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Feigning in adjudicative competence evaluations



Competence to stand trial (adjudicative competence) is the most requested forensic psychiatric evaluation, with an estimated 60,000 referrals annually. The challenge of detecting feigned incompetence has not been systematically studied until the past decade. Estimates of feigned adjudicative incompetence vary from 8 to 21%. This article reviews techniques for detecting malingered psychosis and malingered cognitive impairment during competence evaluations. Specific techniques for assessing feigned adjudicative incompetence and estimating the malingerer's genuine abilities are discussed. A stepwise approach to suspected feigned adjudicative incompetence is proffered. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.