DÄ internationalArchive39/2008Poster Exhibitions at National Conferences: Education or Farce? Value is Questionable


Poster Exhibitions at National Conferences: Education or Farce? Value is Questionable

Dtsch Arztebl Int 2008; 105(39): 670. DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2008.0670a

Haß, N

LNSLNS This article does not live up to the expectations that the chosen title raises in your readers. The study does not use randomization, and it is implied that 1 in 5 conference participants were surveyed. However, 2100 potential „normal“ congress participants submitted only 39 questionnaires (n = 39). If every 1 in 5 participants had been surveyed this would correspond to a total number of 195 participants. Further, the authors evaluated only a single, national conference. The sample is arbitrary, and each result that was obtained is of questionable scientific value.

A total of 467 persons (22.2% of 2100 conference participants) presumably attended a poster presentation. According to information provided on page 79, however, 39.4% of the evaluated 39 (!) conference participants attended a poster presentation, or even 46.4% (Discussion section). Interpreting these data in the sense of response behavior with an "orientation on current standards" would also put all other results in perspective. The different numbers of interviews that were evaluated is confusing (86 poster authors in figure 2, 116 in figure 5). Did 30 poster authors not want to comment on the scientific value of their posters? That would indeed speak for itself. The large number of "recycled" posters is worrying. Not even one quarter of 86 poster authors assess the scientific value of posters as high or very high. The poster presentations were attended almost exclusively by the authors and poster chairpersons, and according to the authors, the posters were misconceived in terms of the conference audience. It therefore all seems rather farcical. DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2008.0670a

Dr. med. Norbert Haß
Herkulesstr. 20
01277 Dresden, Germany