Visual Universitätsmedizin Mainz

Conflicts of interest and bias


Medical action in the interest of patient well-being can occasionally be influenced by secondary interests such as conflicts of interest (for example due to financial relationships of scientists or physicians with the pharmaceutical industry). Thereby the risk of (un-)conscious influence on decision-making increases and might evoke extensive consequences for the quality of health care.
Our research group is dedicated to understanding the influence of these secondary interests, as well as strategies for dealing with such secondary interests in order to make research, teaching, and patient care as patient-oriented as possible.


The Lieb/ Klemperer group deals with the topic of conflicts of interest and bias in different projects.

Key publications

  • Stoll, M., Mancini, A., Hubenschmid, L., Dreimüller, N., König, J., Cuijpers, P., Barth, J., & Lieb, K. (2020). Discrepancies from registered protocols and spin occured frequently in randomized psychotherapy trials–a meta-epidemiologic study. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 128, 49-56.
  • Stoll, M., Hubenschmid, L., Koch, C., & Lieb, K. (2020). Voluntary disclosures of payments from pharmaceutical companies to healthcare professionals in Germany: a descriptive study of disclosures in 2015 and 2016. BMJ Open, 10, Article e037395.
  • Koch, C., Schleeff, J., Techen, F., Wollschläger, D., Schott, G., Kölbel, R., & Lieb, K. (2020). Impact of physicians’ participation in non-interventional post-marketing studies on their prescription habits: A retrospective 2-armed cohort study in Germany. PLoS medicine, 17(6), Article e1003151.
  • Koch, C., Dreimüller, N., Weißkircher, J., Deis, N., Gaitzsch, E., Wagner, S., Stoll, M., Bäßler, F., Lieb, K., & Jünger, J. (2020). Teaching conflicts of interest and shared decision-making to improve risk communication: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 35(2), 473-480.
  • Stoll, M. & Lieb, K. (2019). Ethik in der psychotherapeutischen Versorgung: Transparenz, Unabhängigkeit, Interessenkonflikte. In Steger, F & Brunner, J. (Eds.), Ethik in der psychotherapeutischen Praxis: Integrativ-fallorientiert-werteplural (pp. 74-85). Stuttgart: Kohlhammer Verlag.
  • Koch, C., Stoll, M., Klemperer, D., & Lieb, K. (2017). Transparency of Conflicts of Interest: A Mixed Blessing? The Patients' Perspective. The American Journal of Bioethics, 17(6), 27-29.
  • Lieb, K., von der Osten-Sacken, J., Stoffers-Winterling, J., Reiss, N., & Barth, J. (2016). Conflicts of interest and spin in reviews of psychological therapies: a systematic review. BMJ Open, 6(4), Article e010606.
  • Lieb, K., & Brandtönies, S. (2010). A survey of german physicians in private practice about contacts with pharmaceutical sales representatives. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, 107(22), 392-389.


  • Volkswagen Foundation