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Detecting Feigning in a Correctional Setting: A Comparison of Multiple Measures

11 December 2009


Feigning has been found to be a clinical concern both in clinical settings inside and outside the correctional setting. The goals of this study were to determine the utility of the PAI and SIMS as screening measures for feigning in a correctional setting. The study was also conducted to add to the relatively small literature base on the reliability and usefulness of these measures in a correctional setting. The SIRS was utilized as the gold standard by which the PAI scales and SIMS was compared. One hundred individuals on intake status in the Oregon Department of Corrections participated in this study. The participants were approached and asked to participate in the study. The participants were given administered a PAI, SIMS, and SIRS measure if they chose to participate. The researchers utilized correlations, AUC analyses, and linear regressions in order to examine the usefulness of the different measures in detecting feigning. The researchers found that the SIMS scales and some of the PAI scale scores correlated significantly with the individuals SIRS score. As well, it was found that the SIRS classified fewer participants as feigning compared to the SIMS and PAI. Finally, the SIMS was identified to have good sensitivity and specificity indicating that it is a good screening measure for feigning in a correctional setting. Based on the findings of this study, it would be most appropriate to conduct another study, which utilized an experimental design, which included a group of inmates asked to feign mental illness. By conducting a new study, it would allow for further research into the effectiveness of the SIMS in a correctional setting.


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