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Psych Congress  

Pilot Study: Detecting Feigned ADHD in Adults Using Computerized Assessment Technology

Cheryl Ritchie, BS, RN
Kenneth Hoadley, BS
Calvin Sumner, MD

Study objective was to demonstrate that the Quotient reports from individuals feigning ADHD could be distinguished from reports from unmedicated individuals with ADHD giving an honest testing effort. Substantial evidence indicates that not every adult who presents for ADHD evaluation actually has the disorder. This study investigated utility of Quotient computerized assessment in the detection of feigned ADHD. 

Twenty individuals, male and female ages 21-55, knowledgeable of the Quotient test for ADHD were instructed to take Quotient test and give their best efforts to appear to have ADHD. A second matched group of 19 unmedicated adults with ADHD took Quotient and were instructed to give their honest effort on the test. Five teams of interpreters of Quotient reports, blinded to test source, were tasked with separating the 39 reports into two groups; Feigned ADHD and Honest ADHD. 

Average Accuracy for the five teams in assigning the correct designation of “Feigned” or “Honest” to the Quotient tests was 85.8%, Sensitivity 76%, Specificity 92.9% , NPV 84.4% and PPV 88.4%. Values for two of the 17 Quotient parameters (Variability and Disengaged) alone correctly identified 66.7% of those feigning ADHD.

Although larger controlled trials are warranted, we tentatively conclude that using computerized objective measures such as Quotient may provide clinicians with much needed information in the assessment of adults who may attempt to feign ADHD. 

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