Neurotoxic complaint base rates of personal injury claimants: implications for neuropsychological assessment

J Clin Psychol. 1995 Jul;51(4):577-84. doi: 10.1002/1097-4679(199507)51:4<577::aid-jclp2270510418>;2-e.


This study reports base rate data for 113 family practice patients with no history of head trauma or toxic exposure, 68 family practice patients with a history of head trauma or toxic exposure, and 156 personal injury claimants with no history of toxic exposure or head trauma who presented for a psychological evaluation due to emotional distress. Personal injury claimants reported suffering from significantly more neurotoxic and neuropsychologic symptoms than subjects with a reported history of head trauma and/or toxic exposure. The authors urge that evaluating psychologists consider the base rate of these symptoms in litigating populations and use caution in relying on self-reported symptoms as evidence of injury when patients are in litigation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries / chemically induced*
  • Brain Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Forensic Psychiatry
  • Humans
  • Jurisprudence
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Reproducibility of Results*
  • Self-Assessment*
  • Sex Factors