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Assessing effort: differentiating performance and symptom validity.

Research paper by Sarah A SA Van Dyke, Scott R SR Millis, Bradley N BN Axelrod, Robin A RA Hanks

Indexed on: 14 Sep '13Published on: 14 Sep '13Published in: The Clinical neuropsychologist



Abstract

The current study aimed to clarify the relationship among the constructs involved in neuropsychological assessment, including cognitive performance, symptom self-report, performance validity, and symptom validity. Participants consisted of 120 consecutively evaluated individuals from a veteran's hospital with mixed referral sources. Measures included the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition Full Scale IQ (WAIS-IV FSIQ), California Verbal Learning Test-Second Edition (CVLT-II), Trail Making Test Part B (TMT-B), Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM), Medical Symptom Validity Test (MSVT), WAIS-IV Reliable Digit Span (RDS), Post-traumatic Check List-Military Version (PCL-M), MMPI-2 F scale, MMPI-2 Symptom Validity Scale (FBS), MMPI-2 Response Bias Scale (RBS), and the Postconcussive Symptom Questionnaire (PCSQ). Six different models were tested using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to determine the factor model describing the relationships between cognitive performance, symptom self-report, performance validity, and symptom validity. The strongest and most parsimonious model was a three-factor model in which cognitive performance, performance validity, and self-reported symptoms (including both standard and symptom validity measures) were separate factors. The findings suggest failure in one validity domain does not necessarily invalidate the other domain. Thus, performance validity and symptom validity should be evaluated separately.