Abbreviations in medical writings: Do they also abbreviate our science?
Purpose: Abbreviations are commonly used in medical literature. Despite the obvious advantages of facilitation and simplification of communication, their use can be a cause of medical errors, irritation, misunderstanding and even alienation. There are strict guidelines for their use. There are scarce data about the adherence of authors and editors to these guidelines. However, the few studies that have assessed this question showed discouraging results. The poor understanding of abbreviations highlights the value of minimizing their use and defining abbreviations when they are used.
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