Malingering Research

(Also Known As: Fabricated Mental Illness Research, Faked Mental Illness Research, Munchausen Syndrome Research, Factitious Disorder Research)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

Malingering Related Research


According to the Child and Adolescence Guidance Department of West Galilee Hospital of Naharia, Israel malingering has three explanatory models namely the criminological model, the pathogenic model, and the adaptational model. The research they conducted is in view of the diagnostic and therapeutic perspective of malingering. They used an updated literature survey of psychological tests that can help in the detection of malingering, including the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). Their study indicated that using the MMPI as a single tool can be misleading since malingerers usually learn to avoid detection.

Using the Symptom Validity Test with the MMPI can help resolve this problem. Malingering should be seen as a 2-way continual axis spectrum of external vs. internal motivation and conscious vs. unconscious motivation. This diagnostic approach can possibly help treat patients who would normally be considered as untreatable. 9


A joint research study on chronic pain disability exaggeration and malingering was conducted by the Department of Psychiatry, Department of Neurological Surgery, and Department of Anesthesiology of the University of Miami School of Medicine, Comprehensive Pain and rehabilitation Center. The objective of the research study is to review chronic pain malingering on a disease simulation research. They conducted the study in order to determine the prevalence of malingering in chronic pain patients and to determine if there is evidence that make it possible to detect malingering from chronic pain patients.

The result of the study showed that dissimulation and malingering occur with chronic pain patients. The percentage of their gathered data however is insufficient, thereby making it an unreliable percentage prevalence of malingering with chronic pain. This indicates that there is no reliable method that can effectively detect malingering with chronic pain. 10


Malingering is a condition where there is deliberate exaggeration of the illness which was originally described as a means by which one can elude military service. Malingering however is currently considered in the clinical practice where it is used when one wants to avoid legal responsibility and in cases where one can obtain monetary benefit by malingering for their illness. Malingering is regarded as fraud, which is chargeable to perjury and criminal fraud by law. Some take advantage of malingering in order to exaggerate their medical condition, especially when they are entitled to pain-contingent benefits or when they are issuing for damages. Unfortunately, there are no valid clinical assessments that can diagnose malingering of pain. The veracity of the plaintiff will rely on the Court to decide, since malingerers have no place in the health care professional reports prepared for legal purposes. 11

Could You Have Malingering?

Malingering Topics

Related Conditions

Antisocial Personality Disorder – conduct disorder, sociopaths, psychopaths, deceitful, manipulative, behavior disorder
Factitious Disorder – feigning symptoms, exaggerates physical and psychological condition,
Hypochondriasis – fear of having serious disease, misinterpretation of body symptoms
Munchausen Syndrome – chronic factitious disorder, faking/feigning of psychological and mental illness, severe