Army Wants PTSD Clinicians to Stop Screening for Fakers: Chances are they are probably ailing
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 3, 2012
The Defense Base Act Insurance Companies and their Overly Zealous Defense continue to brutally delay and deny diagnoses and treatment of PTSD to injured war zone contractors, most having served their country in the military.
In fact they are still allowed to force PTSD patients to undergo psychological interrogation by the infamous Dr John Dorland Griffith who has been discredited over and over again, and falsely accused injured war zone contractors of malingering. Many PTSD claims were denied based on his paid in cash testimony.
In case after case treatable PTSD becomes a chronic lifelong condition, destroying lives, shredding families.
Ultimately costing taxpayers and our society as a whole much more in the long run but provide more profits for the insurer and ever more fees for attorneys on both side of this boondoggle.
The Department of Labor presented policy five years requiring PTSD Claims to be expedited but the policy was never implemented.
In a big reversal, the Army has issued a stern new set of guidelines to doctors tasked with diagnosing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among returning soldiers. Stop spending so much time trying to spot patients who are faking symptoms, the new guidelines instruct. Chances are, they’re actually ailing.
The 17-page document has yet to be made public but was described in some detail by the Seattle Times. In it, the Army Surgeon General’s Office specifically points out — and discredits — a handful of screening tests for PTSD that are widely used by military clinicians to diagnose a condition estimated to afflict at least 200,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
The Army Surgeon General finds great fault with a dense personality test popular with clinicians that ostensibly weeds out “malingerers,” as PTSD fakers are known.
But the results of what’s known as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Test are flawed, according to the report. PTSD sufferers often exhibit anxiety, insomnia, flashbacks and depression — all of which, some doctors believe, can be discounted under the test. The test devotes a large swath of questions to catching apparent exaggerations of symptom severity, seemingly inconsistent answers, or reported symptoms that don’t mesh with the typical signs associated with an illness.
“The report rejects the view that a patient’s response to hundreds of written test questions can determine if a soldier is faking symptoms,” the Seattle Times summarized. Where PTSD is concerned, that’s especially true. The condition is accompanied by symptoms that can differ markedly between patients: Some are hyperactive, others are lethargic; some exhibit frenetic rage while others are simply sullen and depressed.
“And,” the Times continued, “[the report] declares that poor test results ‘does not equate to malingering.’”
Those tests were the standard of care at Madigan Army Medical Center — which is a big deal. Located in Tacoma, Washington, Madigan isn’t just one of the military’s largest medical installations. It’s home to a forensic psychiatry team tasked with deciding whether soldiers diagnosed with PTSD were sick enough to qualify for medical retirement. In March, the Army launched an investigation of the Madigan team after Madigan’s screening procedures allegedly reversed 300 of the PTSD diagnoses among soldiers being evaluated.
The reversals resulted in some soldiers being diagnosed with “personality disorders” and others left with no diagnosis at all. Madigan allegedly used the tests to save money by limiting the number of patients who’d qualify for retirement. “