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Effect of specific exercise strategy on need for surgery in patients with subacromial impingement syndrome: randomised controlled study

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e787 (Published 20 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e787

Re: Effect of specific exercise strategy on need for surgery in patients with subacromial impingement syndrome: randomised controlled study

Sirs,

As the BMJ is a general medical journal, is it too much to ask for the methods of research papers published to be couched in terms understood by the generalist? Indeed is it too much to ask for the intervention to be described at all in the shortened paper version? In this example there is, in the paper version, the general term: "specific exercise strategy" and in the online version this is described as: "strengthening eccentric exercises for the rotator cuff and strengthening concentric/eccentric exercises for the scapula stabilisers."

This seems equivalent to publishing a paper about losartan which omits the word 'losartan' and instead substitutes, in the paper version: "a specific angiotensin modulating chemotherapeutic strategy" and in the online version: (2-butyl-4-chloro-1-{[2'-(1H-tetrazol-5-yl)biphenyl-4-yl]methyl}-1H-imidazol-5-yl)methanol.

As an online journal the BMJ has the opportunity to be so much better than this - giving us explanations in general medical language and diagrams (or even hyperlinks to video demonstrations) of the exercises in question. Surely the paper version should at least describe what the intervention actually is in 2-3 sentences if the aim is for doctors to learn how to better treat or advise their patients in future.
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Competing interests: No competing interests
03 March 2012
Kevin R H Smith
Occupational Physician
Serco Occupational Health
Northumberland
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