Comparison of credible patients of very low intelligence and non-credible patients on neurocognitive performance validity indicators

Klayton Smith, Kyle Boone, Tara Victor, Deborah Miora, Maria Cottingham, Elizabeth Ziegler, Michelle Zeller, Matthew Wright
Clinical Neuropsychologist 2014, 28 (6): 1048-70
The purpose of this archival study was to identify performance validity tests (PVTs) and standard IQ and neurocognitive test scores, which singly or in combination, differentiate credible patients of low IQ (FSIQ ≤ 75; n = 55) from non-credible patients. We compared the credible participants against a sample of 74 non-credible patients who appeared to have been attempting to feign low intelligence specifically (FSIQ ≤ 75), as well as a larger non-credible sample (n = 383) unselected for IQ. The entire non-credible group scored significantly higher than the credible participants on measures of verbal crystallized intelligence/semantic memory and manipulation of overlearned information, while the credible group performed significantly better on many processing speed and memory tests. Additionally, credible women showed faster finger-tapping speeds than non-credible women. The credible group also scored significantly higher than the non-credible subgroup with low IQ scores on measures of attention, visual perceptual/spatial tasks, processing speed, verbal learning/list learning, and visual memory, and credible women continued to outperform non-credible women on finger tapping. When cut-offs were selected to maintain approximately 90% specificity in the credible group, sensitivity rates were highest for verbal and visual memory measures (i.e., TOMM trials 1 and 2; Warrington Words correct and time; Rey Word Recognition Test total; RAVLT Effort Equation, Trial 5, total across learning trials, short delay, recognition, and RAVLT/RO discriminant function; and Digit Symbol recognition), followed by select attentional PVT scores (i.e., b Test omissions and time to recite four digits forward). When failure rates were tabulated across seven most sensitive scores, a cut-off of ≥ 2 failures was associated with 85.4% specificity and 85.7% sensitivity, while a cut-off of ≥ 3 failures resulted in 95.1% specificity and 66.0% sensitivity. Results are discussed in light of extant literature and directions for future research.

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