Research Article: Promotional Tone in Reviews of Menopausal Hormone Therapy After the Women’s Health Initiative: An Analysis of Published Articles

Date Published: March 15, 2011

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Adriane Fugh-Berman, Christina Pike McDonald, Alicia M. Bell, Emily Catherine Bethards, Anthony R. Scialli, Joel Lexchin

Abstract: Adriane Fugh-Berman and colleagues analyzed a selection of published opinion pieces on hormone therapy and show that there may be a connection between receiving industry funding for speaking, consulting, or research and the tone of such opinion pieces.

Partial Text: About half of US gynecologists continue to distrust the results of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) [1],[2],[3], which found that risks of menopausal hormone therapy outweighed benefits in asymptomatic women. Such resistance to the findings of the largest randomized, placebo-controlled trial of menopausal hormone therapy ever performed is curious.

The majority of articles (86%) were judged to be scientifically accurate according to our analysis. Thirty-two (64%) of the 50 articles were assessed as promotional.

This study evaluated the relationship between the receipt by authors of payment from industry for speaking or consulting and authorship of articles considered to be scientifically in error or promotional in tone. We identified an association of review articles promoting the use of hormone therapy with authors with declared financial conflicts of interest. Scientific accuracy did not appear to be affected by author conflicts of interest.

Source:

http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000425

 

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