The Validation of a Self-Report Measure of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

The Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale

Published in: Psychological Assessment, v. 9, no. 4, 1997, p. 445-451

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 1996

by Edna B. Foa, Laurie Cashman, Lisa H. Jaycox, Kevin Perry

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The present article reports on the development and validation of a self-report measure of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PTDS), that yields both a PTSD diagnosis according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; American Psychiatric Association, 1994; DSM-IV) criteria and a measure of PTSD symptom severity. Two hundred forty-eight participants who had experienced a wide variety of traumas (e.g., accident, fire, natural disaster, assault, combat) were administered the PTSD module of the Structured Clinical Interview (SCID; Spitzer, Williams, Gibbons, & First, 1990), the PTDS, and scales measuring trauma-related psychopathology. The PTDS demonstrated high internal consistency and test-retest reliability, high diagnostic agreement with SCID, and good sensitivity and specificity. The satisfactory validity of the PTDS was further supported by its high correlations with other measures of trauma-related psychopathology. Therefore, the PTDS appears to be a useful tool for screening and assessing current PTSD in clinical and research settings.

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