Incorporating information on funding and conflicts of interest in trials when conducting a Cochrane Review - the TACIT tool

Core Methods Workshop

Workshop category: 

  • Investigating bias
Date and Location


Thursday 24 October 2019 - 16:00 to 17:30


Contact persons and facilitators

Contact person:


Lundh A1, Hróbjartsson A1
1 ​Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Odense (CEBMO), Denmark


Boutron I1, Stewart L2
1 Equipe METHODS, Centre de Recherche Épidémiologie et Statistique Sorbonne Paris Cité (CRESS-UMR1153) Inserm, Paris, France; Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France; Cochrane France, Paris, France, France
2 Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York, York, UK, UK
Target audience

Target audience: 

Review authors, editors and methodologists

Level of difficulty: 

Type of workshop

Type of workshop : 



Background: industry funding is associated with favourable trial conclusions, so information on conflicts of interest is considered important when interpreting findings from a clinical trial. The previous version of the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions recommended collecting information on trial funding and trial authors’ conflicts of interest, but it provided little practical guidance on what do to with the information. The new version of the Handbook includes a section on conflicts of interest based on the concepts behind a new Tool for Addressing Conflicts of Interest in Trials (TACIT), which is being developed under the auspices of the Bias Methods Group. TACIT provides a framework for collecting information on funding and conflicts of interest for a trial in order to reach a judgement on whether there is a notable concern affecting the design, conduct, analysis or reporting of the trial.

Objectives: to introduce participants to the concepts behind TACIT and provide practical experience with its use.

Description: the workshop will be held in two sessions.
1) Introduction to TACIT: the empirical basis and the background behind the development of TACIT will be briefly presented and we will introduce the framework and key concepts of TACIT.
2) Using TACIT: through a practical exercise in small groups, participants will be introduced to a preliminary version of TACIT and guided in a stepwise manner through its use, from extracting funding and conflicts of interest information to judging whether a trial is affected by a notable concern. In plenary, we will discuss the assessment by individual groups and how information from TACIT may further inform Cochrane Review data analysis and other review tools and systems such as Risk of Bias 2, Risk of Bias due to Missing Evidence, and GRADE.

Participants may bring a laptop to assist them in the exercise, but it is not necessary in order to participate in the workshop.