Malingering: Chronic Pain

  • Keith Nicholson
  • Michael F. Martelli


Mendelson and Mendelson (2004) suggest that medical examiners most often suspect malingering in the context of assessing chronic pain. There has long been concern about whether pain may be “real” or feigned. Thomas (1923) thought headache was the most frequent clinical pain problem and the most difficult to detect if feigned. A number of techniques to identify malingerers were suggested, extended observation being considered to be the most reliable. Collie (1932), in an influential work entitled “Fraud in Medico-Legal Practice,” thought that back pain was the most common complaint in cases where compensation was being claimed. However, such pain was thought to be usually mental rather than physical, reflecting the problem of mind-body dualism (Nicholson, Martelli, & Zasler, 2002).


Chronic Pain Facial Expression Pain Patient Pain Behavior Chronic Pain Patient 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith Nicholson
    • 1
  • Michael F. Martelli
    • 2
  1. 1.Comprehensive Pain ProgramToronto Western HospitalToronto
  2. 2.Concussion Care Centre of VirginiaGlen Allen

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