Position Papers and Statements


Position papers and statements on topics of concern are developed for healthcare professionals by members of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) on behalf of the Society.  Because these papers/statements are positions of the Society, they are referenced in Index Medicus as authored by SAHM.  Members of the authoring committee, and their affiliations, are listed at the end of each position paper/statement. Both papers/statements consist of positions declaring SAHM’s official stance regarding an important issue germane to the mission and objectives of SAHM.

The primary difference between papers and statements are their length and structure (see below).  A position statement is a concise explanation of SAHM’s position on a certain issue that should include background information and clarify rationale behind SAHM’s position. The length of a position statement should not exceed 1,000 words. A position paper is a more in-depth description of SAHM’s position on a certain issue. As such, a position paper provides a more complete analysis of the issue and is preferred when the positions themselves are controversial or complex. The length of a position paper should not exceed 2,500 words.  Position papers must follow the structure outlined below. Both position papers and statements should be as evidence-based as the literature allows, recognizing that in some cases, a position paper may be required or desirable on issues for which definitive evidence/data are lacking.

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Purpose of the SAHM Position Paper/Statement


SAHM position papers/statements should:
  1. Convey the opinion and recommendations of SAHM members on issues relevant to the health and well-being of adolescents and young adults that may be controversial, need clarification for professionals, or represent an issue deserving advocacy on behalf of adolescents and young adults;
  2. Inform and assist in the development of improved services for adolescents and young adults,
  3. Provide direction to facilitate appropriate action from members, other professionals, policy- and law-makers, and the public,
  4. Make evidence-based (or expert consensus when evidence is not available) recommendations that could be used to influence policy, and
  5. Express a positive and proactive call to action to promote the optimal health and well-being for all adolescents.

Length of the SAHM Position Statements
  • 1-2 published pages in the Journal of Adolescent Health
  • 1,000 words maximum
Length of the SAHM Position Papers
  • 2-3 published pages in the Journal of Adolescent Health
  • 2,500 words maximum


Development Process

 

Intent for Position Paper/Statement:
The Intent for Position Paper/Statement (or Intent) is the mechanism by which the Board of Directors (BOD) approves the initiation and coordination of position paper/statement development within SAHM. The Intent identifies the topic of the position paper/statement, the need, and the methodology to be used. 

Prospective authors are encouraged to discuss potential position papers or statements with SAHM's Director of Publications well in advance of the development of an intent document.

Download: Intent to submit position paper  |  Intent to submit position statement

Conception of SAHM position papers/statements:
Suggestions for new and or revisions of existing position papers/statements may come from a SAHM member, an outside individual, SAHM Committee's, a professional society, or from the BOD.

Authoring Group:  All authors on Position Papers and Position Statements must be SAHM members. The lead author can request that a non-member consultant be added with Board approval. An authoring group may include a maximum of ten (10) individuals, with assurance that all have meet the authorship criteria provided below.  Requests for additional authors are to be submitted to the Director of Publications prior to the development of the intent document.

Each authoring group must include one International SAHM member unless an exemption is granted by the Board of Directors.

Authorship criteria: To be listed as a contributing author on a SAHM position paper/statement, the author must have met the following criteria:

  • Has made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the positions; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data supporting these positions.
  • Drafted the work or made revisions critically important to the intellectual content.
  • Provided final approval prior to submission.
  • Agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Individuals or committee members who participated in the development of the paper/statement but did not meet all of the above mentioned criteria can be acknowledged at the end of the paper/statement as contributors.

Submission of Intent Document
The authoring group is responsible for completing and submitting the Intent for Position Paper/Statement form to the Director of Publications. The intent document must be approved by the Board of Directors before a draft of the position paper or statement is developed. The Director of Publications will determine if the proposed position materials are complete and will recommend changes to the Intent as needed prior to Board review.  The Director of Publications may seek consultation from others (Executive Committee or Peer Review) on the Intent document, as needed.  If changes are required, the Director of Publications will return the Intent to the lead author. If no changes are necessary, the Director of Publications will present the Intent to the BOD for review at their next scheduled meeting.

Timeline for Submitting Intent Documents Based on SAHM BOD schedule:

Deadline to submit to ensure it can be reviewed by Board of Directors – (pending approval of the Director of Publications) 

  • 8/23/2017; for opportunity to be reviewed at 9/20/2017 Board of Directors Meeting
  • 11/10/2017; for opportunity to be reviewed at 12/8/2017 Board of Directors Meeting
  • 2/13/2018; for opportunity to be reviewed at 3/13/2018 Board of Directors Meeting 

Recommended changes in the Intent can be made by members of the BOD to ensure that the positions are adequate and comprehensive.  Upon review of the intent document, the BOD will to one of the following:

  • approve the intent as presented
  • approve with minor edits 
  • reject the Intent

When an intent document is approved with minor edits, the author group has 1-month to submit revisions to the Director of Publications based on BOD comments.   

Financial Disclosures

The authoring group of the Intent and draft position paper/statement must disclose all conflicts of interest and affiliations with industry, government, and others. A Financial Disclosure Form must be signed by all authors prior to developing a position paper or statement for the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine.  All authors of position papers/position statements must disclose all financial interests or relationships within the past 5 years and the foreseeable future that are relevant to the subject matter or content of the position paper/statement. Disclosure Forms will be maintained by the SAHM Office.

Download: Financial Disclosure Form


Drafting of Position Papers and Statements

Completed drafts of position papers and statements are to be submitted to the Director of Publication within six (6) months of approval of the Intent by the BOD. Otherwise, a letter of justification for the delay, a new Intent, or a request to withdraw the Intent must be submitted to the Director of Publications.  If a position paper/statement has not been submitted within six (6) months and there is no letter of justification for the delay, a new Intent, or a request to withdraw the Intent, then the Intent is considered null and void.

Position papers should be limited to 2,500 words and position statements should be limited to 1,000 words. 

Position statements should include most of the following elements: 
  • Title: must reflect the intent/purpose of the positions clearly and concisely
  • Executive summary or abstract: includes reason/purpose and a summary of the positions
  • Summary of SAHM Positions: Each position paper should summarize SAHM’s positions at the beginning of the paper.  New positions must be consistent (non-conflicting) with established positions, unless an explanation is provided discussing the change.  
  • Background information with statement of the problem: Key points needed to support reason for the statement
  • Method(s) of position paper development (i.e. systematic review of literature, expert consensus)
  • Statement of problem 
  • New information
  • Summary/conclusion
  • Authors, affiliations and disclosures
  • References - The references serve as the scientific justification and should be peer–reviewed research articles, public policy documents or state-of-the-art articles or books from the literature.  There should be no more than 25 references. References should be formatted according to the current requirements of the Journal of Adolescent Health.
  • Adolescent and/or parent education handout, where applicable. Adolescent and/or parent education handouts deal with specific adolescent health topics.  Adolescent and/or parent education handouts are to be written by health care providers who have expertise on the specific topic. Adolescent and/or parent education handouts should provide an overview of the condition/issue, and information on treatment options. They should be written in simple and clear language to convey their message. Adolescent and/or parent education are for educational purposes. Adolescent handouts should be available on SAHM website and can be printed from this website.
 
Position papers should include most of the following elements:
  • Title: must reflect the intent/purpose of the positions clearly and concisely
  • Executive summary or abstract: includes reason/purpose and a summary of the positions
  • Summary of SAHM Positions: Each position paper should summarize SAHM’s positions at the beginning of the paper.  New positions must be consistent (non-conflicting) with established positions, unless an explanation is provided discussing the change.  
  • Background information
  • Method(s) of position paper development (i.e. systematic review of literature, expert consensus)
  • Statement of problem
  • New information
  • Summary/conclusion
  • Authors, affiliations and disclosures
  • References: The references serve as the scientific justification and should be peer–reviewed research articles, public policy documents or state-of-the-art articles or books from the literature.  There should be no more than 25 references. References should be formatted according to the current requirements of the Journal of Adolescent Health.
  • Adolescent and/or parent education handout, where applicable. Adolescent and/or parent education handouts deal with specific adolescent health topics.  Adolescent and/or parent education handouts are to be written by health care providers who have expertise on the specific topic. Adolescent and/or parent education handouts should provide an overview of the condition/issue, and information on treatment options. They should be written in simple and clear language to convey their message. Adolescent and/or parent education are for educational purposes. Adolescent handouts should be available on SAHM website and can be printed from this website.


Review Process for Position Papers and Statements

Position papers and statements are submitted to the Director of Publications for review.  All position papers and statements submitted for review must be of a quality similar to that of a manuscript that would be submitted for publication in a journal. As such, all position papers and statements must be carefully proofread for grammar, punctuation and readability or they will be returned to the author group. If the Director of Publications determines that the positions statement or paper is ready, it is forwarded for peer review.  After review, the Director of Publications will send the paper back to the authors for revisions, or forward the paper to the Board of Directors, if comments are minor.  The authors should respond to peer review comments with a detailed explanation of responses and changes made within four (4) weeks.  The Director of Publications will review the revisions and decide if the revised paper is ready for submission to the BOD for review.

Timeline for Submitting Completed Position Papers and Statements Based on SAHM BOD schedule:

  • Deadline to submit to ensure it can be reviewed by Board of Directors (pending approval of the Director of Publications) 
    • 8/9/2017; for opportunity to be reviewed at 9/20/2017 Board of Directors Meeting
    • 10/27/2017; for opportunity to be reviewed at 12/8/2017 Board of Directors Meeting
    • 1/30/2018; for opportunity to be reviewed at 3/13/2018 Board of Directors Meeting 

Upon review, the BOD may decide to do one of the following:

  • Approve the completed paper or statement as presented
  • Approve the completed paper or statement with minor edits
  • Reject the completed paper or statement 

If the completed paper or statement is approved by the Board of Directors, the position paper or statement will be submitted to the Managing Editor of the Journal of Adolescent Health​ for copy editing and publication. The author group will be asked to assist with drafting language to be used to announce the newly published statement to the membership/press releases. 

If the paper or statement is approved with minor edits, the Director of Publications will return the position paper or statement to the lead author and share the BOD requested edits. The author group will be given two (2 months) to resubmit the revised paper or statement to the Director of Publications. The author group may submit a written explanation as to why BOD requested changes were not made for consideration if applicable. The Director of Publications will review the revisions made and determine if the BOD feedback has been implemented. 

Publication of SAHM Position Papers/Statements


Position papers/statements will be published in the Journal of Adolescent Health and posted on the SAHM website.

The review process for position papers/statements may need to be expedited if there are recommendations of an urgent nature that have a significant and direct impact on the practice of adolescent health.  The Director of Publications will work directly with the Editor-in-Chief to coordinate and expedite the process so that the information is disseminated to the membership and readership in a timely fashion.

Because of copyright and reprint concerns, position papers/statements will not be published in other organizations’ journals before publication in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Exceptions are made if it is previously determined that a joint position paper or statement will be published simultaneously in the Journal of Adolescent Health and the official journal of the co-authoring entity.



Duration of SAHM Position Papers/Statements


SAHM position papers and statements undergo periodic review every five years or more often as needed. This review can be by the authoring committee (see Development Process), other appropriate committee, or by the Executive Committee (EC) – at the request of the Director of Publications or Board of Directors.  This review will recommend if the position should be reaffirmed, retired or revised. The review shall be reported to the Director of Publications, EC and BOD.

Revision Process


All leading authors and their respective authoring groups will be expected to conduct a triennial review of their position paper/statement when older than 5 years. In addition, the Director of Publications or the BOD may request a review of a position paper or statement prior to the 5 year-mandatory review if there has been significant/important changes to the content of the current position paper/statement under consideration.

If the BOD recommends revising the position paper/statement, then the Director of Publications will contact the most recent lead author.  The lead author will contact his/her authoring group and notify them of the BOD’s request to revise. If the lead author can no longer take on this responsibility, he/she will recommend a SAHM member who can.  The Director of Publications will review this with the BOD.  If the lead author is approved by the BOD, the Director of Publications will ask this member if they would take on the role and responsibility of the lead author in the revision of the position paper/statement.  If the lead author agrees, he/she will confirm that the most recent authoring committee is interested in participating in the revision.  If this is not the case, the lead author can identify other group members.  The authoring group will have 12 months to submit the revised position paper or statement to the Director of Publications.

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