Is research presented at the scoliosis research society annual meeting influenced by industry funding?

James W. Roach, David L. Skaggs, Paul D. Sponseller, Lynne M. MacLeod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Study Design.: All abstracts submitted to the 2006 SRS annual meeting were reviewed. Objective.: To determine the rate of funding in abstracts submitted for presentation at the 2006 Annual Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) meeting and whether funding produced bias toward a positive outcome. Summary of background data.: Financial conflicts of interest have been attributed to bias in research. Methods.: Three members the SRS Program Committee reviewed 610 abstracts submitted for presentation at the 2006 annual meeting. The committee's average grade was correlated with type of funding (industry, professional society, university); abstract conclusions (favorable, unfavorable, or only descriptive); and subject category [adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), motion preservation, etc.]. Results.: Of the 610 submitted articles, 72% (n = 440) were unfunded. Of the 170 funded articles, 140 were supported by industry, 7 by government agency, 8 by professional societies, 4 by universities, and 11 by private foundations. There was no statistically significant difference between the reviewers' grades of funded versus unfunded articles (P = 0.39). Comparing AIS articles to all the other categories, the number of funded articles were significantly greater only in motion preservation (P < 0.001) and genetics (P = 0.039). When a consultant/employee relationship was present, there was a significant difference in the proportion of funded articles and favorable findings (P = 0.048). Conclusion.: The higher percentage of funded articles in motion preservation and genetics compared to AIS articles could reflect a bias in those 2 areas. However, although there were more funded articles in those 2 areas there were not more funded, favorable articles (motion preservation P = 0.059, and genetics P = 0.3). Thus, certain categories attracted more funding than others but there was not a bias toward favorable findings within the funded articles unless the funding was due to a consultant/employee relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2208-2212
Number of pages5
Issue number20
StatePublished - Sep 15 2008


  • Conflict of interest
  • Industry
  • Research support
  • Spine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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