Classification Accuracy of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2)-Restructured Form Validity Scales in Detecting Malingered Pain-Related Disability
The symptom reports of individuals with chronic pain are multidimensional (e.g., emotional, cognitive, and somatic) and significantly contribute to increased morbidity and lost work productivity. When pain occurs in the context of a legally compensable event, reliable assessment of a patient’s multifactorial symptom experience during psychological or neuropsychological evaluations is a necessity. The Validity Scales of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) have been shown useful in identifying symptom overreporting and feigning within chronic pain samples and a number of studies have emerged supporting the use of the MMPI-2-Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF) in the detection of simulated or feigned impairment in a variety of populations. To date, only 1 other study exists examining the ability of the MMPI-2-RF to detect exaggerated complaints using a strict operationalization of malingering exclusive to chronic pain samples. The purpose of this study was to examine the classification accuracy of MMPI-2-RF Validity Scales in a group of patients with chronic pain using a criterion-groups design. The final sample consisted of 501 clinical chronic pain patients assigned to groups based on the Bianchini, Greve, and Glynn (2005) criteria for Malingered Pain-Related Disability (MPRD). Results showed that all MMPI-2-RF Validity Scales differentiated malingerers from nonmalingerers with a high degree of accuracy. At cut-offs associated with ≥95% Specificity, Sensitivities ranged from 15% (Fs) to 60% (Response Bias Scale; RBS). This study demonstrates that the MMPI-2-RF Validity Scales are capable of differentiating intentional symptom exaggeration from genuine complaints in a sample of incentivized chronic pain patients.