Utility of the MMPI-2-RF in detecting non-credible somatic complaints.
ABSTRACT We examined the utility of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2-Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF) validity scales (infrequent responses (F-r), infrequent psychopathology responses (Fp-r), infrequent somatic responses (Fs), symptom validity (FBS-r), and response bias (RBS)) in differentiating individuals who were asked to feign physical health problems from a group of somatoform disorder patients and genuine medical patients with no history of mental health problems. A large group of undergraduate students were instructed to feign physical health problems as if they were participating in a disability evaluation for a work-related injury. Comparison groups were drawn from archival databases and consisted of non-litigating medical patients or individuals carefully diagnosed with somatoform disorder. The Fs and Fp-r scales were associated with the best differentiation between the three groups; the Fs scale was the most sensitive to somatic malingering, whereas the Fp-r scale was the most specific. Both scales were associated with high likelihood ratios in differentiating the somatic malingering group from the somatoform and medical illness groups. Although the FBS-r scale was overall the most sensitive in differentiating non-credible somatic complaints from genuine medical illness, it could not differentiate well between the somatic malingering and somatoform patient conditions. The MMPI-2-RF appears to have considerable promise in detecting individuals who feign physical health problems. Not surprisingly, differentiating somatic malingering from somatoform disorder with the MMPI-2-RF was less accurate than differentiating somatic malingering from bona-fide medical patients.