Monday, November 30, 2009

Research briefs 11-30-09: More on malingering assessment (WAIS-III) and third-party testing observers

Two new articles that caught my eye (with abstracts and links to articles)

Curtis, K. L., Greve, K. W., & Bianchini, K. J. (2009). The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III and Malingering in Traumatic Brain Injury Classification Accuracy in Known Groups.  Assessment, 16(4), 401-41 (click here).
 A known-groups design was used to determine the classification accuracy of Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–III (WAIS-III) variables in detecting malingered neurocognitive dysfunction (MND) in traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI patients were classified into the following groups: (a) mild TBI not-MND (n = 26), (b) mild TBI MND (n = 31), and (c) moderate/severe (M/S) TBI not-MND (n = 26). A sample of 80 general clinical patients was used for comparison. Verbal IQ, Verbal Comprehension Index, and Working Memory Index detected approximately 25% of malingerers with a false positive (FP) error rate of approximately 5% in the mild TBI group. Comparable FP rates were obtained in M/S TBI. FP rates for Performance IQ, Perceptual Organization Index, and Processing Speed Index were acceptable in mild TBI but too high in M/S TBI. Previously studied specialized indicators (Vocabulary minus Digit Span and the Mittenberg formula) failed to differentiate malingerers from nonmalingerers. The clinical application of these findings is discussed.

Otto, R. K. & Krauss, D. A. (2009).  Contemplating the presence of third party observers and facilitators in psychological evaluations.  Assessment, 16(4), 362-372 (click here)
Significant controversy surrounds how psychologists should balance competing interests when considering whether and under what conditions third parties should be permitted to be present during psychological evaluations. This is especially true in forensic contexts where much is often at stake for those being assessed. Unfortunately, existing professional statements on this issue provide limited guidance to practitioners on how to think about this issue. In this article, the authors (a) distinguish between different types of third party participants, (b) highlight the competing interests that underlie third party presence decisions, and (c) offer a framework for psychologists to employ when considering third party presence.

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