> -- Michael Stuart MD
>> President, Delfini Group,
>> Clinical Asst Professor, UW School of Medicine
>> 6831 31st Ave N.E.
>> Seattle, Washington 98115
>> 206-854-3680 Mobile Phone
>> 206-527-6146 Home Office
>> [log in to unmask]
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Evidence based health (EBH)
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jon Brassey
>> Sent: Friday, July 15, 2005 10:13 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Critically appraising abstracts
>> In the ideal world health professionals would have access to full text
>> articles, the time to read them and the time to fully appraise them.
>> But they don't, frequently relying on abstracts.
>> Has any work been carried out on critically appraising abstracts?
>> If not what do people think of the idea of developing one? If we work
>> on the premise that doctors frequently rely on abstracts surely it makes
>> sense that they are as critical as possible.
>> If people are still with me and think it's a good idea any idea on what
>> 'features' should be examined e.g. appropriate methodology, sample size,
>> appropriate outcomes etc.
>> Jon Brassey
>> TRIP Database
>> NLH Q&A Service
>> Email provided by http://www.ntlhome.com/
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