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Annual Assembly

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Looking for the 2021 Call for Abstracts? 

Submissions will be accepted starting in November 2020 through early March 2021.

Call for Late-Breaking Abstracts

Late-Breaking Research: Submit by July 31, 2020 at 11:59 pm (EST) 

The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R) invites you to submit your late-breaking clinical science research findings to be considered for inclusion in the 2020 Annual Assembly.

Policies and Guidelines

  1. All application material must be submitted online by Friday, July 31, 2020 at 11:59 pm (EST). You will be prompted to fill out a financial disclosure form when you first log in (unless a disclosure form was completed in the original call for abstracts). All presenting authors must provide a financial disclosure to be accepted for presentation.2016 Abstracts_3
  2. Only completed, original research abstracts will be considered (No case studies). 
  3. Abstract should not be a previously submitted (rejected) abstract, unless there is new information/results.
  4. The late-breaking abstract deadline is not intended to be merely an extension of the general submission deadline. The research must be new and of sufficient scientific importance to merit special consideration after the standard abstract deadline.
  5. Three abstracts will be chosen for a podium presentation.
  6. Research abstracts must fit into the research categories: 
    • 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.
  7. All accepted abstracts will be presented in electronic format via display screens onsite, mobile app and online.


  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
    • Conclusion
  4. When preparing an abstract, authors are requested to abide by the following general guidelines:
    • Authors must not submit abstracts that constitute promotion of a product or service (see policy regarding Commercialism 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.
      • For research abstract submissions: Submitters will need to select a level of evidence from Level I-V.
      • For Program Descriptions (clinical/educational/other): Submitters will select Level 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 non-fluent English speakers have their abstracts edited prior to submission by a proficient English speaker.

Review Process

The Evidence Committee will evaluate each abstract based on the components of the structured abstract.

  • Acceptance/Rejection notification will be sent via e-mail by September 2020.
  • The Review Committee reserves the right to assign presentation times to suit program needs.
  • Accepted abstracts will be minimally edited for style and format and published in conjunction with PM&R, the Academy’s scientific journal. The abstract will be available in electronic format in conjunction with PM&R.

The top ranked research submitted may be selected for inclusion in the “Best Late-Breaking Podium Presentation” didactic session being held at the 2020 Annual Assembly:

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. 

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 2020 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.

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.

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