Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Almost Half Of People Claiming Head Injuries Fake It For Financial Reasons, Study Suggests

Date:
January 14, 2008
Source:
Universidad de Granada
Summary:
Research on patients suffering from head injuries reveals that four out of 10 patients feign cognitive disorders such as depression, headaches or anxiety. A lie detector was used in this research and it proved to be a useful tool to help professionals from the field of neuropsychology to find out when a person is faking or exaggerating their symptoms.

How can it be proved that a patient is lying when they say that they have a cognitive problem, such as memory or concentration problems or anxiety? There are many people who exaggerate their injuries and even feign them in order to receive more money from insurance companies or obtain a sick leave, according to a pioneering research in Spain.

Related Articles


This research was carried out in the Department of Personality, Assessment and Psychological Treatment of the University of Granada by Doctor Raquel Vilar López. The conclusions of her study, which focused on patients who suffered from head injuries, speak for themselves: nearly half of the people who go to court feign psycho-cognitive disorders with the objective of profiting from this in some way. They are not hypochondriacs or overanxious or obsessive patients, they just lie in order to receive some sort of compensation, such as money. They are the so called ‘simulators’.

Until now, in Spain no reliable system existed to detect if a person was faking their symptoms. For this reason the study by Vilar López coordinated by Manuel Gómez Río and Miguel Pérez García is so important: for the first time, Spanish health professionals have a set of reliable tools to prove empirically if a patient is lying when they declare, for example, that their memory problems renders them unfit for work.

Validated Evidence

The work by this researcher has validated a series of ‘tests’ which, when used on patients without them being aware of it, detect which patients are simulators and which are not. These neuropsychological tests were included in a three-hour-long battery of neuropsychological tests which assesses other cognitive aspects of the patient in order to disguise the actual tests and in this way obtain the desired information.

Raquel Vilar López explains that in her research she adapted a series of tests that where already known in the United States – a country with a long history of work in the field of neuropsychology – to the Spanish context, because "the neuropsychological tests cannot be extrapolated without adjustments from a context to another”. The percentage of patients who suffer from head injuries that feign symptoms is nearly the same as that obtained by the American researchers.

The study carried out in the UGR also included a method which has become very popular recently due to several television programs: the lie detector, an instrument which registers the physiological responses of blood pressure, heart beat, breathing rate and galvanic skin response.

Vilar López used this equipment with a group of 80 Psychology students as the “analogous group”, that is, as no patient would admit being a simulator, a group of people without any disorders were asked to fake them in order to confirm the validity of the test. Furthermore, 54 actual patients were analyzed by the doctor. These patients belonged to different departments of the University Hospital Virgen de las Nieves in Granada.

The researcher explains that “although the lie detector itself has no scientific rigor, it could be an efficient instrument if combined with other tools, as for example the tests that we have validated”.

Part of the results of her research were presented at the last ‘International Neuropsychological Society’ and ‘National Academy of Neuropsychology’ conferences and also published in the scientific journal ‘Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology’.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universidad de Granada. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Universidad de Granada. "Almost Half Of People Claiming Head Injuries Fake It For Financial Reasons, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080111100631.htm>.
Universidad de Granada. (2008, January 14). Almost Half Of People Claiming Head Injuries Fake It For Financial Reasons, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080111100631.htm
Universidad de Granada. "Almost Half Of People Claiming Head Injuries Fake It For Financial Reasons, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080111100631.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) — The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins