Financial Conflicts of Interest Checklist 2010 for clinical research studies.
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A conflict of interest is defined as "a set of conditions in which professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as a patient's welfare or the validity of research) tends to be unduly influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain)" [Thompson DF. Understanding financial conflicts of interest. N Engl J Med 1993;329(8):573-576]. Because financial conflict of interest (fCOI) can occur at different stages of a study, and because it can be difficult for investigators to detect their own bias, particularly retrospectively, we sought to provide funders, journal editors and other stakeholders with a standardized tool that initiates detailed reporting of different aspects of fCOI when the study begins and continues that reporting throughout the study process to publication. We developed a checklist using a 3-phase process of pre-meeting item generation, a stakeholder meeting and post-meeting consolidation. External experts (n = 18), research team members (n = 12) and research staff members (n = 4) rated or reviewed items for some or all of the 7 major iterations. The resulting Financial Conflicts of Interest Checklist 2010 consists of 4 sections covering administrative, study, personal financial, and authorship information, which are divided into 6 modules and contain a total of 15 items and their related sub-items; it also includes a glossary of terms. The modules are designed to be completed by all investigators at different points over the course of the study, and updated information can be appended to the checklist when it is submitted to stakeholder groups for review. We invite comments and suggestions for improvement at http://www.openmedicine.ca/fcoichecklist and ask stakeholder groups to endorse the use of the checklist.