Reply To: Patterns of recurrence associated with specific types of inguinal hernia repair
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To @Mark T, in the spirit of community and sake of discussion, I shall address questions you posed to me. Because of the flurry of posts by other members, I’m just getting to it now.
First you say you know what a scientific abstract is: “I [Mark am] well aware of what an abstract i[s]…and what it is not.” Are you sure? I must say frankly you do not know. You did not recognize how really unusual is the style of the journal, Hernia. Let’s look at what is considered “standard” style.
From “Scientific Literature” (google), it states the standard format for scientific papers is as follows:
• Abstract: a one paragraph explanation of what the paper covers. Readers will use this to decide if they want to read the whole paper.
• Introduction: why the problem is important, and a summary of what progress has been made on it.
• Main body: what they did to solve the problem.
• Evaluation / Results: experimentally determine how well they solved the problem.
• Conclusions & future work: what remains to be done on the problem.
• References: citations to prior work. These are essentially hyperlinks, but are designed to survive for the 100+ year lifetime of the paper. They’re often a good way to find more good papers.”
Two points notable: the abstract tends to be a paragraph and does not include sections such as “Conclusions” or other Sections. The journal Hernia is quite different in having an “abstract” in report style that includes main sections of a scientific paper (e.g., Methods, Results, etc.). I almost never have seen another journal style like Hernia’s. From the standpoint of scientific journals, surely experienced readers would view Hernia’s abstract style more as a report than an abstract. However, Hernia’s style is more informative than typical abstracts, which invites critiques where appropriate (of course).
According to you, did I misrepresent the research in question? Absolutely not. Never did I attempt to. As I explained in a previous post, I reacted to this thread’s presenting this so-called “abstract” as possibly matching surgery methods/types of hernias and outcomes. Moreover I was strictly focused on only their use of a single medical term—“open.” As my previous post stated,
“unsurprisingly the summary medical report being considered fails in the same way. Perhaps the actual, full article does better
Repeat: “Perhaps the actual, full article does better.” That of course indicates my statement is limited by not having the entire, full article in view. However, considering the Shouldice Hospital’s own use of the term “open” I questioned,
then the authors most of whom are with SH, MIGHT not do any better in their full write-up. Your false claim about my using an abstract is completely unfounded (abstract here meaning the standard one).
You ask me, “How are tissue and mesh being lumped together under ‘open’ if the categories they used in this study to classify primary repairs included ‘Shouldice’, ‘open mesh’, and ‘open tissue’? A fair question.
You above all, a former patient of SH and posting at HT about SH should know as I previously indicated in the thread that SH performs both mesh and non-mesh surgeries. Thus the single category of “Shouldice” (as you presented it) is unscientific because of impreciseness——the category does not specify which type of surgery——mesh or non-mesh. This however was not part of my original critique. I offer this as a good example for conflating terms.
As an example of proper use of terms, I pointed to the article “Mesh versus non-mesh repair of groin hernias: a rapid review,” the link previously provided, in which is stated: “recurrence rates between open mesh repairs and open non-mesh repairs.” As you can see “open” is not a single term but a compound one that distinguishes whether the surgery uses mesh or not. In what I am calling a “report,” Netto et al. in that single webpage use the term, “open” 12 times; only once do they distinguish whether it refers to mesh or non-mesh. Of course sometimes “open” refers to both surgeries and is fine to use that way. A problem occurs because as we all know SH performs both types of surgeries. If you are interested as this thread is in outcomes related to TYPES of surgery then obviously references to “open surgery” by SH must indicate which type——mesh or non-mesh is involved. Not doing so conflates the terms. I checked with the SH webpage and I found no better use of terms. It is unlikely Netto et al’s full paper is any better because the centrality of the term “open” behooves the researcher to be precise——a hallmark of scientific writing——but they fail to do so in their report as I have tried to show.
I believe I have sufficiently shown that the journal Hernia abstracts are more like reports than abstracts (even though termed that way in the said journal), thus inviting critique within reasonable limits, as well as indicating how the term “open” was misused in the report critiqued by being imprecise, resulting in a conflating of terms.
Please note I am not the one who created this thread focused on Netto et al.’s report; it was Good intentions. He did state that the report was not the actual full article. However, in my opinion GI did not read the report (not the full article) sufficiently enough to recognize the conflating of the core concept of “open,” thus likely making the research inconclusive. The article seems promising particularly linking surgery methods and outcomes—-and may actually do so—-but I believe we need to read such more intently than what might seem to be the case.
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by pinto.