The Influence of Disclosure and Ethics Education on Perceptions of Financial Conflicts of Interest
- 342 Downloads
This study explored how disclosure of financial conflicts of interest (FCOI) influences naïve or “lay” individuals’ perceptions of the ethicality of researcher conduct. On a between-subjects basis, participants read ten scenarios in which researchers disclosed or failed to disclose relevant financial conflicts of interest. Participants evaluated the extent to which each vignette represented a FCOI, its possible influence on researcher objectivity, and the ethics of the financial relationship. Participants were then asked if they had completed a college-level ethics course. Results indicated that FCOI disclosure significantly influenced participants’ perceptions of the ethicality of the situation, but only marginally affected perceptions of researcher objectivity and had no significant influence on perceptions of the existence of FCOIs. Participants who had previously completed a college-level ethics course appeared more sensitive to the importance of FCOI disclosure than those who lacked such background. This result suggests that formal ethical training may help individuals become more critical consumers of scientific research.
KeywordsFinancial conflict of interest Disclosure Ethics Education
- Allen, M. (2014). Payments to CEO raise new conflicts at top health quality group. Propublica, Feb. 12, http://www.propublica.org/article/payments-to-ceo-raise-new-conflicts-at-top-health-quality-group. Accessed April 16, 2014.
- Ben-Shahar, O., & Schneider, C. E. (2011). The failure of mandated disclosure. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 159, 647–749.Google Scholar
- Carey, B., & Harris, G. (2008). Psychiatric group faces scrutiny over drug industry ties. The New York Times, July 12, A13.Google Scholar
- Chugh, D., Bazerman, M. H., & Banaji, M. R. (2005). Bounded ethicality as a psychological barrier to recognizing conflicts of interest. In D. Moore, G. Loewenstein, D. Cain, and M. H. Bazerman (Eds.), Conflicts of interest: Challenges and solutions in business, law, medicine and public policy (pp. 74–95). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Elliott, C. (2013). Why the University of Minnesota psychiatric research scandal must be investigated. Minnesota Post, March 28, http://www.minnpost.com/community-voices/2013/03/why-university-minnesota-psychiatric-research-scandal-must-be-investigated. Accessed April 16, 2014.
- Elliott, K. C. (2008). Scientific judgment and the limits of conflict-of-interest policies. Accountability in Research: Policies and Quality Assurance, 15, 1–29.Google Scholar
- Harris, G. (2008). Radio host has drug company ties. The New York Times, November 21, A14.Google Scholar
- Henry, T. (2012). Review of UT fracking study finds failure to disclose conflict of interest (updated). StateImpact Texas, https://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2012/12/06/review-of-ut-fracking-study-finds-failure-to-disclose-conflict-of-interest/. Accessed April 15, 2014.
- Johnston, J. (2010). Financial conflicts of interest in biomedical research. In T. H. Murray & J. Johnston (Eds.), Trust and integrity in biomedical research: The case of financial conflicts of interest. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press.Google Scholar
- Kassirer, J. P. (2001). Financial conflict of interest: An unresolved ethical frontier. American Journal of Law and Medicine, 27, 149–162.Google Scholar
- Krimsky, S. (2012). Do financial conflicts of interest bias research? An inquiry into the “funding effect” hypothesis. Science, Technology and Human Values, 00, 1–22.Google Scholar
- Loike, J. D., Rush, B. S., Schweber, A., & Fischbach, R. L. (2013). Lessons learned from undergraduate students in designing a science-based course in bioethics. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 12, 701–710.Google Scholar
- Matthews, C. M. (2012). Federal support for academic research. Congressional Research Service Report for Congress. http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41895.pdf. Accessed April 16, 2014.
- Moore, D. A., Tanlu, L., & Bazerman, M. H. (2010). Conflict of interest and the intrusion of bias. Judgment and Decision Making, 5, 37–53.Google Scholar
- Mundy, A. (2011). Senate panel hits Sanofi payments. The Wall Street Journal, B3.Google Scholar
- Sax, J. K. (2012). Financial conflicts of interest in science. Annals of Health Law, 21, 291–328.Google Scholar
- US Department of Health and Human Services. (2011). Responsibilities of applicants for promoting objectivity in research for which public health service funding is sought and responsible prospective contractors; final rule. 42 CFR, Part 50. Federal Register, 76, 53256–53293.Google Scholar
- Wilson, R. F. (2010). The death of Jesse Gelsinger: New evidence of the influence of money and prestige in human research. American Journal of Law and Medicine, 36, 295–325.Google Scholar