Can posturography identify informed malingerers?

Stacie S. Morgan, William G. Beck, Robert A. Dobie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: This study evaluated whether information about computed dynamic posturography given to subjects instructed to feign vestibular impairment (malingerers) improved their attempts to display test patterns consistent with vestibular weakness. Study Design: The study design was prospective, with blinded scoring of tests. Setting: The study was conducted at a university hospital. Patients: Sixty volunteer subjects, 20 to 59 years old, were randomly assigned to one of two equal groups: naïve subjects and subjects informed about computed dynamic posturography. Interventions: Computed dynamic posturography was performed twice. First, subjects were instructed to feign a vestibular weakness. Second, subjects were instructed to perform the test normally. One group was given additional information about computed dynamic posturography before the first test (informed faking). Main Outcome Measures: The computed dynamic posturography test summaries were scored as normal, aphysiologic, or vestibular by two methods: the scoring method published by Cevette et al. in 1995 and blinded clinical scoring. The computed dynamic posturography test summaries of patients referred for vestibular disorders were included with the test summaries collected from subjects during scoring. These additional tests of possible "true" vestibular disorder allowed evaluation of scoring accuracy. Results: The scoring method of Cevette et al. classified about one-third of the test results of feigned vestibular weakness as either normal (16.7%) or vestibular weakness (18.3%). The remaining two thirds of the test results of feigned vestibular weakness were classified as aphysiologic (65.0%). Blinded clinical scoring gave similar figures. Additional information about computed dynamic posturography did not increase the number of feigned test results scored as a vestibular weakness. Conclusion: When additional information about computed dynamic posturography was provided, the subjects did not improve their ability to feign vestibular weakness. This investigation supports the use of scoring computed dynamic posturography results by the formulae of Cevette et al. in separating aphysiologic behavior from vestibular impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-217
Number of pages4
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

Keywords

  • Computed dynamic posturography
  • Malingering
  • Vestibular impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology

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