MMPI-2-RF Profiles of Treatment-Seeking Veterans in a VA Pain Clinic and Associations With Markers of Physical Performance

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Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings








Chronic pain is a debilitating condition for many military Veterans and is associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study examined the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2-Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF) in 144 Veterans (88.2% male, mean age = 57.95 years) recruited from a VA outpatient pain clinic and associations with self-reported pain severity, pain-related interference in daily activities, prescription opioid use, and objective metrics of physical performance on tasks impacted by pain (walking, stair climbing, grip strength, indexed by a single latent variable). Among the cohort with valid responses on the MMPI-2-RF (n = 117) and probable PTSD, mean Somatic Complaints (RC1) and Ideas of Persecution (RC6) scores were clinically elevated. All MMPI-2-RF scales were more strongly correlated with self-reported pain interference than severity. Regressions revealed associations between self-rated pain interference (but not pain or PTSD severity) and physical performance scores (β = .36, p = .001). MMPI-2-RF overreporting Validity and Higher-Order scales contributed incremental variance in predicting physical performance, including Infrequent Psychopathology Responses (β = .33, p = .002). PTSD severity was associated with prescription opioid use when accounting for the effects of over-reported somatic and cognitive symptoms (odds ratio 1.05, p ≤ .025). Results highlight the role of symptom overreporting and perceptions of functional impairment to observable behaviors among individuals with chronic pain.


This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2023.

Original Publication Citation

Wolf, E. J., Higgins, D. M., Zhao, X., Hawn, S. E., Sanborn, V., Todd, C. A., Fein-Schaffer, D., Houranieh, A., & Miller, M. W. (2024). MMPI-2-RF profiles of treatment-seeking veterans in a VA pain clinic and associations with markers of physical performance. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 31(1), 58-76.