0 points: No information about conflicts of interest *
1 point: Conflicts of interest are listed in general terms for each author in the guideline documents (yes/no)
2 points: Conflicts of interest are documented in detail (with information about the companies)
3 points: Conflicts of interest are evaluated by the coordinators or a separate committee
*This criterion refers to financial conflicts of interest: proprietary interest and shares, consulting contracts (advisory boards), lecture fees, or other commissions from manufacturers related to the products to be evaluated, in addition to private partner relationships with employees of the manufacturing company. Conducting research for the manufacturer qualifies as a conflict of interest, even if the researcher did not receive a personal fee. Three points are awarded if all authors are free from conflicts of interest, and no further evaluation is required.
0 points: > 50% have financial conflicts of interest *
1 point: 25% to 50% have conflicts of interest
2 points: < 25% have conflicts of interest
3 points: No guideline authors have conflicts of interest
*0 points will be awarded if no detailed information is provided regarding the individual authors’ conflicts of interest.
0 points: No information, or all lead authors have conflicts of interest
2 points: Some of the lead authors have conflicts of interest
3 points: None of the lead authors have conflicts of interest
1 point is not awarded here. If detailed information about the individual authors’ conflicts of interest is not provided or the lead authors are not clearly identified, 0 points are awarded.
0 points: No information or no evidence of abstentions from voting when conflicts of interest exist
1 point: There is a rule regarding abstention but voting results are not documented
2 points: Partial abstentions
3 points: Fully documented abstentions by members with conflicts of interest
3 points are awarded if none of the authors has conflicts of interest, because in this case abstention is not required.
0 points: No external review
2 points: Consulting on the draft guidelines by the scientific community or patients via a website
3 points: Review of the draft guideline by the scientific community or patients and documentation of how the suggestions were handled
An external review makes the guideline draft accessible on a website.
1 point is not awarded here.
Further measures for reducing conflicts of interest can be awarded a maximum of 3 bonus points. Examples of such measures include:
The maximum possible score is 15 points plus 3 bonus points.
11 to 18 points: Good! Independent guidelines with properly regulated conflicts of interest
6 to 10 points: Warning! Good approach, but only partial regulation of conflicts of interest
0 to 5 points: Needs reform! Insufficient regulation of conflicts of interest