Influence of poor effort on neuropsychological test performance in U.S. military personnel following mild traumatic brain injury

Rael T Lange, Sonal Pancholi, Aditya Bhagwat, Victoria Anderson-Barnes, Louis M French
Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 2012, 34 (5): 453-66
The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of poor effort on neuropsychological test performance in military personnel following mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Participants were 143 U.S. service members who sustained a TBI, divided into three groups based on injury severity and performance on the Word Memory Test and four embedded markers of poor effort: MTBI-pass (n = 87), MTBI-fail (n = 21), and STBI-pass (n = 35; where STBI denotes severe TBI). Patients were evaluated at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center on average 3.9 months (SD = 3.4) post injury. The majority of the sample was Caucasian (84.6%), was male (93.0%), and had 12+ years of education (96.5%). Measures included the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) and 13 common neurocognitive measures. Patients in the MTBI-fail group performed worse on the majority of neurocognitive measures, followed by the Severe TBI-Pass group and the MTBI-pass group. Using a criterion of three or more low scores <10th percentile, the MTBI-fail group had the greatest rate of impairment (76.2%), followed by the Severe TBI-Pass group (34.3%) and MTBI-pass group (16.1%). On the PAI, the MTBI-fail group had higher scores on the majority of clinical scales (p < .05). There were a greater number of elevated scales (e.g., 5 or more elevated mild or higher) in the MTBI-fail group (71.4%) than in the MTBI-pass group (32.2%) and Severe TBI-Pass group (17.1%). Effort testing is an important component of postacute neuropsychological evaluations following combat-related MTBI. Those who fail effort testing are likely to be misdiagnosed as having severe cognitive impairment, and their symptom reporting is likely to be inaccurate.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"