Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest occurs when two or more contradictory interests relate to an activity by an individual or institution. Within clinical research, the concern regarding conflict of interest is that financial or other personal considerations compromise, or appear to compromise, the judgment of an individual involved with the conduct, reporting, oversight, or review of the research.

Identifying and managing potential conflicts of interest is important to achieve the goals of research and prevent the risk of bias or misconduct influencing the study. Federal regulations and institutional officials mandate disclosure of financial conflicts of interests and institutional officials are responsible for reviewing the disclosures to determine whether the design, conduct, or reporting of the research may be significantly affected. Although there is regulation for financial conflicts, non-financial interests such as career advancement, fame, publishable results, and favors to family or friends may compromise the integrity of a study. Design, regulation, and critical assessment of the research provide the strategy for managing these conflicts of interest.

Source: Romain, P. L. (2015). Conflicts of interest in research: looking out for number one means keeping the primary interest front and center. Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine, 8(2), 122–123.