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General Guidelines for Abstract Submission


Promoting Health through Individual and Social Means

March 14-16, 2018

Deadline: __________ (to be announced)

This document includes the guidelines for the submission of abstracts.  These guidelines have been revised and approved by the Forum's Organizing Committee.  All abstracts must be submitted electronically.

Before you start:

  • Read all the instructions and guidelines.
  • Do not assume that instructions, criteria and procedures are the same as for past forums or any other conference, association or convention.
  • All abstracts must be submitted online.
  • Only registered fellows, residents and students are eligible to compete for the Student Awards.
  • Provide all the information requested as part of the abstract submission process at the forum website:

I. Introduction:

The following guidelines have been revised to assure that all faculty members, fellows, residents, students and employees  have clear and concise information for the submission of abstracts for the 38th Annual Research and Education Forum. Instructions for presentations, abstract write up, samples and poster preparation are available in a separate section at the website.

II. Authors:

A researcher may be the first author in only one abstract, but may appear as co-author in more than one.  The first author or co-author must present the work at the Forum.

III. Eligibility Criteria:

Faculty members, fellows, residents, students and employees from all UPR campuses, and other academic or health-related institutions, are invited to submit abstracts in a diversity of research perspectives and methods in any of the categories listed in Section IX of this document. Only completed and properly prepared abstracts will be considered for acceptance. Only registered students and residents are eligible to compete for the Student Awards (see Student Award Competition instructions/link).

IV. Withdrawals:

Abstracts submitted on or before ________ can be withdrawn via an official written request to the Forum Organizing Committee at this email address: The abstract and its related information will be deleted from the Forum Abstract database. After the _________. can be withdrawn via an official, the abstract will enter in the evaluation process and cannot be withdrawn.  (No withdrawals, changes or amendments will be accepted after the deadline)

V. Abstract Selection:

Abstracts will be evaluated by at least two reviewers selected from the faculty of the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, faculty of other universities, clinicians and researchers from health-related institutions. Each reviewer will send his/her recommendations to the Organizing Committee. The main criterion of evaluation will be the quality of the research or education project, as reflected in the abstract. Evaluations will be made according to the following criteria: general objectives, congruency of the title with the content, information presented in accordance to the guidelines, relation with the selected category of the forum (see Section IX in this document) and inclusion of the elements requested in the general guidelines. Special attention will be given to the study design and relevant statistical analysis, as well as innovation and impact of the work. Abstracts with a score of 70% or more will be considered for presentation.

The Scientific Subcommittee will submit recommendations to the Organizing Committee for final approval. The Organizing Committee reserves the right to reclassify submitted abstracts to the most appropriate category and type of presentation. The Committee will try to assign the abstract to your selected presentation preference. However, the possibility exists that some oral presentations could be accepted for poster presentations, or vice versa.

VI. Publication of Abstracts:

All accepted abstracts will be published as submitted in a digital special issue (no printed issue), “Abstract Supplement”, of the Puerto Rico Health Sciences Journal (PRHSJ).

VII. Notification of programming:

The authors will be notified, via e-mail, the status of their abstracts no later than ___________.  It is a requirement for the author or co-author, to present the work, either oral or poster, at the assigned date and time of the Forum.

VIII. Abstract Submission Instructions:

  • Abstracts can be submitted in either Spanish or English
  • Abstracts should be submitted online through the Forum Website:
  • Access the Call for Abstracts area and follow the instructions.
  • All abstracts must be received no later than 11:59 pm on ____________
  • You must certify that all co-authors and mentors (if applicable) have read and approved the abstract before including their names on it.

IX. Submitting your abstract:

A. Types of works accepted

i. Research Project

  • Basic Sciences Studies to increase the knowledge and understating of the fundamentals aspects of a particular field of study. 
  • Applied Sciences - Research dealing with the art or science of applying scientific knowledge to practical problems.  
  • Epidemiology - Studies of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events (including disease) and their application to the control of diseases and other health problems. 
  • Clinical/Translational Research - Translation of biomedical discoveries into new approaches to diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human illnesses. 
  • Educational Research - Basic, applied, and developmental research conducted to advance knowledge in the field of education or bearing on educational problems.

ii. Educational Projects

  • Initiatives to examine the effectiveness or contribution of educational programs, practices and policies, including the applications of technology to instruction and assessment. Educational demonstrative projects that focus on health promotion through innovative techniques or strategies.

iii. Case Reports

  • A research modality that focuses on the characteristics, circumstances, and complexities of a single case, often using multiple methods. The case is viewed as being valued in its own right and while findings can raise awareness of general issues, the aim is not to generalize the findings to other cases. 

iv. Health Policy Analysis

  • Research that produces relevant information to support, modify, or reject a course of action to solve a public problem related to health and the health sciences. Policy analysis can be proposed from disciplines such as economics, political economy, history, sociology, geography, and ethics.

v.    Evidence Based Practice Projects 

  • A project using the best available evidence, clinical expertise, and patient’s (participant’s) values and preferences for making decisions to improve outcomes for individuals, groups, communities, and organizations (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2015).

B. Abstracts must be organized into the required format based upon the abstract category, as specified below.

i. The abstract of a Research or Educational Project should contain:

  • Background & Objectives
    • A brief description of the significance of the work presented. Include the study’s aim/goal, the scientific question and hypothesis, if applicable.
  • Methods
    • Brief description of the study design, procedures, strategies, and/or activities.
  • Results
    • Summary of the preliminary of final results obtained. It is NOT satisfactory to say: “The results will be presented.”
  • Conclusion
    • A statement about the conclusions reached, future directions.
  • Acknowledgements
    • Funding Sources, Conflict of Interests Disclosures, etc.

ii. The abstract of a Case Report should contain:

  • Purpose
    • A rationale for presenting the case.
  • Case description
    • Clinical features of the case including history and physical exam findings
  • Clinical Approach
    • A summary of diagnostic and treatment protocol
  • Clinical findings
    • A summary of the follow up and results. It is NOT satisfactory to say: “The findings will be presented.”
  • Hypothesis
    • Research questions generated
  • Acknowledgements
    • Funding Sources, Conflict of Interests Disclosures, etc.

iii. The abstract of a Health Policy Analysis should contain:

  • Public Policy Under Analysis
    • Identify the specific public policy to be analyzed.
  • Academic Discipline and Theoretical Framework
    • Identify the discipline informing the analysis and, if relevant, the theory behind the research.
  • Sources of Information
    • Present the information sources used in the analysis.
  • Research Methods
    • Describe the research methods, according to the standards of the discipline previously identified.
  • Findings
    • Present research findings. It is NOT satisfactory to say: “The findings will be presented.”
  • Implications for Public Policy
    • Explain the relevance of these findings to support, modify or reject the public policy that is being analyzed.
  • Acknowledgements
    • Funding Sources, Conflict of Interests Disclosures, etc.

            iv. The abstract of an Evidence-Based Practice Project should contain:

  • Clinical Question
    • Include the evidence-based practice (EBP) question using Patient/Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome, Time (PICOT) format
  • Scope
    • Identify the problem, current practice, and relevance of the project.
  • Literature Review
    • Summarize the evidence found in the literature that supports practice changes.
  • Project Implementation
    • ​Describe the process used to implement the EBP project.
  • Results
    • Present EPB project implementation findings. Present EBP Project implementation findings. Projects without results or indicating that results will be presented will not be considered.
  • Practice Implication
    • Explain the implications and recommendations for practice based on EBP project results.
  • Acknowledgements
    • Funding Sources, Conflict of Interests Disclosures, Collaborators, etc.

C. Abstracts should not contain Tables, Figures, or References.

D. The abstract’s title should contain a maximum of 150 characters, including spaces. The total length of the abstract should not exceed 250 words, excluding title, authors, and affiliations.  IMPORTANT: Any text longer than the specified number of characters will be truncated.

E. Write the following sentence if appropriate: “Approved by IRB or IACUC”. (Make sure to include the protocol number(s) of approval in the IRB/IACUC box in the electronic abstract submission at the 37th Forum Web Page).

F. Example of Abstracts

Sample Abstract for Research Project:

ApoE-ε4 has Mild, Negative Impact on the Cognition of Cognitively Healthy Puerto Rican Young Olds.

José R. Carrión-Baralt1, Youssef Ahmad-Pereira2, Mary Sano3, Irina Bespalova3, Jeremy M. Silverman3. 1University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico; 2Private Practice; 3Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, United States of America

Background & Objectives: The apolipoprotein E ε4 (APOE ε4) allele is the sole major known genetic risk factor for late-onset familial and sporadic Alzheimer’s Disease. It has also been associated with cognitive impairment and cognitive decline in non-demented elderly (especially young-olds, those people aged 60-74), but the strength of these associations has been shown to vary by cognitive domain, population and age group. We hypothesized that the cognitive performance of the ε4 carriers would be worse than that of non-carriers, especially in verbal memory and executive function tasks. Objective: This study sought to assess the impact of APOE ε4 on the cognitive performance of a sample of cognitively healthy Puerto Ricans aged 60 or above. Methods: The sample consisted of 141 subjects. The evaluation of neuropsychological performance was based on the CERAD battery and variables were aggregated by principal component analysis (PCA). Comparison of neuropsychological performance between ε4 carriers and non-carriers was conducted using a multivariate analysis of variance. Results: There were 39 ε4 carriers and 102 ε4 non-carriers. PCA resulted in a solution of six cognitive factors. APOE ε4 carriers performed significantly worse than non-carriers in the Episodic Memory, Processing Speed and Semantic Fluency factors and in overall cognition (p < .050 in all tests). Conclusions: Our results suggest that, in this sample of cognitively healthy Spanish-speaking young-olds, being an ε4 carrier is associated with worse cognitive performance. Acknowledgements: This research was supported by NIA grant 1 K01 AG025203.


Sample Abstract for Educational Project:

Recinto Pa’ la Calle: An Alternate Approach to Medical Education Through Solidarity Service-learning.

Marcos G. Salgado1, Sahily Reyes2, Claudia S. Simich2, Milangel T. Concepción3, Ramón E. Flores 4. 1 University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, School of Medicine, San Juan, Puerto Rico; 2University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico; 3Georgetown University Hospital, Psychiatry Residency Training Program, Washington DC, United States of America; 4University of Texas Health and Science Center, Texas, United States of America.

Background & Objectives: Outside classrooms and hospitals, medical students from the University of Puerto Rico have come across an alternate path of education through an initiative they have entitled “Recinto Pa’ La Calle”. A more humane patient-doctor relationship is sought, considering social determinants of health in the Puerto Rican urban setting. The objectives of this project are: 1) Provide experiences that develop relational skills and cultural competence. 2) Stimulate awareness among healthcare professionals on the importance of the social context of medicine. 3) Promote the education and empowerment of vulnerable populations. Methods: Every Monday night, a group of students reach out to people living in the streets near the Medical Center Area. Participants are provided with necessity goods, basic health education and simple conversation. Volunteers receive training from Iniciativa Comunitaria, a non-profit organization with vast experience working with marginalized populations. The theoretical model used, “solidarity service learning”, establishes a way of learning through community interaction and strategic reflection. Results: In this emotionally intense scenario, concepts of medical ethics have acquired new depths for students, motivating a richer understanding on what it means to practice medicine. The patient is acknowledged as a teacher and active participant in the healing process. Conclusions: It is our hope that this model of community service and medical education inspires change and encourages liaisons between academia and community. Acknowledgements: This effort is funded by the non-profit organization Iniciativa Comunitaria and volunteer donations.


Sample Abstract for a Case Report:

Colonic Collision Tumor, Encompassing Adenocarcinoma and Neuroendocrine Carcinoma: A Case Report.

Alexandra Jiménez-González1, María J. Marcos-Martínez2, Román Vélez-Rosario1 , Jorge Hernández-Sucarichi2, Gladys Pérez-Kraft1. 1University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico; 2Administración de Servicios Médicos de Puerto Rico, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Purpose: Collision tumor is an exceedingly rare tumor composed of two distinct malignant neoplasms coinciding at the same location. It must be distinguish from composite tumor. Collision tumor is believed to result from two independent adjacent neoplasms that eventually collide, whereas composite tumor is thought to arise through a multidirectional differentiation of a single neoplasm. Case description: We report the case of a colonic collision tumor in a 59-year-old man who presented with acute abdominal pain, anorexia and diarrhea for four days. Clinical Approach: A CTscan of the abdomen revealed a mass in the ascending colon causing partial intestinal obstruction. A right hemicolectomy was performed. Clinical findings: Grossly, there was a 5-cm exophytic mass. Histologically, the tumor was composed of adenocarcinoma and neuroendocrine carcinoma, side by side, with a distinct separation between the two components. A metastatic deposition of neuroendocrine carcinoma was identified in two lymph nodes. Immunohistochemistry studies supported that this was, in fact, a collision tumor, highlighting demarcation between the neuroendocrine and epithelial components. Hypothesis: This tumor is rare and may thus constitute a diagnostic challenge. It is important for pathologists, surgeons, and oncologists to be aware of the possibility of a collision tumor and to exclude other rare tumors resulting from one cancer metastasizing to one another. Accurate identification and recognition of both components of collision tumor are important in guiding decisions regarding overall prognosis, adjuvant therapeutic options, and survival, which may be dependent on the biological aggressiveness of each component.


Sample Abstract for a Health Policy Analysis:

La retórica de la participación democrática en el sector salud

Nylca J. Muñoz-Sosa, Luis A. Avilés. Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Ciencias Médicas, Escuela Graduada de Salud Pública y Ciencias Biosociales, Departamento de Ciencias Sociales, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Política pública analizada: Se analiza la creación de un Consejo Multisectorial del Sistema de Salud, propuesto por el Proyecto de la Cámara 1185 (PC-1185), como mecanismo de participación democrática de los profesionales de salud para diseñar un sistema de salud universal en Puerto Rico (PR). Disciplina o teoría: La Comisión de Determinantes Sociales de la Salud (CDSS) advierte que la equidad en salud solo es posible con mecanismos de participación democrática. En PR cobra relevancia determinar la importancia que los diversos grupos del sector salud le confieren a la participación democrática y cómo la expresan retóricamente. Esta investigación se fundamenta en la aplicación de la retórica para el análisis de la política públicas, conforme al modelo de James Arnt Aune.  Fuentes de información: Se analizan las ponencias escritas presentadas en las Vistas Públicas del PC-1185 que aluden a la democracia. Método: Se identificaron los argumentos relacionados con la democracia,  sus premisas y falacias argumentativas. Se identificaron los grupos que sostienen posiciones argumentativas similares. Hallazgos: Un grupo heterogéneo apoyó la participación democrática, presentándola como una forma de producir un proyecto de país y trascender las influencias político-partidistas. Sus oponentes, principalmente el sector corporativo en salud y una sub-especialidad médica, recurrieron a argumentos de autoridad, apelaron al ridículo como fuente de argumentación  y consideraron el Consejo Multisectorial propuesto incompatible con nuestro sistema de democracia representativa. Implicaciones: El sector salud está profundamente dividido en torno a qué es y qué implica la participación democrática, lo cual, según la CDSS, es un obstáculo para alcanzar equidad en nuestro sistema de salud. Reconocimientos: Ninguno.


Sample Abstract for a Evidence Based Practice Projects:

Use of peripheral neuromuscular monitor for the evaluation of adult patient exposed to neuromuscular blockers during anesthesia

Virginia Fernández Paulino, Marta Rivero Méndez, Milagros Figueroa Ramos. University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, School of Nursing, Nurse Anesthesia Program, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Clinical Question: In adult patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery with general anesthesia (P) How does the use of peripheral neuromuscular stimulator to monitor neuromuscular blockers (NMB) (I) compared to standard monitoring (C) affect occurrence of residual paralysis (O) during postoperative period?

Scope: In clinical practice, anesthetists use subjective methods (observation and patient movements) to estimate effects of neuromuscular blockers. Residual paralysis may occur if NMB are not monitored appropriately. Literature Review: Neuromuscular blockers are indispensable drugs for different surgical procedures. The cumulative and persistent effect of these during the postoperative period is known as residual paralysis. This causes patients to have respiratory complications, like hypoxemia and acute respiratory failure. The recommended EBP is that PNS should be used as a method of objective monitoring. Project Implementation: This project was conducted in the preoperative, surgical and postoperative areas of a Metropolitan area hospital. Demographic data, neuromuscular response, and PNS train of four (TOF) on adductor policis nerve were documented. Additionally, the patient was observed to identify signs of residual paralysis. Results: Ten subjects, with a mean age of 44 participated. None of the participants presented signs of residual paralysis after being monitored with TOF. There was no airway obstruction, moderate or severe hypoxemia, signs of respiratory distress, or inability to breathe deeply or the need for re-intubation. Practice Implication: Performing TOF measurements with PNS throughout the anesthesia process is a simple practice that minimizes the risks of residual paralysis, allowing adequate recovery at the end of surgery.