Q: Can I present my final results at a presentation if the submitted abstract includes only preliminary results?
I had submitted an abstract for an oral poster presentation at a conference. The abstract included preliminary results of my unfinished prospective study with 49 patients. At the time of the conference, however, I will have finalized my study and have almost 100 patients. So, can I present the final results although the preliminary results will be present in the abstract book of the meeting?
Acceptance of changes or deviations from what is written in the Abstract to what is being presented in an oral/poster presentation is very conference- and field/subject area-specific.
It is quite understandable that the time gap (a few months) between abstract submission to the actual conference contributes to a large extent in accumulating more data which can strengthen the hypothesis of the study. While in most cases it is unlikely that people are going to be upset about you presenting more data than what was initially written, as a good practice, please contact your LOC (Local Organizing Committee) of the conference in order to clarify whether or not it is acceptable to present new data and give a novel dimension to the research.
If you stray too much from your preliminary results, you would definitely need to justify and give reasons as to why there is such a large variation between what is written in the Abstract book versus what you have printed on the poster. Many of the conferences have Best Poster/Best Oral Presentation Competitions where subject area experts judge the quality of research and work presented; therefore, you need to ensure that you adhere to the guidelines set by the conference in terms of presenting the data.