An evaluation of malingering screens with competency to stand trial patients: a known-groups comparison

Law Hum Behav. 2007 Jun;31(3):249-60. doi: 10.1007/s10979-006-9062-8.


The assessment of malingering is a fundamental component of forensic evaluations that should be considered with each referral. In systematizing the evaluation of malingering, one option is the standardized administration of screens as an initial step. The current study assessed the effectiveness of three common screening measures: the Miller Forensic Assessment of Symptoms Test (M-FAST; Miller, 2001), the Structured Inventory of Malingered Symptomatology (SIMS; Widows & Smith, 2004), and the Evaluation of Competency to Stand Trial-Revised Atypical Presentation Scale (ECST-R ATP; Rogers, Tillbrook, & Sewell, 2004). Using the Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms (SIRS) as the external criterion, 100 patients involved in competency to stand trial evaluations were categorized as either probable malingerers (n=21) or nonmalingerers (n=79). Each malingering scale produced robust effect sizes in this known-groups comparison. Results are discussed in relation to the comprehensive assessment of malingering within a forensic context.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Forensic Psychiatry*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malingering / diagnosis*
  • Mental Competency*
  • Middle Aged
  • Midwestern United States
  • Prisoners / psychology
  • Psychological Tests*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity