Pittsburgh — Medical residents who are reminded of the sacrifices they made to attain their education tend to rate the acceptability of industry-sponsored gifts higher than those who are not reminded, HealthDay News reports.
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University randomly assigned 301 physicians to one of three online surveys. One survey asked about sacrifices residents had made during training, and then about the acceptability of receiving gifts from industry.
A second survey asked the same sacrifice questions, then suggested rationalizations for gift acceptance based on sacrifice, and finally asked questions on the acceptability of gifts. A control survey presented questions about the acceptability of gifts before asking questions on sacrifices or suggesting a rationalization.
The researchers found that reminding physicians of the sacrifices they had made led to gifts being considered more acceptable (21.7 percent in the control group versus 47.5 percent in the sacrifice-reminders group). Though residents tended not to agree with suggested rationalization for gift acceptance, exposure to that idea increased perceived acceptability of gifts to 60.3 percent.
“Providing resident physicians with reminders of sacrifices increased the perceived acceptability of industry-sponsored gifts. Including a rationalization statement further increased gift acceptability,” the authors wrote.
The study was published in the Sept. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.