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January 4, 1995

Consensus Statements: Applying Structure

JAMA. 1995;273(1):72-73. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520250088040

The Instructions for Authors in this issue of THE JOURNAL describe a new format to be used for consensus statements. The format is epitomized in a structured abstract but affects the text itself. This Editorial explains why we are making this change, tells why each item is important, gives specific instructions for implementation, and provides examples.

See also p 27.

Readers themselves must assess the quality and validity of consensus statements as they do for all literature.1 Structured abstracts allow readers to do so efficiently. Structured reporting may improve the quality of consensus statements by making implicit processes explicit, highlighting their strengths and deficiencies. The process by which consensus statements are developed influences the conclusions.2,3 The more objective the methods used to develop the consensus statement, the more convincing the statement will be, and the more likely it will be followed.4

The proposed format for reporting consensus

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