Personality Assessment Inventory among patients with psychogenic seizures and those with epilepsy

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28 Scopus citations


The Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) is a widely used self-report questionnaire designed to detect and quantify dimensions of adult psychopathology. Previous studies that examined the ability of the PAI to differentiate between patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) and those with epilepsy (EPIL) have yielded inconsistent results. We compared the full PAI profiles of 62 patients with PNES, 55 with EPIL, and 45 normal control (NC) participants to determine the diagnostic accuracy of the PAI. We also sought to highlight psychopathologic symptoms that may inform psychological treatment of patients with PNES or epilepsy. PNES and EPIL patients reported more somatic concerns and symptoms of anxiety and depression than did NC persons. PNES patients reported more unusual somatic symptoms, as well as greater physical symptoms of anxiety and depression than did patients with EPIL. Classification accuracy of the "NES Indicator" was not much better than chance, whereas the Conversion subscale alone had reasonable sensitivity (74%) and specificity (67%). Overall, the PAI demonstrated only moderate classification accuracy in an epilepsy monitoring unit sample. However, the inventory appears to identify specific psychopathological symptoms that may be targets of psychological/psychiatric intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e84-e88
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Diagnosis
  • Personality Assessment Inventory
  • Psychogenic seizures
  • Psychological testing
  • Somatoform disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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