The Project Co-Leads acknowledge that at each step of this Can-SCIP Guideline development process there is potential for conflict of interest (COI), which might bias the recommendations. As a result, the Project Co-Leads of the study requested all Steering Committee members, Expert Panel members and external reviewers disclose all potential COIs to make every reasonable effort to develop an unbiased clinical practice guideline. Users of the Can-SCIP Guideline can be confident in the integrity of the process followed by the Steering Committee during the development and update of the Guideline.
The methodology used to report and manage potential COIs follow the recommendations outlined in:
We use the TCPS 2 definition of a “conflict of interest”: A conflict of interest may arise when activities or situations place an individual in a real, potential or perceived conflict between the duties or responsibilities related to research, and personal, institutional or other interests. Research team members' conflicts of interest may arise from interpersonal relationships (e.g., family or community relationships), financial partnerships, other economic interests (e.g., spin-off companies in which researchers have stakes or private contract research outside of the academic realm), academic interests or any other incentives that may compromise integrity or respect for the core principles of this Policy. Conflicts may arise from an individual's involvement in dual and multiple roles within or outside an institution. While it may not be possible to eliminate all conflicts of interest, research team members are expected to identify, minimize or otherwise manage their individual conflicts. (TCPS 2, 2014)
The COI form [LINK TO SURVEY MONKEY COI PDF] asked participants to disclose any real or apparent conflict(s) of interest, identify any potential conflict(s) relative to any of the SCI research areas, and proprietary sources of conflict or influences.
All Steering Committee and Expert Panel members completed a COI form at the November 2019 Consensus Conference. External reviewers completed the COI form prior to review of the Can-SCIP Guideline in May 2021. All completed COI data is stored securely on the University Health Network server. The Project Co-Leads and Coordinator of the Guideline reviewed the completed COI forms and determined the appropriate actions. Panel members who have participated in the development of previous guidelines that were reviewed were not involved in the process of reviewing those particular guidelines.
Twenty-six members of the Expert Panel reported having been involved in the development of one or more guidelines within SCI.
Thirty-six members of the Expert Panel reported being a researcher in a clinical study, currently completing an application to fund a study or have a currently active study in the field of SCI.
Seventeen members of the Expert Panel reported having received funding to act as consultant or investigator for any private interest or corporation.
Six members of the Expert Panel reported being paid honoraria or received gifts of value equal to or greater than $3500 per year or $7500 over a three year period from an entity having a commercial interest in SCI care.
Four members of the Expert Panel declare that they are owner or shareholder in a private healthcare corporation or are associated with the pharmaceutical industry.