Performance validity and neuropsychological outcomes in litigants and disability claimants

Jeremy J Davis, Tara S McHugh, Bradley N Axelrod, Robin A Hanks
Clinical Neuropsychologist 2012, 26 (5): 850-65
This study examined the relationship of performance validity and neuropsychological outcomes in a sample of individuals referred for independent neuropsychological examination in the context of reported traumatic brain injury (82% mild). Archival data were examined on 175 participants aged 20 to 65 who were administered at least two performance validity measures. Participants who passed all effort measures (Pass; n = 61) outperformed those who failed two or more (Fail; n = 70) on the majority of tests in the neuropsychological battery. The Fail group showed a higher percentage of impaired test scores than the Pass group with impairment defined at three levels (T scores < 40, 35, and 30). At the most conservative impairment cutoff (T < 30), 16% of the Pass group demonstrated impaired scores on more than three measures, while 79% of the Fail group showed impaired scores on more than three measures. The number of effort measures failed correlated highly with the overall test battery mean (r = -.73). On cognitive domain summary scores, effect sizes based on levels of effort (d = 1.12 to 1.86) were higher than those based on injury severity (d = 0.03 to 0.36).

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