Perceptions of Financial Conflict of Interest and Knowledge of the Sunshine Act Among Orthopedic Surgery Patients.
The orthopedic surgical specialty is strongly tied to partnerships with industry that have fostered innovation and greatly enhanced patient care. A substantial number of orthopedic surgeons currently receive some form of industry support. These relationships are highly scrutinized because they present the possibility of both personal and financial conflicts of interest (COI). The authors examined orthopedic patients' awareness of existing regulation and perceptions of financial COI by performing a prospective survey-based study of patients seen in an academic orthopedic department. Data were collected during 1 year, in a cross-section of hospital-based and community clinical settings. The authors collected 513 surveys during a 1-year period between 4 clinical locations. Of all respondents, 55% were unconcerned regarding gifts or direct compensation their physicians received from industry, and only 16% were very or extremely concerned regarding these benefits. Patients' opinions regarding possible influence of benefits were similarly ambivalent, with 54% of patients minimally or not at all concerned regarding the potential influence of industry gifts or compensation. Seventy-six percent of patients had never heard of the Sunshine Act, and only 3% indicated that they were aware of the legislation and its intention. The income of the respondents and their level of education were positively correlated with increased concern about handling of COI, as well as knowledge regarding the Sunshine Act. These data suggest that orthopedic surgery patients are widely unconcerned regarding physician COI, but specific subsets of patients may be more likely to have concerns regarding these relationships. [
Mawn JG, Amin RM, Harrell J, Runge N, Hollifield L, Lopez J, Khanuja HS, Sterling RS, Oni JK. Perceptions of Financial Conflict of Interest and Knowledge of the Sunshine Act Among Orthopedic Surgery Patients. Orthopedics. 2021 Sep-Oct;44(5):e682-e686. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20210818-01. Epub 2021 Sep 1. PMID: 34590959.