Science Fun of the Week
(September 2nd, 2016) Get ready for your weekly dose of science fun. Today: SMART - Studying the use of Medical Acronyms Reveals interesting Trend.
The paper's introduction reads:
The use of acronyms in health sciences has been subject to intense debate. Authors have advocated against such use as they claim it has turned into MMMMM - a major malady of modern medical miscommunication - and asserted that positive sounding acronyms are misused in clinical trials with negative outcomes. It has been suggested that editors should insist on eliminating the use of positive sounding acronyms or even bring a HALT (help acronyms leave (medical) trials) to the use of acronyms altogether.
This heated controversy seems to be based on opinion rather than founded on rigorous scientific research. Few quantitative studies of this important topic exist, and to our knowledge studies on the technical and aesthetic quality of acronyms are virtually absent. We describe the extent and quality of acronym use within different medical specialties.