Making research & reporting better using the
ORION statement to design or evaluate
infection control intervention studies and
outbreak reports
Using the short “ORION Abstract” for conference and
journal abstract submission & review
Dr Sheldon Stone, Royal Free Campus, University
College London Medical School, UK
Professor Barry Cookson, HPA and LSHTM
On behalf of ORION group
Session Goals:
This interactive session will :
1. Help you write a high quality conference/journal abstract
2. Provide you with a framework to help referee a conference
3. Help you select the best papers/conference presentations to
inform continuing professional development..
what article to read?
what conference oral/poster session to go to?
4. Give us feedback on how to improve the abstract tool (short
ORION) and how to teach it
5. Encourage you to study the full ORION statement for papers and
grant applications
Meet the Expert Outline
1) Brief summary of ORION ~10minutes
2) We provide:
• the ORION abstract checklist,
• four Abstracts:
o An antibiotic stewardship intervention
o A Hand Hygiene trial
o Two Outbreak Reports
Outline (2)
Working alone or with neighbours:
5 mins to read first abstract: Stone et al Age & Aging 1998
5 mins to assess with the ORION abstract check-list
5 mins individual feed-back by show of hands
• Repeat above for second abstract: P1381 ECCMID
• Repeat above for third abstract: Lopansri et al 2010
• Repeat if time for fourth abstract: Dror Marchaim et al 2010
The ORION statement:
Guidelines for transparent reporting of
Outbreak Reports & Intervention studies Of Nosocomial Infection
A CONSORT equivalent for Infection Control
Funded by Health Technology Assessement Board
Stone et al Lancet Infect Dis 2007; J Antimicrob Chemother 2007
Co-authors & Collaborating Institutions
Ben Cooper Stats/Modelling
Chris Kibbler Microbiology
Jenny Roberts Health Economics Royal Free&University College Medical School
Graham Medley Modelling
Health Protection Agency, Colindale
London School Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
GeorgiaDuckworth Public
• Rosalind Lai Library Sciences
• Shah Ebrahim Epidemiology,
• Erwin Brown Microbiology
• Phil Wiffen EBM
• Peter Davey Infectious Diseases
Warwick University
Frenchay Hospital, Bristol
UK Cochrane Centre, Oxford ;
University of Dundee Medical School
Evidence Base for Infection Control Interventions
Davey et al Cochrane 2005;Cooper et al BMJ 2004
• Cochrane review of interventions to change antibiotic prescription &
evaluate HCAI outcomes (2005) & HTA (2003) review isolation
practices in MRSA show limited evidence of some effect but
inadequate reporting & major flaws in design & statistical analysis
Lack of details eg on interventions & timings
Failure to assess & adjust for confounders/biases
Aggregation of outcomes (misses trends)
Analysis fails to account for dependencies of infectious outcomes
• Quality of infection control research must improve to provide robust
evidence for policy & practice
To summarise the problem…..
Cooper B et al BMJ 2004, HTA 20003, Davey et al Cochrane
2005;Ramsay et al JAC 2003
• Studies conclude interventions cause  MRSA
or antibiotic use or Clostridium difficile
• Validity of conclusions threatened by
confounders & biases, unaccounted for in
studies, which provide plausible alternative
explanations of outcome and by inappropriate
statistics e.g. aggregation of data (misses time
trends) & assumption that infection outcomes
are independent (Chi-Sq; OR)
The sort of problems: regression to mean, statistical
% of patients
Nosocomial MRSA (infections?). ICU & 4
South ward combined.
Non-medicated soap
Low-iodine soap
Aug Oct Dec Feb Apr Jun Aug Oct Dec Feb Apr Jun
Onesko KM, Infection Control 1987
Interrupted time series
AIM OF ORION Statement
CONSORT equivalent for infection control studies
Improve standards research & publication
Transparency of reporting
Readers relate studies to their situation.
Facilitate synthesis of evidence
Framework for reviewers & editors to assess papers
Criteria research grant assessment panels
• Designed especially for Interrupted Time Series (with
or without controls groups) and outbreak reports.
Key issues addressed by ORION
Transparency: Why was the study done? (hypothesis)
What sort of study? (design)
Exactly what was done, to whom, when?
Disaggregated data
Account for dependencies
How do findings relate to hypothesis?
What else influenced the findings?
Do findings generalise ?
Components of ORION
Stone et al Lancet ID 2007;JAC
• adapted CONSORT statement
to the wide variety settings
interventions, designs &
statistical issues infection
control studies & outbreak
• Consultation with professional
• 22 item checklist
• Summary table
Clinical setting
Precise nature & timing of all
• Independent academic review
in two journals
• Graphical summary results
ORION exemplar paper….. .Fowler S et al JAC 2007
CONSORT journal & conference abstract checklist
Hopewell et al PLOS Med 2008
• ORION is a CONSORT equivalent for Infection Control and
Antimicrobial Stewardship interventions & Outbreak Reports
• CONSORT for ABSRACTS : for submission & review of
conference & journal abstracts of RCTs (same flaws as full articles)
• Aim to improve reporting of RCTs in journal abstracts & conference
proceedings, giving readers the detail & clarity to assess validity &
applicability of RCT and help them decide which full articles to
read or conference presentations to attend
• ORION followed suit
• Used for SHEA Conference 2011
1.Clear statement that this is an intervention study or outbreak report.
2.Rationale for study with clear hypothesis for intervention studies or
objective for outbreak reports
3.Clear statement of intervention study design1 or case and outbreak
definition for outbreak report.
4.Brief description of participants, setting and of intervention or
outbreak control measures (with start & stop dates)
5. Clearly defined outcomes & denominators at regular time intervals2,
not as totals for each phase
(can be put in results instead)
6. Statistical analysis accounts for any dependencies in the data (can
be in results instead) ( analysis may not be appropriate for OR)
7. Which potential confounders or biases were considered, recorded or
adjusted for3 (can be in results instead)
8. Where relevant: details of culture, typing, environmental sampling,
& risk factors for acquisition, root cause analysis or organisational risk
9. For main outcomes: estimated effect size & its precision (usually 95%
(A graphical summary is often appropriate eg for most time series).
Conclusions 10. For intervention studies: consider in relation to original hypothesis,
accounting for potential confounders & biases.
For outbreak reports: consider clinical significance of observations &
hypothesis to explain them.
Stone et al abstract
Title- not explicit that intervention
study β
Background- rationale but no clear
hypothesis β
Methodsdesign: not stated β
Brief description
of intervention but not setting,
Statistical analysis:
fail to account for dependencies β
(segmental regression for AB &
Poisson for CDI)
- no mention β
Culture, typing etc
- N/R
participants or dates β
Outcomes(I) no regular time intervals ie not
disaggregated β
(ii) clear CDI outcomes but not AB
Resultsno estimated size effect &
precision, no graphical summary β
Conclusionsno original hypothesis …. β
P1381 Feedback Intervention Trial
(poster this afternoon)
TitleRCT α
Statistical analysis:
accounts for dependencies α
Backgroundrationale but no explicit hypothesis
- mentioned & accounted for α
Culture, typing etc- N/R
Resultsestimated size effect &
precision, graphical summary α
Conclusionsno explicit hypothesis but
accounted for confounders
(implementation) …. +
Methods-design: clear α
-setting, participants, intervention,
dates α
Outcomes- clear primary & secondaryα
-regular time points (monthly- fig)
- clear denominators α
Outbreak abstract 1
Lopansri et al HPA SHEA 2010
Title: outbreak report α
Background: rationale and objectives α
Methods-case definition α
-no outbreak definition 
-hospital setting & outbreak control
measures but not ward briefly described
but little detail on participants +
- start & stop dates for original index cases
but not for whole study +
- outcomes & stat analysis : NRα
• Methods (cont)-Risk factors analysed but are there
others that should be mentioned as not
having been present +
More details on micro/strain?
Information on C&S from samples from
flash sterilised equipment?
• Results-OK but graph might have been helpfulα-
Conclusions- Clinical significance observation &
explanatory hypothesis α
Outbreak abstract 2
Marchaim D et al SHEA 2010
Title: outbreak in titleα
• Methods (cont)- stats:NRα
-Confounders:NR α
Background: rationale and objectiveα
Methods-clear case definitionα
-participants settings & outbreak control
measures not described  but LOS, age,
mortality given
- start & stop dates of outbreak given but
not of study +
- outcomes: chart would have been useful
especially as shared wards presented as
important 
-Cultures etc : other risk factors (eg
patients characteristics, environmental
contamination) not mentioned 
• Results-chart would have been useful 
-colistin agrregated 
Conclusions- Significance not stated. No hypothesis
generated. Effect of control measures
stated with no evidence
Reflections 1
Has the session achieved its original aims?
1. Helping you write high quality conference or journal
2. Providing you with a framework to help referee a
conference abstract
3. Helping inform your CPD with a tool to help select
-which full articles to read
-which conference sessions to hear
• Was this appropriate for a “meet the expert” session?
• Tool and meet the expert session materials is on website
Reflections 2
• Did ORION for abstracts work for intervention studies?
• Did ORION for abstracts work in outbreak reports?
• Does it need an explanatory document like CONSORT
with examples of compliant & non compliant practice
• Does it need more slightly more submission space for
journals (2500 characters works for conferences)
• What doesn’t the checklist cover?
• What would make it better?
Thank you
Comments & suggestions to
[email protected]
[email protected]

The ORION statement: Guidelines for transparent reporting of