Conflict of Interest Disclosures for Clinical Practice Guidelines in the National Guideline Clearinghouse

Plosone: 11/7/12

Conflict of interest (COI) is an important potential source of bias in the development of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) and high rates of COI among guideline authors have been reported in the past. Our objective was to report current rates of disclosure and specific author COI across a broad range of CPGs and to examine whether CPG characteristics were associated with the presence of disclosures and of conflicts.

Methods and Findings

We selected a random sample of 250 CPGs listed in the National Guideline Clearinghouse on November 22, 2010, representing approximately a 10% sample of guidelines listed in the NGC on that date. We abstracted information on author COI from each CPG and examined predictors of the disclosures and COI using a logistic generalized estimating equation regression model. 87% of organizations developing guidelines had a CPG-specific policy, however, 40% of CPGs did not indicate that they had collected disclosures from guideline authors.  Read more