Reports of original data should include a structured abstract 200–400 words using the headings listed below. For brevity, parts of the abstract may be written as phrases rather than complete sentences. Each section should include the following content:
Objective: State the precise objective or study question addressed in the report (eg, “To determine whether…”). If more than one objective is addressed, the main objective should be indicated and only key secondary objectives stated. If a priori hypothesis was tested, it should be stated.
Methods: Describe the basic design/methods of the study including a paragraph on statistical analysis. The institution name should also be included here. For all manuscripts reporting data from studies involving human participants, formal review and approval, or formal review and waiver, by an appropriate institutional review board or ethics committee is required and should be described here.
Results: The main outcomes of the study should be reported and quantified, including baseline characteristics and final included/analyzed sample. Include absolute numbers and measures of absolute risks (such as increase/decrease or absolute differences between groups), along with confidence intervals (for example, 95%) or p values. Approaches such as number needed to treat/assess may be included when appropriate. Measures of relative risk also may be reported (eg, relative risk, hazard ratios) and should include confidence intervals.
Conclusions: Provide only conclusions of the study that are directly supported by the results. Give equal emphasis to positive and negative findings of equal scientific merit. Also, provide a statement of relevance indicating implications for clinical practice or health policy, avoiding speculation and overgeneralization. The relevance statement may also indicate whether additional study is required before the information should be used in clinical settings.