Characterization of the Medical Symptom Validity Test in evaluation of clinically referred memory disorders clinic patients

Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2007 Aug;22(6):753-61. doi: 10.1016/j.acn.2007.06.003. Epub 2007 Jul 24.


We prospectively evaluated performance of 63 referrals to a memory disorders clinic who received the Medical Symptom Validity Test (MSVT) as part of their standard neuropsychological evaluation. The patients were grouped based on independent medical diagnoses and presence or absence of a potential financial incentive to under-perform. Twenty-seven patients (42.9%) scored below cutoffs on the MSVT symptom validity indices. Two individuals in the potential financial incentive group showed clear signs of invalid responding (18.2%). Twenty-two of the remaining 25 patients who failed the symptom validity indices corresponded to the dementia profile. Three individuals did not correspond to the dementia profile but are thought to have performed validly representing a 4.8% false positive rate. When considering all MSVT indices, the base rate of invalid responding in the potential financial incentive to under-perform group increased to 27.3%. Combining all groups our base rate of invalid responding was 4.8%. Specific performances are presented.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities*
  • Dementia / diagnosis
  • Dementia / epidemiology
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Memory Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Memory Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Severity of Illness Index