Abstract

Cognitive and neurobehavioral symptoms are common following traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Because malingerers are likely to complain of such symptoms and perform poorly on neuropsychological tests, clinicians may have considerable difficulty distinguishing malingerers from TBI patients. In this study, we compared the subjective complaints of malingerers to TBI patients and then compared both groups to the problems observed by their respective significant others. We tested the assumption whether significant others could add one more piece to the challenging puzzle of diagnosing malingering. Our results demonstrated that the malingerers complained of more problems than patients who had sustained moderate or severe TBI. However, the significant others of the malingerers observed fewer cognitive, emotional-behavioral, and total problems than did the significant others of patients with severe, moderate, and even mild TBI. These findings suggest that the detection of malingering can be enhanced by interviews with significant others.