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Abstract submissions

Everything you need to know about submitting an abstract for the OAA Annual Scientific Meeting.

A major part of the OAA Annual Scientific Meeting is the presentation of abstracts describing the results of work related to obstetric anaesthesia and the care of mothers and babies.

Abstracts can describe work in five main categories:

  1. Original research identifying new knowledge
  2. Audit and service evaluation – defining or measuring current practice which may produce internal recommendations for improvements. Audits measure the quality of a service against a defined standard. Service evaluations define what standard a service achieves. Where patient data are to be presented, the proposal should be approved by an ethics committee or the local Caldicott Guardian or, in some situations, by the hospital audit committee.
  3. Quality improvement (QI) – this involves systematic activities that monitor, assess, and improve the quality of health care. Improving quality makes healthcare safer, effective, patient-centred, timely, efficient, and equitable. Download the Quality Improvement Project Guide.
  4. Surveys of practice or organisational elements of obstetric anaesthetic practice.
  5. Case reports on interesting or unusual cases are welcomed.

2024 Abstract Instructions

Frequently asked questions

Regardless of the project's category, authors are advised to seek peer-review and approval of their work by an ethics committee, audit committee or hospital Caldicott Guardian (or equivalent). Failure to do so without adequate explanation may result in the rejection of the abstract.

All oral and poster presenters will be required to state the type of peer review / approval at the time of their presentation. This information should also be included on slides or posters. The meeting organisers may request that authors submit documents relating to the approval of their project or signed consent forms for case reports.

    • Original research usually requires the approval of an ethics committee and if patients are involved then their written consent will be required.
    • For audits or service evaluations which intend to present patient data, approval should be first sought from an ethics committee or the local Caldicott Guardian or from the hospital audit committee
    • Quality improvement projects would be expected to have had a peer and ethics review through local internal governance structures, such as the hospital audit committee and departmental clinical audit leads. If patient data is to be presented, then approval from the local Caldicott Guardian will be needed.
    • Surveys that involve the collection and presentation of patient data will require review and approval by the Caldicott Guardian, or the research and development department or the audit committee. Ethics approval is likely to be required if patients are directly involved in surveys and the data collection is not part of routine care. Authors are advised to contact their local research ethics committee in such cases.
    • For case reports, efforts should be made to protect patients' anonymity. Written consent to presentation and publication must have been given (signature of the patient following an explanation that states they understand that, and agree to, their case being presented anonymously at a postgraduate educational meeting and/or appearing in a journal and online). The International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia has a consent form that can be used. Presentation of a case series requires local Caldicott Guardian (or equivalent) approval. 

Clinicians of any grade (anaesthetists and allied specialities) can submit an abstract to the OAA Annual Scientific Meeting. Submissions from outside the UK are welcomed. You do not need to be an OAA member.

Successful abstracts may be presented in one of two ways:

  • The top 8-10 abstracts are presented orally in the Felicity Reynolds Free Paper sessions. (Short presentations around 6 minutes with 3 minutes for questions.)
  • E-Poster presentations. Abstract presenters must prepare a poster summarising their work which is then presented in the poster sessions during the meeting. Poster presentations are usually 4-5 minutes with 1-2 minutes for questions.

The OAA determines the method of presentation after submission and peer review.

Preparing and submitting an abstract provides an opportunity for anaesthetists of all grades to present a project they have undertaken to their peers in a formal environment. There are a wide range of prizes for presented abstracts, including the prestigious Felicity Reynolds Free Paper award.

Abstracts are submitted via the online abstract submission platform. This requires people to register (free of charge) before the process.

The abstract submission process usually begins around 5-6 months before the Annual Scientific Meeting, which is generally held in May.

Here is an approximate timeline for submissions:

December Abstract system opens for submissions
Late January Deadline for submission to the Abstract system (no submission can be considered after this point)
January-February Peer review of abstracts
Mid February Results of abstracts published on OAA website and emails sent to authors
Early March Abstract presenters must register for the OAA ASM
Late April Deadline for submission of electronic posters to the ASM
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