Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 44, Issue 10, pp 1738–1740 | Cite as

Understanding conflicts of interest

  • Per Olav Vandvik
  • Waleed Alhazzani
  • Morten Hylander MøllerEmail author
Understanding the Disease


In the era of evidence-based medicine, clinical decisions about diagnosis and treatment should be informed by best current evidence integrated with clinical expertise and patient values, preferences and experiences [1]. However, conflicts of interest (COIs) could have a detrimental effect on the synthesis, interpretation and application of evidence in the field of intensive care medicine and in healthcare in general [2, 3]. These effects can be complex and difficult to characterise; therefore, better understanding is crucial. Indeed, evidence is open for interpretation. For example, the design, execution, or interpretation of randomised clinical trials (RCTs) and systematic reviews can be affected by various types of COIs (e.g., financial COIs). Similarly, recommendations in clinical practice guidelines can be highly influenced by unmanaged COIs [4, 5, 6]. Furthermore, COIs may affect decision making in daily clinical practice and in quality improvement initiatives, e.g....


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature and ESICM 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineInnlandet Hospital Trust—division GjøvikOsloNorway
  2. 2.Institute of Health and Society, University of OsloOsloNorway
  3. 3.Department of MedicineMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  4. 4.Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and ImpactMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  5. 5.Department of Intensive Care 4131Copenhagen University Hospital RigshospitaletCopenhagenDenmark
  6. 6.Centre for Research in Intensive Care (CRIC)CopenhagenDenmark

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