What is the utility of posters? qualitative study of participants at a regional primary healthcare conference in Asia

Soon, Charlene S. L. and Tudor Car, Lorainne and Ng, Chirk Jenn and Tan, Ngiap Chuan and Smith, Helen (2022) What is the utility of posters? qualitative study of participants at a regional primary healthcare conference in Asia. Medical Science Educator, 32 (6). 1405 – 1412. ISSN 2156-8650, DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s40670-022-01657-z.

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Background: Posters are used extensively as a mode of presentation at scientific conferences, but little is documented about their value to presenters or viewers. The study aimed to explore conference delegates’ views and experiences of poster presentations, and their perceptions of the strengths and weaknesses of posters compared with oral presentations, and also to identify ways to enhance the educational value of posters. Method: This was a qualitative study using brief, semi-structured, face-to-face interviews amongst delegates at a 3-day Asia Pacific regional academic primary care conference in Singapore. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim, and their contents analysed thematically. Results: Eighty-nine interviews were analysed. Respondents were mainly early career researchers (58), and a third were presenting (poster or oral) at the conference. Many positive attributes of posters were identified. For the viewers, these included the ability to gain a rapid overview of research activity (for “benchmarking”, “updating”, and “inspiration”); the ability to choose who to engage with and when, in contrast to the tightly scheduled oral sessions; and opportunity to discuss content in a leisurely and detailed fashion with the presenter. Presenters considered posters “less threatening” than oral presentations and valued posters for the networking opportunities they created. However, posters were reported to be more demanding on the skills of précis and their preparation was considered arduous and more expensive than an oral presentation. Posters were also perceived to have lower academic status and dominate the presenter’s time at the conference, reducing the opportunities for them to see the work of others. Suggestions for incorporating technologies to enhance the impact of posters included QR codes to access more detailed information, pre-recorded presentations, and online interactive clarification sessions with poster authors. Conclusion: Posters are perceived as a valuable mode of presentation at scientific conferences by presenters and viewers. Their unique strengths challenge the perception that posters are somehow inferior to oral presentations, suggesting a need for their advantages to be promoted by researchers and conference organisers. The incorporation of technology within the traditional display may enhance poster utility. Given the time and money spent on academic conferences there is an urgent need to evaluate the different styles of presentation used at conferences and how they differ in their ability to impact on medical science knowledge and evidence-based clinical practice. © 2022, The Author(s) under exclusive licence to International Association of Medical Science Educators.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Academic conferences; Oral presentations; Poster presentations
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine > Primary Care Medicine Department
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2023 03:08
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2023 03:08
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/44074

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