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New Study Leaves No Evidence that Individuals with Moderate to Severe TBI Malinger or Deliver Sub-Optimal Effort During Neuropsychological Evaluation

This month’s issue of Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology published a fascinating study out of South Africa that addressed the issue of whether individuals with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury might malinger in their performance on neuropsychological assessment batteries. “Neuropsychological, Functional, and Behavioral Outcome in South African Traumatic Brain Injury Litigants,” Gouse, H., Thomas, KGF, and Solms, M., Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology 28 (2013) 38-51.

The study explored whether financial settlement influenced neuropsychological test performance and activities of daily living in litigants. The researchers utilized 31 individuals involved in litigation. They were tested and interviewed both during litigation and one year or more after case settlement. Results showed that neuropsychological test scores did not change from assessment during forensic proceedings to assessment after settlement. With regard to activities of daily living, the researchers found that although some improvement was evident, the gains were small and their clinical significance questionable.

This is an extremely important and interesting research article especially in that it was authored by researchers outside the United States with no apparent conflict of interest.

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