Retrospective Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2017. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Orthop. Apr 18, 2017; 8(4): 329-335
Published online Apr 18, 2017. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v8.i4.329
Variability in conflict of interest disclosures by physicians presenting trauma research
Kevin Wong, Paul H Yi, Rohith Mohan, Kevin J Choo
Kevin Wong, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA 02118, United States
Paul H Yi, Kevin J Choo, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, United States
Rohith Mohan, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, United States
Author contributions: Wong K and Yi PH designed the research; Wong K, Yi PH, Mohan R and Choo KJ contributed to data acquisition, analysis and interpretation; Wong K wrote the paper; all authors contributed to the drafting, critical revisions, and final approval of the manuscript.
Institutional review board statement: This research was completed through review of published conflict of interest disclosures so no Institutional Review Board Approval was required since no human subjects were involved.
Conflict-of-interest statement: All co-authors of this manuscript confirm that there are no financial or personal relationships with any people or organizations that could inappropriately influence the actions of any author of this manuscript.
Data sharing statement: No additional data are available.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Kevin Wong, Research Fellow, Boston University Medical Center, 72 East Concord Street, Boston, MA 02118, United States.
Telephone: +1-516-6031898 Fax: +1-516-8690362
Received: October 9, 2016
Peer-review started: October 12, 2016
First decision: December 13, 2016
Revised: December 16, 2016
Accepted: January 11, 2017
Article in press: January 14, 2017
Published online: April 18, 2017

To quantify the variability of financial disclosures by authors presenting orthopaedic trauma research.


Self-reported authorship disclosure information published for the 2012 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA) meetings was compiled from meeting programs. Both the AAOS and OTA required global disclosures for participants. Data collected included: (1) total number of presenters; (2) number of presenters with financial disclosures; (3) number of disclosures per author; (4) total number of companies supporting each author; and (5) specific type of disclosure. Disclosures made by authors presenting at more than one meeting were then compared for discrepancies.


Of the 5002 and 1168 authors presenting at the AAOS and OTA annual meetings, respectively, 1649 (33%) and 246 (21.9%) reported a financial disclosure (P < 0.0001). At the AAOS conference, the mean number of disclosures among presenters with disclosures was 4.01 with a range from 1 to 44. The majority of authors with disclosures reported three or more disclosures (n = 876, 53.1%). The most common cited disclosure was as a paid consultant (51.5%) followed by research support (43.0%) and paid speaker (34.8%). Among the 256 physicians with financial disclosures presenting at the OTA conference, the mean number of disclosures was 4.03 with a range from 1 to 22. Similar to the AAOS conference, the majority of authors with any disclosures at the OTA conference reported three or more disclosures (n = 140, 54.7%). Most authors with a disclosure had three or more disclosures and the most common type of disclosure was paid consulting. At the OTA conference, the most commonly cited form of disclosure was paid consultant (54.3%) followed by research support (46.1%) and paid speaker (42.6%). Of the 346 researchers who presented at both meetings, 112 (32.4%) authors were found to have at least one disclosure discrepancy. Among authors with a discrepancy, 36 (32.1%) had three or more discrepancies.


There were variability and inconsistencies in financial disclosures by researchers presenting orthopaedic trauma research. Improved transparency of conflict of interest disclosures is warranted among trauma researchers presenting at national meetings.

Keywords: Conflict of interest, Financial disclosures, Ethics, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Orthopaedic Trauma Association

Core tip: Previous studies have demonstrated discrepancies in financial conflict of interest disclosures among physicians presenting research. The purpose of this study was to quantify the variability of self-reported financial disclosures by authors presenting at multiple trauma conferences during the same year. The disclosures published for the 2012 annual meetings of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery and Orthopaedic Trauma Association were tabulated and disclosures made by authors presenting at both meetings were compared for discrepancies. Our results demonstrate variability in reported disclosures by authors presenting at multiple conferences within the same year. Further work is warranted to improve transparency of disclosures.