Knowledge dissemination resulting from the Australian Cardiac Rehabilitation Association annual scientific meetings
Background Publication of scientific work presented at national conferences underpins knowledge translation. However, no such data exists for cardiac rehabilitation abstracts presented at Australian conferences. We reviewed a series of conferences to determine the number of abstracts that resulted in subsequent full publication. Methods Australian Cardiac Rehabilitation Association (ACRA) Conference Proceedings for 2003-2007 were searched for oral and poster author details and abstract titles were searched in multiple databases for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and the results summarised. Results In total, 279 abstracts were presented at the five conferences, of which 186 were podium, 83 poster and 10 moderated poster presentations. The majority (42%) of abstracts were from Victoria (n = 116), and were dominated by presentations from registered nurses (38%; n = 107). Only 17 (9%) were subsequently published as full manuscripts in scientific journals with impact factors ranging from 0.55 to 7.92. The mean time from presentation to complete manuscript publication was 19 ± 21.6 months. The median citation rate of the publications was 2.0 (range 0-12). Conclusions Most abstracts presented at the ACRA scientific meetings were not published as manuscripts in journals. Failure to publish comprises research principles and progress healthcare. There is an urgent need to investigate the reasons for the low publication rates and develop effective strategies to redress the imbalance.