Although most disability claimants accurately report their symptoms and limitations during an independent medical examination (IME) it is a fact of life that not all claimants are credible. For this reason psychologists use a range of psychological tests to objectively evaluate claimant reliability.
It is important that doctors administer such validity tests in all forensic mental health evaluations, not just ones that have been flagged as questionable. This is because initial cursory case reviews often inaccurately identify which claimants are truthful.
A hundred years of research shows that objective psychological tests can be far more accurate than doctors’ subjective opinions. There is no other finding in social science research that has been more firmly established than the superiority of objectively-based psychological assessment over clinical judgments alone regarding many psychological and psychiatric issues. Fortunately, such tests have largely been validated and can be used effectively with individuals coming from many different cultures around the world. A claims assessor should therefore appoint an appropriately qualified independent doctor who can incorporate objective test findings into their assessments.
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