The February 2013 issue of Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology included an interesting article out of Cape Town, South Africa, wherein researchers from the University of Cape Town examined the extent to which, during the process of litigation, individuals with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury might malinger in their performance on neuropsychological assessment batteries. The study was designed to explore whether financial settlement influenced neuropsychological test performances and activities of daily living. Thirty-one individuals out of an original group of 235 potential participants were utilized in this study. These thirty-one litigants were tested and interviewed both during litigation in one year or more after their case had settled.
According to the article, “results showed that neuropsychological test scores did not change from assessment during forensic proceedings to assessment after settlement. Although some improvement was evidenced in activities of daily living, the gains were small and their clinical significance questionable.” The authors concluded by finding that there was “no evidence that individuals with moderate-to-severe TBI, despite clear potential for secondary gain, malingered or delivered sub-optimal effort during neuropsychological evaluation taken place in the contest of litigation.” The study can be found at Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology 28 (2013) 38-51.