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Bull Hosp Jt Dis. 2006;63(3-4):83-7.

Increasingly conflicted: an analysis of conflicts of interest reported at the annual meetings of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association.

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NYU-Hospital for Joint Diseases Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, 14th Floor, 301 East 17th Street, New York, New York 10003, USA.



To identify trends in industry sponsorship of orthopaedic trauma research presented at the annual meetings of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association since the establishment of conflict of interest (COI) reporting policies in 1993.


Industry plays a large role in funding orthopaedic basic science and clinical research. The purpose of this study was to analyze the role of industrial support in orthopaedic research as documented in the final programs of the annual meetings of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA), determine the incidence and nature of COI in the papers and posters accepted for OTA presentation, and report any changes in the frequency of reporting since disclosure policies were enacted in 1993.


This paper analyzes COI for all years since the adoption of the reporting policies 1993-2002. From 1993-1998, presenters of posters and papers presented at the Orthopaedic Trauma Association annual meetings were required to disclose COI greater than dollar 500, the type of monetary distribution was not recorded. From 1999-2002, presenters of posters and papers were required to acknowledge the type of COI: 1. research grant, 2. miscellaneous non-income support, 3. royalties, 4. stock, and 5. consultant fees. All COI categories were recorded for each year Linear regression was used to determine significance of trends in the pooled data.


There was an increase in the percentage of papers accepted and presented at the OTA between 1993 and 2002 with COI. The number of papers reporting COI rose from 7.6% in 1993 to 12.6% in 2002 (p = 0.0129). There was no significant increase in posters with COI over that same time period. No changes were observed in the nature of industrial involvement since the change in reporting enacted in 1999. There were no observed trends in NIH or OTA grant distribution between 1993 and 2002.


Industry is playing an increasing role in the funding oforthopaedic research. The majority of industrial support is in the form of research grants. The increasing industrial support of scientific research in the public sector is to be applauded as long as it does not lead to the sequestering and suppression of information that may be disadvantageous to the industrial sponsor.

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