Conflicts of interest and bias in research

One of the concerns that those of us blogging on this website share is the way in which commodification, commercialisation and the push to sell products, pharmaceuticals and technologies can affect women’s experiences and care. This is something that Mavis Kirkham will discuss both on this site and elsewhere. So it was interesting to see that, in August 2019, The Cochrane Collaboration published a systematic review looking at ‘Financial conflicts of interest in systematic reviews: associations with results, conclusions, and methodological quality’. The need for such a review is clearly summarised by the authors. “Financial conflicts of interest in systematic reviews (e.g. funding by drug or


There is a real problem throughout health and social services which is particularly evident in maternity services and that is the issue of care. Care happens between people and is the response of one person to the needs of another. It must therefore always be appropriate to the particular needs of the individual which that person may not be easily able to express or used to expressing. This requires time, trust and flexibility in the response of the carer. Care is worthwhile because it is transformative for the person receiving care and for the job satisfaction of the carer. We know that continuity of care from a known midwife has impressive clinical outcomes (Sandall et al 2016, Homer et al

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