Why do people think they can fool you? Sometimes we choose to ignore what we see but if it walks like a chicken and clucks like a chicken then most likely it is a chicken. You might be fooled but Psychological Evaluation with testing cannot. There are tests that distinguish between malingering, faking, or real risk factors.
Common Psych Referral Types: (information to help you know when psych testing is indicated)
  • Trauma such as crush, explosions, electrocutions, assault, and amputations can lead to PTSS (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome)
  • Reactive depression or anxiety due to loss of independence or function
  • Presurgical screening for Spinal Stimulator or surgery
  • Program evaluation for Work Hardening or Chronic Pain Management
  • Rule of malingering, symptom magnification, and over-utilization of care
Some Yellow Flags That Indicate Psychosocial Barriers to Recovery and RTW:
Belief that pain and activity are harmful, sickness behaviors, social withdrawal, negative mood, pain behaviors, compensability issues, unsociable hours at work or heavy work load, overprotective family or lack of support. Uncovering these issues can help you understand the real issues and help the case progress.
Testing (various tests that are utilized):
  • Beck Depression Inventory (BDI): depressive symptoms and severity. It can assess affective components or a somatic component.
  • Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI): assesses anxiety and severity as well as somatic or cognitive/behavioral component.
  • Pain Patient Profile (P3): compares depressive, anxiety and somatic complaints to the norms.
  • Pain and Impairment Relationship Scale (PAIRS): assesses beliefs and attitudes regarding pain and the ability to function despite discomfort.
  • Fear Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ): assesses fear of pain and avoidance of physical activity because of their fear.
  • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMP12): an empirically-based assessment of adult psychopathology. It consists of 567 items that provide information about comorbidities and validity scales to determine good faking, bad faking, exaggeration of symptoms, malingering, hypochondriacal tendencies, somatization disorders, and tendency towards addiction.
  • Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM): a 50 question visual test that discriminates between true memory impairment and malingering.
  • Million Behavioral Medicine Diagnostic (MBMD): provides an assessment of psychosocial factors that may support or interfere with a chronically ill patient’s course of medical treatment.
All these test are reviewed and results compiled by the performing psychologist. It is always advised that the provider be reliable and impartial. A mental health and behavioral evaluation can be the key to uncovering barriers and risk factors affecting progress and RTW.

Thanks to Dr. Guadalupe Escamilla, PhD, LPC, Irving, TX for providing the contents of this Tip.