Poor Performance Validity Predicts Clinical Characteristics and Cognitive Test Performance of OEF/OIF/OND Veterans in a Research Setting.

The Clinical Neuropsychologist (Impact Factor: 1.58). 04/2014; DOI: 10.1080/13854046.2014.904928
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study examined the performance of 198 Veteran research participants deployed during Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and/or Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) on four measures of performance validity: the Medical Symptom Validity Test (MSVT), California Verbal Learning Test: Forced Choice Recognition (FCR), Reliable Digit Span (RDS), and TOVA Symptom Exaggeration Index (SEI). Failure on these performance validity tests (PVTs) ranged from 4% to 9%. The overall base rate of poor performance validity, as measured by failure of the MSVT in conjunction with an embedded PVT (FCR, RDS, SEI), was 5.6%. Regression analyses revealed that poor performance validity predicted cognitive test performance and self-reported psychological symptom severity. Furthermore, a greater prevalence of traumatic brain injury (TBI), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), co-morbid TBI/PTSD, and other Axis I diagnoses, was observed among participants with poor effort. Although poor performance validity is relatively uncommon in a research setting, these findings demonstrate that clinicians should be cautious when interpreting psychological symptoms and neuropsychological test performance of Veteran participants who fail effort measures.

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