ISSN Print: 2472-9450  ISSN Online: 2472-9469
International Journal of Psychology and Cognitive Science  
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Content Validity of the Psychosis Subscale of the Structured Inventory of Malingered Symptomatology (SIMS)
International Journal of Psychology and Cognitive Science
Vol.5 , No. 3, Publication Date: Jul. 30, 2019, Page: 121-127
78 Views Since July 30, 2019, 37 Downloads Since Jul. 30, 2019
 
 
Authors
 
[1]    

Zack Cernovsky, Department of Psychiatry, University of Western Ontario (Western University), London, Canada.

[2]    

James Dominic Mendonça, Department of Psychiatry, University of Western Ontario (Western University), London, Canada.

[3]    

Lamidi Kola Oyewumi, Department of Psychiatry, Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, and Department of Psychology, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada.

[4]    

Jack Remo Ferrari, Psychological Clinic, London, Canada.

[5]    

Gurpreet Sidhu, Methadone Clinic, London, Canada.

[6]    

Robbie Campbell, Department of Psychiatry, University of Western Ontario (Western University), London, Canada.

 
Abstract
 

Background: The Structured Inventory of Malingered Symptomatology (SIMS) is often used to reject the insanity defense or also insurance claims of survivors of various accidents. The SIMS is used not only in the USA, Canada, and other English speaking countries, but also elsewhere in its German and Spanish translations. The present study examines the content validity of the Psychosis subscale of the SIMS, i.e., items described by the test author and also by the test publisher as inconsistent with genuine psychosis and marketed as a “validated” instrument for detection of malingering. Method: Three clinical psychologists and three clinical psychiatrists, each with more than 35 years of experience, including with severely ill psychotic patients, examined all 15 items of the SIMS Psychosis subscale to evaluate if these items (a) represented possible symptoms of true psychosis, or (b) would only be endorsed by malingerers, never by truly ill patients. Results: All six clinicians agreed that any of the 15 items could, in fact, be endorsed by a truly psychotic patient. The inter-rater agreement was 100%. The items have no reasonable potential of differentiating between malingerers and patients with psychosis. Six items appear to refer to auditory hallucinations (voices), six to delusions, and the others may imply mere erroneous ideation. Conclusions: The Psychosis subscale lacks in content validity: this is consistent with diagnostic failure of the SIMS, in a recent study by another team, to statistically differentiate between patients with schizophrenia and malingerers. The SIMS is a pseudopsychological test.


Keywords
 

Psychosis, Schizophrenia, Malingering, Content Validity, SIMS


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