Thirty percent of abstracts presented at dental conferences are published in full: a systematic review

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OBJECTIVES: To review the publication fate of abstracts presented at dental conferences and investigate the association between full publication proportion (FPP) and abstract characteristics, conference characteristics, and methodological quality of primary studies.

STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: PubMed, EMBASE, and Google Scholar were searched up to November 2014 for studies that reported at least one FPP of abstracts presented at dental conferences, with a follow-up length of no less than 48 months.

RESULTS: Sixteen studies involving 10,365 abstracts presented at 52 conferences were included. The pooled FPP was 29.62% (95% confidence interval: 22.90%, 36.81%) for all presented abstracts and 51.97% (95% confidence interval: 43.19%, 60.70%) for randomized controlled trial abstracts. Abstract characteristics significantly associated with higher FPP included reporting of statistical analysis (P < 0.001), oral presentation (P < 0.001), basic science research (P = 0.047), and reporting of financial support (P = 0.009). Abstracts with positive (P = 0.29) or statistically significant results (P = 0.33) were not published more often than negative or nonsignificant results, respectively. In multivariable meta-regression analysis, conferences held in Asia (P < 0.001) and at a continental rather than national level (P < 0.001) were significantly associated with higher FPP.

CONCLUSIONS: Less than one-third of abstracts presented at dental conferences were published in full more than 4 years after conference presentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-28
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Early online date4 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


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