Cover: A New Taxonomy Is Proposed for Defining the Interests of Stakeholders' Representatives in Health Research

A New Taxonomy Is Proposed for Defining the Interests of Stakeholders' Representatives in Health Research

The Case of Guideline Development

Published in: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology (Journal Pre-proof 2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2023.06.006

Posted on rand.org Jun 27, 2023

by Elie A. Akl, Joanne Khabsa, Holger J. Schünemann, Eve Tomlinson, Roses Parker, Peter Tugwell, Thomas W. Concannon

There are concerns about bias arising from the interests that stakeholder representatives may bring into the process of health research. In this article we distinguish between the non-conflicting interests of stakeholder groups and the conflicting interests of their representatives. Non-conflicting interests of a stakeholder group (also referred to as legitimate interests) relate to the inherent rights of that group (e.g., right of appropriate representation). In the context of guidelines, the legitimacy of these interests arises from the fact that the stakeholder group either uses the guideline recommendations or is affected by them. Individuals representing a stakeholder group should align their judgments, decisions, and actions with the non-conflicting interests of their group. Conflicting interests could relate to the interests of either the representatives themselves (e.g., stock ownership) or the organization they represent (e.g., relationships with industry). We discuss how guideline producing organizations can address these different matters.

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