by Helen Farrell, MD

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    00:00 Now let’s talk about Malingering and we’ll start with a case example of this “50-year-old man who comes to the hospital complaining of hearing command auditory hallucinations and they told him to hurt himself.” So, you do your evaluation and you find that this man though is unwilling to cooperate in any action plan other than being admitted to the hospital for observation.

    00:24 So you try to brainstorm with him about other alternatives, safety net outside of the hospital, you asked about connecting to outpatient providers and he’s really uncooperative with you in the emergency room but he tells you that he wants to be admitted, he also tells you that he’d like medication and the only medication that has ever helped him with these hallucinations are benzodiazepines. He absolutely refuses to consider any anti-psychotic medication. So, on your review of his previous hospital records, you see that this man has a pending application for disability and in fact he’s come to the hospital multiple times seeking admission, looking to hope his disability application. So, he further is refusing to participate with you and when you asked to speak to collateral sources of information he says “No.” His answers to you are vague and inconsistent, although he does intersperse a lot of technical medical jargon into his conversation.

    01:26 So he uses phrases like "command hallucinations" and also "needing PRNs," terminology that's usually used by nurses and doctors, not usually by lay people or patients. So, what is malingering? You’re probably suspecting this from the case example and malingering is actually the faking or exaggerating of symptoms for obvious external benefit. Some common reasons are disability, evading prosecution or criminal charges, looking for money, housing, or to get medication especially controlled substances. So, malingering involves the feigning of physical or psychological symptoms. You’re really looking for personal gain and it’s very common when people have external motives to malinger symptoms to try to get what they want and it’s pretty common in hospitalized patients, more often occurring in men than women and some of the criteria that you’re going to look for to diagnose it are as follows. The presentation is usually with multiple vague complaints that do not conform to a known medical condition. The patient often has a long history of many hospital stays. Generally, they’re uncooperative and they refused to accept a good prognosis or even refused to talk with you about a management plan that could help them. The symptoms also tend to improve once the desired objective is obtained. So, with this gentleman, you might be suspecting malingering. That summarizes some of the somatoform disorders and other disorders that fall under that category. You know a little bit now about the diagnosis and how to go about management and treatment of these patients.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Malingering by Helen Farrell, MD is from the course Dissociative Disorders.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Patients readily participate in the interview process
    2. Patients often use technical and medical terminology while explaining their symptoms.
    3. The symptoms improve once the desired objective is obtained.
    4. It is common in hospitalized patients.
    5. Patients often have a long history of admissions to the hospital.
    1. Need for care and attention
    2. Avoiding police/prosecution
    3. Obtaining narcotics or other controlled substances
    4. Monetary gain
    5. Housing

    Author of lecture Malingering

     Helen Farrell, MD

    Helen Farrell, MD

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    By Paramjit V. on 24. November 2017 for Malingering

    I really have no words to say how useful these lectures are and how well these have been presented.