Performance profiles and cut-off scores on the Memory Assessment Scales

Sid E O'Bryant, Kevin Duff, Jerid Fisher, Robert J McCaffrey
Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology: the Official Journal of the National Academy of Neuropsychologists 2004, 19 (4): 489-96
The increased role of neuropsychologists in the courtroom has led to an increased effort in the detection of possible symptom exaggeration/malingering. Whereas domain specific measures of malingering have traditionally been used in this detection process, the identification of performance profiles and cut-off scores on standard neuropsychological assessment instruments may provide an alternate strategy. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of performance profiles and cut-off scores in discriminating traumatic brain injury (TBI) litigants suspected of malingering from those not suspected of malingering on the Memory Assessment Scales (MAS). Results suggest that TBI litigants suspected of poor effort will perform globally at a lower level than TBI litigants not suspected of poor effort on nearly all MAS indices, however, the performance profiles of each group was similar. Cut-off scores, especially when used in combination, were also effective in correctly classifying individuals in the two groups. The present findings warrant further research examining the utility of the proposed cut-off scores separately and concomitantly. Such research will aid the clinical neuropsychological practitioner in interpreting aberrant performance profiles on the MAS in forensic situations.

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