Lying in the medicolegal field : Malingering and psychodiagnostic assessment
Lying in the medicolegal field
The simulation of mental illness, so-called "Malingering", is a very difficult phenomenon for professionals to identify when making an assessment, especially in the medicolegal and forensic psychology and psychiatry fields. When malingering, the subject implements strategies that mimic the symptoms related to a possible psychiatric disease, with the aim of misleading the operator. It is necessary, therefore, to elicit a complete medical history and make a close clinical examination and, especially, to be able to rely on appropriate diagnostic tools. Another important aspect, in the legal medicine, and forensic psychology and psychiatry fields, is the opposite strategy, namely that of dissimulating, or masking, a disease.
Several diagnostic tools that the professional clinician can employ to identify dissembling strategies are considered in this article, namely the MMPI- 2, PAI, M- Fast, the SIRS and, finally, the SIMS.