A new taxonomy is proposed for defining the interests of stakeholders’ representatives in health research

Article type
Akl E1, Khabsa J1, Schünemann H2, Tomlinson E3, Parker R4, Tugwell P5, Concannon T6
1American University of Beirut
2McMaster University
3Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol
4Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
5University of Ottawa
6RAND Corporation
Background: There are concerns about bias arising from the interests that stakeholder representatives may bring into the process of health research.

Objectives: To distinguish between the legitimate interests of stakeholder groups and the conflicts of interests of their representatives.

Methods: author group developed the taxonomy based on a literature review and through discussion and iterative changes.

Results: Legitimate interests of a stakeholder group relate to the inherent rights of that group (e.g., right of appropriate representation). In the context of guidelines, legitimacy arises from the fact that the stakeholder group either uses the guideline recommendations or is affected by them. There is a need to balance legitimate interests across the different stakeholder groups represented in a health research project, e.g., practice guideline development. Also, individuals representing a stakeholder group should align their judgments, decisions, and actions with the legitimate interests of their group.
A conflict of interest exists when a past, current or expected interest creates a significant risk of inappropriately influencing an individual’s judgment, decision, or action when carrying out a specific duty Conflicts of interest could relate to the interests of either the representatives themselves (e.g., stock ownership) or the organization they represent (e.g., relationships with industry).

Conclusions: We will discuss how different health research groups (e.g., guideline producing organizations) can address these different matters.

Patient, public and/or healthcare consumer involvement: no involved