Reporting Conflicts of Interest and Funding in Health Care Guidelines: The RIGHT-COI&F Checklist

Ann Intern Med. 2024 May 14. doi: 10.7326/M23-3274. Online ahead of print.


Background: Conflicts of interest (COIs) of contributors to a guideline project and the funding of that project can influence the development of the guideline. Comprehensive reporting of information on COIs and funding is essential for the transparency and credibility of guidelines.

Objective: To develop an extension of the Reporting Items for practice Guidelines in HealThcare (RIGHT) statement for the reporting of COIs and funding in policy documents of guideline organizations and in guidelines: the RIGHT-COI&F checklist.

Design: The recommendations of the Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research (EQUATOR) network were followed. The process consisted of registration of the project and setting up working groups, generation of the initial list of items, achieving consensus on the items, and formulating and testing the final checklist.

Setting: International collaboration.

Participants: 44 experts.

Measurements: Consensus on checklist items.

Results: The checklist contains 27 items: 18 about the COIs of contributors and 9 about the funding of the guideline project. Of the 27 items, 16 are labeled as policy related because they address the reporting of COI and funding policies that apply across an organization's guideline projects. These items should be described ideally in the organization's policy documents, otherwise in the specific guideline. The remaining 11 items are labeled as implementation related and they address the reporting of COIs and funding of the specific guideline.

Limitation: The RIGHT-COI&F checklist requires testing in real-life use.

Conclusion: The RIGHT-COI&F checklist can be used to guide the reporting of COIs and funding in guideline development and to assess the completeness of reporting in published guidelines and policy documents.

Primary funding source: The Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China.