Background: The primary aim of our study was to evaluate the effects of undisclosed financial conflicts of interest in Achilles tendon rupture repair–focused systematic reviews.
Methods: Following a cross-sectional study design, we searched MEDLINE and Embase for Achilles tendon rupture repair systematic reviews. We performed screening and data extraction in a blind, triplicate fashion. Each systematic review was evaluated on the individual characteristics of the study, presence of undisclosed and disclosed conflicts of interest, favorability of results and conclusions, and the relationship between conflicts of interest and the favorability of results and conclusions.
Results: Our search produced 172 total systematic reviews pertaining to Achilles tendon rupture repair; of those, only 12 were included in our study. Undisclosed conflicts of interest were found in half (6/12) of the included reviews. However, no significant association was found between conflict of interest and the favorability of results and conclusions.
Conclusion: Undisclosed conflicts of interests were discovered in a large percentage of our sample. This lack of disclosure did not appear to increase the likelihood of the systematic review results or conclusions reporting favorability of the intervention being investigated.
Level of Evidence: Level II.
- Achilles tendon disorders
- statistical analysis