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Martin M. Katz: Multivantaged vs conventional assessment method

Martin Katz’s reply to Donald F. Klein’s comment

The established method in clinical trials of antidepressants for describing the severity of the depressive disorder and for measuring change effected by a treatment drug, is the Hamilton Rating Scale. The “Multivantaged Assessment Method” (MVAM) was created to provide a more detailed analysis of the structure of the depressive disorder and a more complete, more sensitive profile of the changes effected by treatment agents. Although the MVAM has not been taken up by many investigators, as Klein notes, its validity has been well established and described in several publications (Katz et al, 1984, 2004, Katz 2013). As a composite of several already established methods, the overall MVAM, combines these validated methods, e.g., SCL-90 (Derogatis et al 1984), the NIMH Mood scale (Raskin et al 19 ), SADS ( Endicott and Spitzer 1978) to generate the profile. When Klein comments that the MVAM’s validity has not been established, it signals that he has not grasped the concept underlying the “multivantaged” method, has not read the relevant literature. On the point that it has not been compared with an established method, a direct comparison with the Hamilton method in a clinical trial is clearly presented in the book (Katz 2013). Klein apparently, declined to read that section.

In sum, I welcome Klein’s attention to the new method, but find that his comments on its validity have little foundation when viewed against the clear positive evidence from several sources, so far developed on the MVAM.


Derogatis, LR, Lipman R, Rickels K, Uhlenhuth EH, Covi L. The Hopkins symptom checklist (HSCL) a measure of primary symptoms. In Pichot P. (ed) Psychological Measurements in psychopharmacology: Modern Problems in Pharmacopysychiatry. vol 7, Basel: Karger;1974, pp.  98-110, .

Endicott J, Spitzer RK. A diagnostic interview: the schedule for affective
disorders and schizophrenia. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1978; 35: 837-844.


Katz MM. Depression and Drugs: The Neurobehavioral Structure of a Psychological Storm. New York: Springer; 2013.

Katz MM, Houston JP, Brannan S, Bowden CL, Berman N, Swann A, Frazer A. A multivantaged behavioral method for measuring onset and sequence of the clinical actions of antidepressants. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 2004; 7: 471-9.


Katz MM, Koslow SH, Berman N, Secunda S, Maas JW, Casper R, Kocsis J, Stokes P.A multivantaged approach to the measurement of behavioral and affect states for clinical and psychobiological research. Psychological Reports Monograph 1984; 55, 619-73.

Raskin A, Schulterbrand JG, Reatig N, Mckeon J J. Replication of factors of psychopathology in interview, ward behavior and self-ratings of hospitalized depressives. J Nerv and Mental Disord 1969; 13: 31-41.


Martin M. Katz

November 10, 2016