Industry-funded trials show bias for pharmacotherapy over psychotherapy
Analysis of 45 studies leads researchers to conclude that journals should require authors to declare any industry ties.
Courtesy of Ioana Cristea
Sponsorship bias has been described in drug therapy studies but has not been widely explored in relation to non-pharmacological treatments, such as psychotherapy.
A paper published in The British Journal of Psychiatry (online, 3 November 2016) looked at 45 studies comparing the efficacy of psychotherapy with pharmacotherapy in depression to see if an industry bias could be detected.
The meta-analysis found that pharmacotherapy was significantly more effective than psychotherapy in the 20 industry-funded studies, while non-industry funded studies showed no difference between the two treatments. The researchers also discovered five instances where one or more authors had not declared a financial conflict of interest.
The team says the level of industry bias detected in the study was subtle but suggests that journals should require authors to declare all industry ties, a policy that has already been adopted by some publications.
Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2016.20201988
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