Malingering and Pain: Is this a Major Problem in the Medicolegal Setting?

Krista J. Howard, Nancy D. Kishino, Valerie J. Johnston, Whitney E. Worzer, Robert Joseph Gatchel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The term malingering has a negative connotation, in that it is considered to intentionally project exaggerated physical and/or psychosocial symptoms for the purpose of gaining some external rewards/secondary gain. The present article will review a number of misconceptions about malingering, as well as the inherent problem in objectively measuring this construct. It will be suggested that a more comprehensive biopsychosocial approach should be used to evaluate potential barriers to recovery, as well as suboptimal performance that may delay, or prevent, recovery over an expected time period for musculoskeletal pain disorders. Such an approach will eliminate the common misuse and misdiagnosis of the construct of malingering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-211
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Injury and Law
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Biopsychosocial
  • DSM-IV diagnoses
  • Malingering
  • Pain


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