Annual Assembly

Call for Abstracts

Now Closed!


The Call for Abstracts is now closed. Thank you to those who submitted.

The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R) invites you to submit your clinical and basic science research findings to be considered for inclusion in the 2019 Annual Assembly, being held November 14-17 in San Antonio, TX. 

Abstract Reviewers

If you are interested in reviewing the submitted abstracts, learn more here and apply by March 6, 2019. You will need to submit a brief statement of interest along with your clinical interest areas (Musculoskeletal & Sports Medicine, Neurological Rehabilitation, Practice Management & Leadership, Pain and Spine Medicine, General Rehabilitation, Pediatrics, and Quality Improvement).

Policies and Guidelines

  1. All application material must be submitted online by March 8, 2019, at 11:59 pm (CT). You will be prompted to fill out a financial disclosure form when you first log in. All presenting authors must provide a financial disclosure to be accepted for presentation.
  2. 12068A-2189Please Note: All listed authors will receive a Financial Disclosure email once identified for an abstract. All listed co-authors will have until March 8, 2019 to submit their electronic disclosure form. Authors who do not submit a disclosure by that date will be removed from the abstract and cannot be added after peer review.
  3. President's Citation Award: Original research abstracts nonaffiliated with industry will be eligible for the President’s Citation Award. The winning author receives complimentary registration to the following year’s Annual Assembly. Finalists will be chosen based on the highest scores received during the abstract review process prior to the Assembly.
  4. Encore presentations: While AAPM&R continues to emphasize original research and prefers the Annual Assembly be the forum for initial presentation, it recognizes that high-quality research of interest to physiatrists is presented at other scientific meetings. AAPM&R will accept abstracts that have been previously presented at other medical, scientific, and research meetings. Resubmissions will be evaluated on content criteria relevant to the educational and scientific objectives of the Annual Assembly. Previously published material will not be eligible for the President’s Citation Award.
  5.  Submission categories include:
    • General Rehabilitation
    • Musculoskeletal and Sports Medicine
    • Neurological Rehabilitation
    • Pain and Spine Medicine
    • Pediatrics
    • Practice Management and Leadership
    • Quality Improvement—PM&R residency QI projects will be eligible for submission as an abstract.
  6. The top research submitted may be selected for inclusion in one of the following didactic sessions being held at the Annual Assembly:
    • Leading in Research: General Rehabilitation Podium Session
    • Leading in Research: Neurological Rehabilitation Podium Session
    • Leading in Research: Pain and Spine Medicine Podium Session
    • Leading in Research: MSK & Sports Medicine Podium Session
    • Leading in Research: Pediatric Rehabilitation Podium Session
    • Leading in Research: Practice Management, Leadership, and Quality Improvement Research Podium Session
  7. Only the submitting author of the abstract will receive email notification of acceptance or rejection. It is the responsibility of the primary author to notify the coauthors of acceptance or rejection. Notifications will be sent via email in early Summer 2019.
  8. Primary/presenting authors must register for the Annual Assembly to present their poster, at minimum, for the day of their presentation.
  9. The Review Committee reserves the right to assign presentation times to suit program needs. Posters will be displayed by category. Presenters will not be able to change days of presentation.
  10. Accepted abstracts will be minimally edited for style and format and published in conjunction with PM&R, the Academy’s scientific journal. A maximum of 8 authors' names will be included per abstract. The abstract will be available in electronic format in conjunction with PM&R.
  11. When preparing an abstract, authors are requested to abide by the following guidelines.
    • Authors must identify in the title if the abstract is a case report. Example: Gymnast With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Case Report.
    • Authors must not submit abstracts written in all CAPS
    • Authors may not add new or alter existing subject headings, listed in the Procedures Section #4 and #5 below.
    • Authors may not add an introductory passage to precede the Objective. These remarks are more appropriate at presentation.
    • Authors must not submit abstracts that constitute promotion of a product or service. (See “Commercialism and Disclosure Statements” below.)
    • Authors may not use tables, graphs, or figures in the abstract submission process.
    • Authors may not list references in the abstract.
    • Authors must report the level of evidence of research studies. Case report submissions will select “Case Report”; research abstract submitters will need to select a level of evidence from Level I‒V.
    • Authors must spell, in full, on first introduction of all acronyms or abbreviations used.
    • All numbers should be presented in Arabic numeral form, including numbers from 1 to 10.
    • If you refer to brand-name drugs, the generic name must be provided.
    • We request that nonfluent English speakers have their abstracts edited prior to submission by a proficient English speaker.

Questions regarding abstract submissions? Email abstracts@aapmr.org.


  1. Presenters of accepted abstracts are expected to register and pay appropriate registration fees for at least the day of the presentation. No reimbursement or honoraria will be given for paper or poster presentations.
  2. Abstracts are to be no more than 300 words (not including title or author block).
  3. All research abstracts must include the following:
    • Objective 
    • Design 
    • Setting (Do not list formal institutional name.) 
    • Participants 
    • Interventions (If your study does not contain any interventions, then insert: “Interventions: not applicable.”) 
    • Main Outcome Measures 
    • Level of Evidence 
    • Results 
    • Conclusions
  4. Abstracts submitted as a case report must include the following:
    • Setting (Do not list formal institutional name.) 
    • Patient OR Program 
    • Case Description OR Program Description 
    • Assessment/Results 
    • Discussion (relevance) 
    • Conclusions
  5. Independent peer reviewers will evaluate each abstract based on the components of the structured abstract.

Commercialism and Disclosure Statements

  1. Presentations that constitute promotion or advertising will be rejected. Pervasive or inappropriate use of commercial/trade names is not allowed. Generic names create a sense of impartiality that are the accepted standard of practice in submitting scientific abstracts and are strongly encouraged. No advertising matter of any description may be distributed, nor may any material be displayed that directly promotes the commercial interest of any particular company, enterprise, or the author(s).
  2. Presenters must disclose any relevant financial interest in relationship with or support from manufacturers of any commercial product(s). AAPM&R will determine if there is a conflict of interest and will take all appropriate steps to resolve.
  3. Presenters must disclose the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance status of medical devices and pharmaceuticals for the uses discussed or described in the presentation. "Off label" uses of a device or pharmaceutical may be described in the presentation as long as the lack of FDA clearance for this is also disclosed.
  4. Statements made in presentations are the sole responsibility of the author(s). Statements should not be viewed as, or representative of, any formal stance or position taken on any product, subject, or issue by the Academy or Elsevier.
  5. To be considered for any AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™-designated activities at the Annual Assembly (i.e., Best Research Podium or Poster Presentations), presenting authors must be medical professionals, MD or MD-equivalent, who are not employed by a pharmaceutical or device manufacturing company.


Leading in Research Podium Presentation: A 10-minute oral presentation of the methodology, results, and conclusions of completed studies followed by a 5-minute question-and-answer period. Completed experimental studies or well-controlled epidemiologic studies may be presented in this forum. 

Example of a Structured Abstract

TITLE: New Wheelie Aid for Wheelchairs: Controlled Trial of Safety and Efficacy 
AUTHORS: Jane Doe 
INSTITUTIONS: Amazing Academic Medical Center 
CURRENT CATEGORY: General Rehabilitation 
Objective (Abstract Only): To test hypotheses that people learning to perform aided wheelies (AW) with a new self-deploying wheelie aid (WA) are safer than those using the conventional wheelie (CW), are more successful at learning the skills, learn more quickly, and find such skills less difficult. 
Design (Abstract Only): Randomized, controlled study. 
Setting (Required for Abstracts and Case Reports): Wheelchair obstacle course 
Participants (Abstracts Only): 42 subjects randomly assigned to the CW (n=23) or AW (n=19) groups. 
Interventions (Abstracts Only): We performed static tests on a WA -modified wheelchair occupied by a test dummy, and attempted to teach each subject to perform a set of 14 wheelie-related skills. 
Main Outcome Measures (Abstracts Only): Visual analog scale (VAS) of safety, percentage of subjects able to learn the skills, the time required, and subjective difficulty scores (from 1 for "very easy" to 5 for "very difficult"). 
Results (Abstract or Case Report) or Clinical Course (Case Reports Only): Up to 11° of antitip-device stability was available without the WA extending beyond the rearmost aspect of the rear wheel in the resting position. For the CW and AW groups, the mean ± standard deviation VAS safety scores were 43%±27% and 98%±2% (P 
Conclusions (Required for Abstracts and Case Reports): The WA provides stability and wheelie-like function without interfering with maneuverability. Although both groups were equally successful, learning to perform AW is safer, fast, and less difficult than learning CWs 
Level of Evidence - Abstract Submission Role: Level II 
Financial Disclosures: None

Reprinted with permission.

Example of a Case Report

Systemic Weakness After Botulinum Toxin Type A Injections in a Child With Cerebral Palsy: A Case Report. 
Mary A. McMahon, MD (Cincinnati Child Hosp Med Ctr/Univ Cincinnati Coll Med, Cincinnati, OH). 
Disclosure: None. 
Setting: Tertiary care pediatric hospital. 
Patient: A 15-month-old boy with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy (CP). 
Case Description: The patient received botulinum toxin type A (Botox) injections secondary to increasing plantarflexion tone and an inability to tolerate ankle-foot orthoses. The botulinum toxin was reconstituted with 0.9% normal saline to a concentration of 10U/0.1cc. A total of 100U (11.5U/kg) were equally divided among 4 sites in each gastrocnemius muscle. Aspiration was done prior to each injection. On days 2 and 3 postinjection, he had decreasing tone in his upper extremities. On day 4, he presented with diffuse weakness, including loss of head control and poor feeding. His history was otherwise unremarkable, and his exam was notable only for diffusely decreased tone and weakness with tachypnea. Lung exam and chest x-ray were within normal limits and his oxygen saturation was 100%. He was admitted for intravenous fluids and close observation. He was observed for 48 hours, during which his strength and tone had a fluctuating pattern of improvement. At discharge, he had regained head control and his oral intake was at baseline. 
Assessment/Results: At 6 weeks postinjections, the patient continued to demonstrate decreased tone in all 4 extremities. His therapist noted improved postural control and use of his upper extremities after the injections. His sleeping and eating both significantly improved. Further developments will be discussed. 
Discussion: This is the first reported case, to our knowledge, of generalized weakness following botulinum toxin injections given at what is commonly considered to be a standard dose for children with CP. 
Conclusion: Serious idiosyncratic reactions to botulinum toxin type A are possible despite using doses that are considered safe in children. 

Reprinted with permission.