Glenn P. Smith, PhD, Professional Manual by Michelle R. Widows, PhD, and Glenn P. Smith, PhD
The SIMS is a 75-item, true/false screening instrument that assesses for both malingered psychopathology and neuropsychological symptoms. The instrument reduces clinician burden and increases assessment efficiency by serving as a screen for malingering and by reducing hands-on administration time. In addition to serving as a screening measure, the SIMS may be used as part of a battery of tests providing convergent evidence of malingering, rather than relying on a single instrument for diagnosis. The SIMS is also recommended as part of a comprehensive approach to the evaluation in which alternative hypotheses for response patterns are to be considered.
The SIMS is an excellent tool for forensic clinicians working with competency and Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI) evaluations, forensic researchers, and clinicians who evaluate disability and workers' compensation issues, as well as mental health providers in inpatient settings. It demonstrates sensitivity, specificity, and efficiency across both simulation and known-groups designs with honest responders, psychiatric patients, and clinical malingerers. The SIMS is written at a 5th-grade reading level and is appropriate for ages 18 years and older.
The SIMS consists of a Professional Manual and the SIMS Response Form (a two-part carbonless form). The clinician compares raw scores to empirically derived and validated clinical cut-off scores indicative of likely malingering. Interpretations for each scale score and the Total score are provided in the Professional Manual. Based on the comparison to the clinical cut-off scores, the individual may be referred for more extensive evaluation.
The SIMS provides five scale domains as well as an overall score for probable malingering (i.e. Total score):
- Psychosis (P)
- Neurologic Impairment (NI)
- Amnestic Disorders (AM)
- Low Intelligence (LI)
- Affective Disorders (AF)
Reliability and Validity
- Internal consistency alpha coefficients for all SIMS scales range from .82 (P scale) to .88 (Total score).
- Test-retest reliability was adequate (r = .72) for the Total score over a 3-week interval.
- The SIMS demonstrated moderate to high correlations with other indexes of malingering, including the MMPI-2 validity scales (r range = -.47-.50), the SIRS Scales (r range = .43-.80), and the M Test (r range = .58-.67).
- The SIMS has demonstrated very good utility in identifying malingering across multiple studies. In the SIMS cross-validation sample, efficiency was .95, while sensitivity was .96 and specificity was .88.
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