Symptom overreporting in combat veterans evaluated for PTSD: Differentiation on the basis of compensation seeking status

B. Christopher Frueh, Paul B. Gold, Michael A. De Arellano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

101 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the role of compensation-seeking status on response patterns to self-report inventories of acute psychopathology and psychological distress in a group of 165 combat veterans evaluated for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at a Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Veterans completed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-Revised, Beck Depression Inventory, Mississippi Scale for Combat-Related PTSD, a fixed-response format version of the Dissociative Experiences Scale, and Impact of Events Scale as part of a standard assessment battery. Results showed that compensation-seeking veterans endorsed dramatically higher levels of psychopathology across measures and produced sharply elevated 'fake-bad' validity indices as compared to non-compensation-seeking veterans. Differences between the two groups on most scales and indices exceeded effect sizes of 1.0, even when effects of income, global assessment of functioning, and clinician-rated severity of PTSD were controlled for. It is suggested that the availability of VA disability compensation for combat-related PTSD impedes accurate initial assessment of veterans presenting for treatment and may impair estimation of long-term therapeutic outcome in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-384
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Volume68
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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