Psychiatry Investig.  2020 Jun;17(6):526-532. 10.30773/pi.2019.0330.

Detection of Malingering Using Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV for Psychiatric Patients

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Wonkwang University Hospital, Iksan, Republic of Korea
  • 2Korea Brain-Behavior Mental Health Institute, Iksan, Republic of Korea
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Wonkwang University, Iksan, Republic of Korea
  • 4Department of Public Health, Wonkwang University Graduate School, Iksan, Republic of Korea
  • 5Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea


Psychiatric patients sometimes show poor performance or exaggerated symptoms as malingering for secondary gain. The aim of this study was to introduce cut-off scores for detecting poor performance using Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) in psychiatric patients.
Participants were 261 in- and out-patients who visited psychiatry department. They were classified into 4 group- 1) military service, 2) traumatic brain injury (TBI), 3) psychosis, 4) neurosis. A Digit Span subtest (called as Reliable Digit Span, RDS) of WAIS was used to detect malingering. This study considered a score of 10% base rate as RDS cut-off score.
The RDS cut-off score was shown at 7 pts for military service group, at 3 pts for TBI group, at 6 pts for psychosis group, and at 6 pts for neurosis group.
This study first introduced RDS cut-off scores for malingering psychiatric patients in South Korea. In clinical practice, clinicians may be able to utilize the RDS cut-off scores for malingering-suspected patients. In particular, for patients with military service issues, 7 or less pts of RDS can be used for detecting and inferring their malingering.


Malingering, Performance validity, WAIS-IV, Reliable Digit Span, Military service
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