Preliminary Validation of the Traumatic Events Inventory for the Detection of Fictitious Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Objective: The present study describes the validation of the Traumatic Events Inventory (TEI), a novel self-report measure of Fictitious Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (F-PTSD). The authors hypothesized that the TEI would detect higher sensitivity and specificity of simulating participants than traditional measures.
Methods: Four groups of volunteers were recruited. The first two groups were comprised of individuals with a self-reported diagnosis of PTSD or depression/anxiety, the third group was comprised of individuals without a previous mental health history who were instructed to simulate PTSD and the fourth group were individuals without a mental health history who received no instructions. In addition to the TEI, all of the subjects completed the PTSD checklist for DSM 5 and two performance validity tests (PVTs), the Reliable Digit Span (RDS) and the Portland Digit Recognition Test (PDRT).
Results: The study shows that the TEI possesses high internal consistency and correlates highly with PVT measures. The TEI also has high classification accuracy of F-PTSD and its sensitivity and specificity are higher than the RDS and PDRT.
Conclusions: Our findings support the TEI as a reliable and valid measure for detecting F-PTSD. Future studies are needed to assess the validity of the measure in clinical populations and its ability to identify subtypes of F-PTSD claimants.