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Improving the ability of the MMPI-2-RF to discriminate between psychogenic non-epileptic seizures and epileptic seizures

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The use of bias indicators in psychological measurement has been contentious, with some researchers questioning whether they actually suppress or moderate the ability of substantive psychological indictors to discriminate (McGrath, Mitchell, Kim, & Hough, 2010). Bias indicators on the MMPI-2-RF

The use of bias indicators in psychological measurement has been contentious, with some researchers questioning whether they actually suppress or moderate the ability of substantive psychological indictors to discriminate (McGrath, Mitchell, Kim, & Hough, 2010). Bias indicators on the MMPI-2-RF (F-r, Fs, FBS-r, K-r, and L-r) were tested for suppression or moderation of the ability of the RC1 and NUC scales to discriminate between Epileptic Seizures (ES) and Non-epileptic Seizures (NES, a conversion disorder that is often misdiagnosed as ES). RC1 and NUC had previously been found to be the best scales on the MMPI-2-RF to differentiate between ES and NES, with optimal cut scores occurring at a cut score of 65 for RC1 (classification rate of 68%) and 85 for NUC (classification rate of 64%; Locke et al., 2010). The MMPI-2-RF was completed by 429 inpatients on the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) at the Scottsdale Mayo Clinic Hospital, all of whom had confirmed diagnoses of ES or NES. Moderated logistic regression was used to test for moderation and logistic regression was used to test for suppression. Classification rates of RC1 and NUC were calculated at different bias level indicators to evaluate clinical utility for diagnosticians. No moderation was found. Suppression was found for F-r, Fs, K-r, and L-r with RC1, and for all variables with NUC. For F-r and Fs, the optimal RC1 and NUC cut scores increased at higher levels of bias, but tended to decrease at higher levels of K-r, L-r, and FBS-r. K-r provided the greatest suppression for RC1, as well as the greatest increases in classification rates at optimal cut scores, given different levels of bias. It was concluded that, consistent with expectations, taking account of bias indicator suppression on the MMPI-2-RF can improve discrimination of ES and NES. At higher levels of negative impression management, higher cut scores on substantive scales are needed to attain optimal discrimination, whereas at higher levels of positive impression management and FBS-r, lower cut scores are needed. Using these new cut scores resulted in modest improvements in accuracy in discrimination. These findings are consistent with prior research in showing the efficacy of bias indicators, and extend the findings to a psycho-medical context.

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Date Created
2013