Can naive subjects simulate whiplash responses?
Faking a profile: can naive subjects
simulate whiplash responses?
BJ; Bogduk N
Spine Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Newcastle,
Callaghan, NSW, Australia.
8880844 UI: 97035188
psychological symptom checklist, the SCL-90-R (Derogatis 1983),
has been used to assess patients with a number of chronic pain
syndromes. For whiplash injury, a characteristic profile has been
found (Wallis et al. 1995). However, there is still a belief that
patients with neck pain following whiplash injury may be
malingering, and therefore the utility of the SCL-90-R as a screen
for possible malingering is assessed here. Forty pain-free
university students were asked to simulate chronic pain 6 months
after a motor vehicle accident in order to ensure compensation.
The SCL-90-R, McGill Pain Questionnaire and a visual analogue pain
scale were used. Students' scores were compared with those of a
group of 132 whiplash patients (Wallis et al. 1995). Differences
between the two groups were striking; the students scored
significantly higher than patients on all subscales of the
SCL-90-R and on the visual analogue pain scale (Mann-Whitney
P-values all less than 0.001). However, pain scores for both
groups on the McGill Pain Questionnaire were similar. The
conclusion was that it is very difficult for an ingenuine
individual to fake a psychological profile typical of a whiplash