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Comment & Response
December 2018

Disclosures Can Always Be Improved—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS), Stanford University, Stanford, California
  • 2Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • 3Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
JAMA Psychiatry. 2018;75(12):1303-1304. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.2785

In Reply We thank Weissman for bringing further discussion points in reference to our Viewpoint on improving disclosure of financial conflict of interests (COIs) in research on psychosocial interventions.1 We regret the inadvertent ambiguity, but we had not suggested that the measurement of interpersonal difficulties was developed or marketed by Weissman or the other developers of interpersonal therapy. Clearly Weissman has not profited financially. We merely stated that instruments that assess processes putatively targeted by a particular intervention are “often created by the intervention developers” and “usually marketed by for-profit entities.”1(p542) The second part fully applies to the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems, a widely used measure of “a person’s most salient interpersonal difficulties,”2 often used in trials of interpersonal therapy as a measure of mechanisms of change.3 All elements of the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems, including the manual, individual reports, or multiple applications necessary for research, are commercialized by a for-profit corporation, Mind Garden. Consequently, as other similar instruments measuring components or processes of psychosocial interventions, it entails both a cost and a corresponding payoff. It is likely that anyone standing to gain financially from its sale would have an additional incentive to implement it in research or encourage its use. Our intention was not to single out interpersonal therapy, but to emphasize that psychosocial interventions in general are not immune to potential financial COIs, and that, owing to the complexity of the interventions, there is an often ignored assortment of potential sources of associated financial gain. Hence, we attempted to provide a taxonomy of COIs relevant to psychosocial interventions and advocated for their transparent reporting, as with other treatments in medicine.

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