Call for Research Abstracts and Case Reports





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 2022 Annual Assembly, being held October 20 - 23 in Baltimore, MD and virtually. The theme for #AAPMR22 is Leading the Way.

Deadline for Submissions: Closed

Submission Guidelines

  1. All application material must be submitted online by Wednesday, March 2, 2022, at 11:59 pm (CT). All submitters and co-authors must be added prior to peer review and cannot be added post acceptance.
  2. All authors must provide a financial disclosure before submission proposals of research abstract or case report can be finalized.12310A-2162 Authors who do not submit a disclosure by that date must be removed by the submitting author and cannot be added after peer review.
  3. 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 co-authors of acceptance or rejection. Notifications will be sent via email by the first week in June 2022.
  4. All posters will be displayed in an electronic format.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 ten (10) authors' names will be included per abstract. The abstract will be available in electronic format in conjunction with PM&R.
  7. Additional names/authors may not be added to the electronic poster that were not listed on the original abstract. AAPM&R reserves the right to remove any poster that violates these guidelines.
  8. 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 may not submit abstracts written in all CAPS.
    • 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.
    • Authors may not add new or alter existing subject headings, listed in the Procedures Section #4 and #5 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 submitter will need to select a level of evidence from Level I‒V.
    • 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.) 
    • If you refer to brand-name drugs, the generic name must be provided.
    • We request that non-fluent English speakers have their abstracts edited prior to submission by a proficient English speaker.


Submitters must choose the appropriate theme/category for each abstract. Submission categories include:

  • General Rehabilitation
  • Musculoskeletal and Sports Medicine
  • Neurological Rehabilitation
  • Pain and Spine Medicine
  • Pandemic
  • Pediatric Rehabilitation
  • Practice Management, Leadership and Quality Improvement
    • Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) abstracts should be submitted under this theme/category

Structured Format

  1. Research abstracts must include the following:
    • Background and/or Objectives 
    • Design 
    • Setting (Do not list formal institution name) 
    • Participants 
    • Interventions (If your study does not contain any interventions, then insert: “Interventions: not applicable.”) 
    • Main Outcome Measures 
    • Results 
    • Conclusions
    • Level of Evidence
  2. Case reports must include the following:
    • Case Diagnosis
    • Case Description or Program Description (Do not list formal institution name) 
    • Setting 
    • Assessment/Results 
    • Discussion (relevance) 
    • Conclusions
    • Level of Evidence
  3. Research Abstracts and Case Reports are to be no more than 300 words (not including title or author block).
  4. Independent peer reviewers will evaluate each abstract based on the components of the structured abstract.

Trials in Progress

Trials in progress are not eligible for consideration. Data and/or results are important for reviewers to be able to review.

Encore Presentations

AAPM&R continues to emphasize original research and prefers the Annual Assembly be the forum for initial presentation. AAPM&R will not accept abstracts that have been previously presented at other medical, scientific, and research meetings. If there is a similar resubmission, it 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.

Author Participation

Primary/presenting authors must register for the Annual Assembly to present their poster, at minimum, for the day of their presentation. No reimbursement or honoraria will be given for paper or poster presentations. 

Vaccination Policy

AAPM&R is committed to safeguarding the health and well-being of its members, staff, consultants/contractors, vendors, exhibitors, faculty, attendees, and guests. 

AAPM&R mandates full COVID-19 vaccination as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention* and proof thereof as a condition of:

  • in-person presence at the National Office
  • in-person participation in all Academy-hosted meetings and gatherings, regardless of purpose or location
  • in-person participation in all Academy-hosted educational courses and events

In addition, participants may be asked to verify that they are free of COVID-19 symptoms, wear a mask, and adhere to other safety protocols in accordance with federal and/or local recommendations and guidelines when applicable.

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., Research Spotlight Presentations), presenting authors must be medical professionals, MD or MD-equivalent, who are not employed by a pharmaceutical or device manufacturing company.
  6. If presenters intend to reference brand-name drugs, the generic name must be provided.

Research Spotlight Presentations 

Presenters of the top ranked research abstracts submitted may be invited to give a 7-minute in-person, oral presentation of the methodology, results, and conclusions of their completed studies in one of the following didactic sessions being held at the Annual Assembly. Only completed experimental studies or well-controlled epidemiologic studies may be presented in this forum.

  • Research Spotlight: General Rehabilitation
  • Research Spotlight: Musculoskeletal and Sports Medicine
  • Research Spotlight: Neurological Rehabilitation
  • Research Spotlight: Pandemic
  • Research Spotlight: Pain and Spine Medicine
  • Research Spotlight: Pediatric Rehabilitation 
  • Research Spotlight: Practice Management, Leadership and Quality Improvement

Presenters whose posters were selected as top research will be notified in mid-June 2022.

Late Breaking Abstracts

Original research and case reports that were still in progress during the original submission deadline, can be submitted through the summer Call for Late Breaking Abstracts submission process. The opening date has not been determined and will be updated by Spring 2022.

President's Citation Award

Original research abstracts non-affiliated 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.

Example of a Structured Abstract

TITLE: New Wheelie Aid for Wheelchairs: Controlled Trial of Safety and Efficacy 
AUTHORS: Jane Doe 
    Disclosure: None
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 
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.

Deadline for Submissions: Closed

Questions regarding abstract submissions?


Call for Abstract Reviewers

AAPM&R has launched its invitation to submit clinical and basic science research findings to be considered for inclusion in the 2022 Annual Assembly. Reviewers will assist AAPM&R in setting the bar for accepting scientific poster, case studies, and the eligibility for the prestigious President’s Citations Award. To help with the review process, we would appreciate interested members apply.

Areas of Clinical Interests:

  • General Rehabilitation
  • Musculoskeletal and Sports Medicine
  • Neurological Rehabilitation
  • Pain and Spine Medicine
  • Pandemic
  • Pediatric Rehabilitation
  • Practice Management, Leadership, and Quality Improvement 

Deadline for Submissions: Closed

Questions regarding abstract reviewer submissions?

Email or call (847) 737-6000.