Healthy Skepticism
Join us to help reduce harm from misleading health information.
Increase font size   Decrease font size   Print-friendly view   Print
Register Log in

Healthy Skepticism Library item: 19688

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Journal Article

Scott A, Sivey P, Ait Ouakrim D, Willenberg L, Naccarella L, Furler J, Young D
Industry and evidence-based medicine: Believable or conflicted? A systematic review of the surgical literature.
Can J Surg 2011 Oct; 54:(5):321–326


Over the last few decades medical research and development has come to depend more heavily on the financial support of industry. However, there is concern that financial relations between the medical community and medical industry could unduly influence medical research and therefore patient care. Our objective was to determine whether conflict of interest owing to authors’/investigators’ financial affiliation with industry associated with their academic research has been identified in the surgical literature. In particular, we sought to answer the following questions: What is the extent of such conflict of interest? Does conflict of interest bias the results of academic surgical research in favour of industry? What are the potential causes of this proindustry bias?
We conducted a systematic review of the literature in May 2008 using the OVID SP search engine of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, DARE and Health Technology Assessment. Quantitative studies that included a methods section and reported on conflict of interest as a result of industry funding in surgery-related research specifically were included in our analysis.
The search identified 190 studies that met our criteria. Author/investigator conflict of interest owing to financial affiliation with industry associated with their academic research is well documented in the surgical literature. Six studies demonstrated that authors with such conflicts of interest were significantly more likely to report a positive outcome than authors without industry funding, which demonstrates a proindustry bias. Two studies found that the proindustry bias could not be explained by variations in study quality or sample size.
The conflict of interest that exists when surgical research is sponsored by industry is a genuine concern.


  Healthy Skepticism on RSS   Healthy Skepticism on Facebook   Healthy Skepticism on Twitter

Click to Register

(read more)

Click to Log in
for free access to more features of this website.

Forgot your username or password?

You are invited to
apply for membership
of Healthy Skepticism,
if you support our aims.

Pay a subscription

Support our work with a donation

Buy Healthy Skepticism T Shirts

If there is something you don't like, please tell us. If you like our work, please tell others.

Email a Friend