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|Year : 2015 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 56-57
Use of visual aids in presenting study results
SK Raina, V Chander
Department of Community Medicine, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College, Himachal Pradesh, India
|Date of Web Publication||15-Dec-2014|
Dr. S K Raina
Department of Community Medicine, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College, Himachal Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Raina S K, Chander V. Use of visual aids in presenting study results. J Postgrad Med 2015;61:56-7
Read with interest, the article entitled "Pre-injury neuro-psychiatric medication use, alone or in combination with cardiac medications, may affect outcomes in trauma patients" published in J Postgrad Med (2014;60:366-71).  The authors deserve credit for their effort. However, I would like the authors to have a relook at the results presented in this study, particularly [Table 1] of the study (as reproduced below).  The above-mentioned table provides us with overall patient demographics. According to the Table, 712 total patients were included in the study: 245 patients (34.4%) were using NPMs at the time of trauma; 357 patients (50.1%) were taking cardiac medications and 154 patients (21.6%) were taking both cardiac and NPMs. If you add up the numbers or percentages you will realize the difficulty in interpreting the results. Total number of patients adds up to 756 (245 + 357 + 154) and the total percentages add up to 106.1% (34% + 50.1 + 21.6%). A better presentation of this table would have made it easier to understand and interpret. The groups could have been divided into (a) patients taking only NPMs, (b) patients taking only CM and (c) patients taking both. In this way the numbers and percentages would have stayed at 712 and 100%, respectively. A further look at the table increases the confusion further. The total of No NPM+ NPM group is 712 (467 + 245) and the total of No CM + CM group is again 712 (357 + 355).
Further the column heads in the table ([Table 1] as given below) presented by the authors mentions percentages (%) within brackets. However no numbers are entered against percentages (%) in the columns. This increases the difficulty in interpreting the table.
Presenting research findings is an essential component of the research process. Aids such as tables, illustrations, and graphs enhance the process of presenting research results because of their visual appeal. Use of visual aids allows the presenter to be more effective and to capture the audience's full attention. It becomes all the more important in catching the attention of a naïve reader. So tables that are easier on the eyes, are always helpful and it is in this context that I request the authors to take another look at the table.
| :: References|| |
Wisler JR, Springer AN, Hateley K, Mo XM, Evans DC, Cook CH, et al
. Pre-injury neuro-psychiatric medication use, alone or in combination with cardiac medications, may affect outcomes in trauma patients. J Postgrad Med 2014;60:366-71.