Abundant empirical research shows that Personal Injury litigants are a psychologically distinct group among injured patients. Their distinctness increases as the severity of injury decreases.
A well-respected and prolific researcher concluded from a study of the psychological profiles of nearly
500 Personal Injury litigants: "The modal plaintiff appears to be an unhappy somatizer involved in a social context which encourages rationalization, projection of blame, and complaining." In a quarter there was some evidence of malingering.
Demonstrating the distinction between Somatisation and Malingering is a master skill for Personal Injury litigators
US neurologists have confirmed in clinical populations the Canadian findings in feigned Traumatic Brain Injury (Medical Litigation News Volume 1, Issue 5) that a number of tests of memory could identify probable malingerers. Litigation as such did not significantly influence test results.
Computerised Dynamic Posturography, a clinical test for balance problems, has been developed and evaluated over the last few years. The patient's postural responses to unexpected unbalancing by movements of a foot-plate are analysed. A newly validated profile for simulation or malingering of balance problems can and should be included in the forensic assessment of post-traumatic dizziness.
list of conditions in which tests can detect malingering includes
Late Whiplash, like other Pain Syndromes, has a characteristic profile on the Psychological Symptom Checklist (SCL-90-R). As the condition is suspected by some to be malingered, Australian researchers asked university students to simulate it: they were unable to do so.
A Canadian team found that sub-scales of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) identified feigned Depression but not as well as feigned Schizophrenia. Greater personal familiarity with the features of Depression probably explained the difference, but the test was valuable.
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