Disclosing conflicts of interest in clinical research: views of institutional review boards, conflict of interest committees, and investigators.
Strategies for disclosing investigators' financial interests to potential research participants have been adopted by many research institutions. However, little is known about how decisions are made regarding disclosures of financial interests to potential research participants, including what is disclosed and the rationale for making these determinations. We sought to understand the attitudes, beliefs, and practices of institutional review board chairs, conflict of interest committee chairs, and investigators regarding disclosure of financial interests to potential research participants. Several themes emerged, including general attitudes toward conflicts of interest, circumstances in which financial interests should be disclosed, rationales and benefits of disclosure, what should be disclosed, negative effects of and barriers to disclosure, and timing and presentation of disclosure. Respondents cited several rationales for disclosure, including enabling informed decision making, promoting trust in researchers and research institutions, and reducing legal liability. There was general agreement that disclosure should happen early in the consent process. Respondents disagreed about whether to disclose the amounts of particular financial interests. Clarifying the goals of disclosure and understanding how potential research participants use the information will be critical in efforts to ensure the integrity of clinical research and to protect the rights and interests of participants.
Weinfurt, KP; Friedman, JY; Dinan, MA; Allsbrook, JS; Hall, MA; Dhillon, JK; Sugarman, J
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