Full-Text Publication of Abstract-Presented Work in Physical Therapy: Do Therapists Publish What They Preach? Academic Article uri icon


  • Professional meetings, such as the American Physical Therapy Association's (APTA's) Combined Sections Meeting (CSM), provide forums for sharing information relevant to physical therapy. An indicator of whether therapists fully disseminate their work is the number of full-text peer-reviewed publications that result. The purposes of this study were: (1) to determine the full-text publication rate of work presented in abstract form at CSM and (2) to investigate factors influencing this rate.A systematic search was undertaken to locate full-text publications of work presented in abstract form within the Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy sections at CSM between 2000 and 2004. Eligible publications were published within 5 years following abstract presentation. The influences of APTA section, year of abstract presentation, institution of origin, study design, sample size, study significance, reporting of a funding source, and presentation type on full-text publication rate were assessed. Characteristics of full-text publications were explored.Work presented in 1 out of 4 abstracts (25.4%) progressed to full-text publication. Odds of full-text publication increased if the abstract originated from a doctorate-granting or "other" institution, reported findings of an experimental study, reported a statistically significant finding, included a larger sample size, disclosed a funding source, or was presented as a platform presentation. More than one third (37.8%) of full-text publications were published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy or Physical Therapy, and 4 out of 10 full-text publications (39.2%) contained at least one major change from information presented in abstract form.The full-text publication rate for information presented in abstract form within the Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy sections at CSM is low relative to comparative disciplines. Caution should be exercised when translating information presented at CSM into practice.


  • Smith, Heather D
  • Bogenschutz, Elizabeth D
  • Bayliss, Amy J
  • Altenburger, Peter A
  • Warden, Stuart J

publication date

  • February 1, 2011