Assessment and reporting of suspected malingering in mental disorders

by Dr Derek K. Tracy and Professor Keith J.B. Rix


Last reviewed: June 2020


Although malingering of mental disorder may be encountered only occasionally in clinical practice, it calls for particular consideration in the medico-legal setting. If successful, claimants in personal injury litigation may be compensated for injuries they have not suffered or receive more compensation than they are entitled to. Malingering can also lead to criminal offenders avoiding conviction.


There are certain psychometric tests that can assist with the detection of malingering, but their use by those unfamiliar with their scientific basis or insufficiently trained can cause difficulties for the expert witness who relies on them in court. Even more so if the expert trespasses into the judge's territory by offering an opinion on the credibility of a litigant.


Completion of this module will enable you to feel better prepared when offering expert evidence regarding the genuineness of a litigant's history or presentation.


Start the module

If you like this module, you may also be interested in:

A guide to medico-legal report writing in asylum cases by Dr Hugh Grant-Peterkin and Dr Alexandra Joy


Podcast Malingering with Dr Gerald Rosen


Or why not try a Quickbite module?:


Use of mental health legislation in eating disorders by E. Jane B. Morris



BJPsych Advances: related articles for CPD Online



Related Advances articles


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This module is a joint commission with the following articles published in BJPsych Advances:

Rix KJB, Tracy DK (2017) Malingering mental disorders: clinical assessment. BJPsych Advances, 23: 27–35. [abstract]

Rix KJB, Tracy DK (2017) Malingering mental disorders: medicolegal reporting. BJPsych Advances, 23: 115–122. [abstract]


Other related Advances articles


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