University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

The effects of symptom overreporting on PTSD treatment outcome

van Minnen, A., van Dalen, B., Voorendonk, E.M., Wagenmans, A. and de Jongh, Ad (2020) The effects of symptom overreporting on PTSD treatment outcome. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 11 (1). p. 1794729. ISSN 2000-8066

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Background: It is often assumed that individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who overreport their symptoms should be excluded from trauma-focused treatments.
Objective: To investigate the effects of a brief, intensive trauma-focused treatment programme for ndividuals with PTSD who are overreporting symptoms.
Methods: Individuals (n = 205) with PTSD participated in an intensive trauma-focused treatment programme consisting of EMDR and prolonged exposure (PE) therapy, physical activity and psycho-education. Assessments took place at pre- and post-treatment (Structured Inventory of Malingered Symptomatology; SIMS, Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5; CAPS-5).
Results: Using a high SIMS cut-off of 24 or above, 14.1% (n = 29) had elevated SIMS scores
(i.e. ‘overreporters’). The group of overreporters showed significant decreases in PTSDsymptoms, and these treatment results did not differ significantly from other patients. Although some patients (35.5%) remained overreporters at post-treatment, SIMS scores decreased significantly during treatment.
Conclusion: The results suggest that an intensive trauma-focused treatment not only is a feasible and safe treatment for PTSD in general, but also for individuals who overreport their symptoms.

Item Type: Article
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The full-text of the online published article can be accessed via the official URL.

© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: malingering, treatment outcome, trauma-focused treatment, symptom overreporting, intensive treatment
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Psychology
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Copyright Info: Open access article
Depositing User: Karen Veitch
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2020 12:08
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2020 17:13

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