4 key points on how conflict of interest may influence cervical disc replacement study outcomes

Written by Laura Dyrda | March 24, 2017 | Print  |

A new study published in The Spine Journal examines whether conflicts of interest influence the outcomes of cervical disc arthroplasty clinical studies.

The study authors reviewed articles published in Pubmed and Medline prior to October 2016. There were 98 studies included that focused on cervical disc arthroplasty. The researchers found:


1. Nearly half — 44.9 percent — of the articles were written by authors with a conflict of interest; 55.1 percent of the articles did not have a conflict.


2. The studies with conflict of interest were more likely to be level I evidence, whereas conflicts were less likely in level IV studies.


3. The studies with conflict of interest were more likely to report favorable outcomes for cervical disc arthroplasty — 90 percent of the conflicted studies did — compared with the non-conflicted studies, in which 74 percent reported favorable outcomes.


4. The study authors concluded, “Individual clinicians must critically review published studies for potential conflicts of interest before incorporating CDA into their practice.”


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