Performance of patients with epilepsy or psychogenic non-epileptic seizures on four measures of effort

Clin Neuropsychol. 2006 Sep;20(3):552-66. doi: 10.1080/13854040590947380.


Exaggeration of cognitive symptoms or poor effort on cognitive testing has been addressed primarily in the traumatic brain injury literature. The present investigation aims to extend the evaluation of effort to the epilepsy monitoring setting, where base rates of failure on effort testing remain unknown for patients with intractable epilepsy (ES), psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES), or both conditions (ES+PNES). In addition, this investigation explores how well four measures of effort (DMT, LMT, TOMM, PDRT) distinguish between these diagnostic groups. Results show that 20% of the combined sample failed one or more effort measure. When examining failure rates for each diagnostic group, 22% of epilepsy patients, 24% of PNES patients, and 11% of ES+PNES patients performed suboptimally on one or more measure of effort. The utility of these effort measures to differentiate between these diagnostic groups appears limited. Further research is needed to clarify the base rate of poor effort in the epilepsy monitoring unit setting in general and in these three diagnostic groups specifically.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Demography
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis*
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • MMPI / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Malingering / diagnosis
  • Malingering / physiopathology
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seizures / diagnosis*
  • Seizures / physiopathology*