The objective of this study was to assess the frequency and types of conflict of interest (COI) disclosed by authors of primary studies of health policy and systems research (HPSR).
We conducted a cross-sectional survey using standard systematic review methodology for study selection and data extraction. We conducted descriptive analyses.
We collected data from papers published in 2016 in ‘health policy and service journals’ category in Web of Science database.
We included primary studies (eg, randomised controlled trials, cohort studies, qualitative studies) of HPSR published in English in 2016 peer-reviewed health policy and services journals.
Reported COI disclosures including whether authors reported COI or not, form in which COI disclosures were provided, number of authors per paper who report any type of COI, number of authors per paper who report specific types and subtypes of COI.
We included 200 eligible primary studies of which 132 (66%) included COI disclosure statements of authors. Of the 132 studies, 19 (14%) had at least one author reporting at least one type of COI and the most frequently reported type was individual financial COI (n=15, 11%). None of the authors reported individual intellectual COIs or personal COIs. Financial and individual COIs were reported more frequently compared with non-financial and institutional COIs.
A low percentage of HPSR primary studies included authors reporting COI. Non-financial or institutional COIs were the least reported types of COI.