California verbal learning test indicators of Malingered Neurocognitive Dysfunction: sensitivity and specificity in traumatic brain injury

Kelly L Curtis, Kevin W Greve, Kevin J Bianchini, Adrianne Brennan
Assessment 2006, 13 (1): 46-61
The present study used well-defined traumatic brain injury (TBI) and mixed neurological (other than TBI) and psychiatric samples to examine the specificity and sensitivity to Malingered Neurocognitive Dysfunction (MND) of four individual California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) variables and eight composite CVLT malingering indicators. Participants were 275 traumatic brain injury and 352 general clinical patients seen for neuropsychological evaluation. The TBI patients were assigned to one of five groups using the Slick, Sherman, and Iverson (1999) criteria: no incentive, incentive only, suspect, and malingering (both Probable MND and Definite MND). Within TBI, persons with the strongest evidence for malingering (Probable and Definite) had the most extreme scores. Good sensitivity (approximately 50%) in the context of excellent specificity (> 95%) was found in the TBI samples. Issues related to the appropriate clinical application of these data are discussed.

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