Abstract

Objective: Little is known about whether participation in a military medical evaluation board (MEB), akin to civilian disability/compensation settings, is associated with credible cognitive findings or psychiatric dissimulation. The current study aims to assess whether Service Member's (SMs) participation in MEB is predictive of ≥2 failures on Symptom Validity Testing (SVT) and/or evidence of negative response bias on the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI). Method: Forty SMs underwent neuropsychological evaluation in a DoD TBI Clinic [98% Army; 95% males; mean (SD) age was 37.9 (7.9); 40% Caucasian, 35% African American, 18% Hispanic; mean (SD) years of education was 13.7 (2.2); 70% noncomissioned officers; mean (SD) number of deployments was 2.9 (2.7)] - all with remote history of LOC. Results: SM involvement in MEB was not associated with ≥2 SVT failures (Pearson Chi-Square = 1.62, p = .20) or possible somatization (i.e., PAI SOM-C; t-test = −.99, p = .327). MEB groups did differ in the degree of apparent amplification of negative psychiatric symptoms (i.e., PAI NIM; t = −2.14, p = .039). Conclusion(s): Contrary to expectations, MEB status does not confer a greater likelihood of yielding noncredible SVT performances during cognitive testing. Involvement in MEB was associated with approximately a 10 point increase in PAI NIM T-scores.