Professor Co-Authors Publication on Pain-Related Disability

HIGH POINT, N.C., Dec. 8, 2014 – Dr. Kelly Curtis, assistant professor of psychology at High Point University, co-authored a recent publication entitled, “Accuracy of the Modified Somatic Perception Questionnaire and Pain Disability Index in the Detection of Malingered Pain-Related Disability in Chronic Pain,” which will appear in the forthcoming issue of The Clinical Neuropsychologist. This article discusses the ability to detect whether someone is exaggerating their claims of pain-related disability.

In the article, Curtis and colleagues examined the effectiveness of the Modified Somatic Perception Questionnaire (MSPQ) and the Pain Disability Index (PDI) in detecting exaggerated impairment in a group of patients with chronic pain. In a small subset of patients referred for neuropsychological evaluations, a patient’s report of impairment may not alight with what is being observed on objective measures of functioning. In some cases, the reason for the discrepancy is because the patient is intentionally exaggerating and/or feigning the impairment (malingering), usually for the sake of acquiring secondary gain, such as money. The findings of the study show that both questionnaires are very effective at distinguishing malingered from non-malingered symptom presentations in chronic pain.

“This article helps to identify psychosocial factors that may contribute to the potential misdirection of scarce health care resources and can be used to inform the clinical management of chronic pain patients,” says Curtis.

This publication is a product of collaboration from a variety of institutes.

“I am fortunate to work at a university that strongly encourages and values collaborative research,” says Curtis. “I hope to continue collaborating with individuals in the field on research that better elucidates the psychosocial factors that put patients most ‘at-risk’ for having poor health outcomes after injury.”


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