Effect of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Conflict of Interest Policy on Information Overload | Oncology | JAMA Oncology | JAMA Network
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Research Letter
December 2016

Effect of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Conflict of Interest Policy on Information Overload

Author Affiliations
  • 1School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
  • 2Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 3Division of Hematology and Oncology, Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
  • 4Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
  • 5Center for Health Care Ethics, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
JAMA Oncol. 2016;2(12):1653-1654. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.2706

More information than can be managed in the time allotted is considered information overload.1 Prior evidence suggests that average reading comprehension in English is 228 words per minute (3.8 words per second).2 Proofreading can be performed at approximately 200 words per minute (3.3 words per second).3 When a large volume of text is presented for a short period at which readers have to exceed these speeds, the ability of readers to comprehend is in doubt.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) mandates the disclosure of financial conflict of interest (COI) in a slide at the start of oral presentations at their annual meeting. Between the 2014 and 2015 meetings, the COI policy changed, asking speakers to disclose not only relevant financial conflicts but also any financial relationships (deemed relevant or not).4 We sought to examine whether this policy change is associated with increased information overload in COI slides.

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