How Non-Financial Conflicts of Interest Impact Research

Financial conflicts of interest in research and medical science have been all over the news in recent months. But non-financial points of conflict are also important to consider, as explained in a recent video from Healthcare Triage.

In this video, Dr. Aaron Carroll explores how conflicts of interest can occur without direct financial linkage, including how grant seeking and career advancement may unconsciously bias researchers, and how the urge to protect reputations can impact willingness to accept new information that reverses prior findings.

Carroll poses a few suggestions for ways the medical research and healthcare communities can address the issue of non-financial conflicts of interest:

  • Require researchers to disclose their method publicly before conducting research, so that they can’t later change outcomes in ways that that might influence the results

  • Require researchers to disclose nonfinancial interests such as membership to organizations, work with educational companies, testimony as expert witnesses in trials, and other conflicts that may bring bias to their work

  • Simply acknowledge the issue. The first step in removing bias from research is to acknowledge that it exists.

The goal is to ensure that research is as unbiased as possible—to protect from not only financial conflicts, but these harder-to-define biases that can impact research and medical care.

Does your institution have a method for tracking non-financial conflicts of interest within your COI system? Bad Rabbit is working to help institutions move toward effective, scalable solutions for COI monitoring. Contact us today to exchange ideas.