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Protocol - PTSD Symptoms, Self-report - DSM 5

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Description:

The PTSD Checklist (PCL-5) for The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) is a 20-item self-report measure that assesses DSM-5-based criteria for PTSD symptoms. Each item is rated on a 5-point Likert-type scale (0 = Not at all; 5 = Extremely) that indicates how much the participant has been bothered by an identified "worst" stressful event in the past month.

Protocol:

Summary of the PTSD Checklist (PCL) for DSM-5

The PTSD Checklist (PCL) for DSM-5 includes 20 items that capture:

• Repeated, disturbing, and unwanted memories and/or dreams

• Feeling and/or acting as if the experience was happening again

• Feeling upset and/or having physical reactions when reminded of the experience

• Avoiding memories and/or external reminders of the experience

• Trouble remembering parts of the experience

• Strong negative beliefs and/or negative feelings

• Blaming yourself or others for the experience

• Loss of interest in activities and/or feeling cut off

• Trouble experiencing positive feelings

• Irritable behavior, feeling jumpy, and/or being "superalert"

• Taking risks

• Difficulty concentrating

• Trouble sleeping

Scoring:

Each item is scored on a 5-point Likert scale (0 = Not at all; 4 = Extremely) indicating how much the participant has been bothered by the event in the past month. A total symptom severity score can be obtained by totaling the scores of the 20 individual items. Preliminary validation work suggests a cut-off score of 38 for PTSD screening.

DSM-5 symptom cluster severity scores can be calculated according to the following:

  • Cluster B - sum items 1-5
  • Cluster C - sum items 6-7
  • Cluster D - sum items 8-14
  • Cluster E - sum items 15-20

A provisional PTSD diagnosis can be made by counting each item rated as 2 ("Moderately") or higher as a symptom endorsement, then following the DSM-5 diagnostic rule, which requires at least 1 item from cluster B (questions 1-5), 1 item from cluster C (questions 6-7), 2 items from cluster D (questions 8-14), and 2 items from cluster E (questions 15-20).

Interpretation of the PCL-5 should be made by a clinician.

Change scores for PCL-5 have not yet been documented, but it is expected that reliable and clinically meaningful change will be in a similar range to the scores established for the PCL for DSM-IV (reliable > 5; clinically meaningful > 10).

Availability:

The PTSD Checklist (PCL) for DSM-5 is available for download from the National Center for PTSD at www.ptsd.va.gov.

Protocol Name from Source:

This section will be completed when reviewed by an Expert Review Panel.

Availability:

Publicly available

Personnel and Training Required

None

Equipment Needs

None

Requirements
Requirement CategoryRequired
Major equipment No
Specialized training No
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection No
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual No
Mode of Administration

Self-administered questionnaire

Life Stage:

Adult

Participants:

Adults, ages 18 and older

Specific Instructions:

A change in the numerical rating scale combined with an increase from 17 to 20 items means that The PTSD Checklist (PCL-5) scores are not interchangeable with scores based on PCL-4 for The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV).

This measure includes both the DSM-IV and DSM-5 versions of the PTSD Checklist. The PhenX PTSD Working Group anticipates that scientific demands will dictate that researchers typically collect data in accordance with the most recent PTSD criteria and will use the DSM-5 version of the protocol. However, under special circumstances (e.g., when adding to older, existing data sets), researchers may decide to use the DSM-IV version instead.

Selection Rationale

The PTSD Checklist (PCL-5) for The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) is based on the PCL-4 for The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), a brief, self-administered, widely used measure to assess post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms that demonstrates good psychometric properties. The PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 provides a quantitative measure of PTSD symptom severity that aligns with the revised diagnostic criteria.

Language

English

Standards
StandardNameIDSource
Common Data Elements (CDE) PTSD Self-report Symptom Questionnaire Score 4588679 CDE Browser
Process and Review

This section will be completed when reviewed by an Expert Review Panel.

Source

Weathers, F. W., Litz, B. T., Keane, T. M., Palmieri, P. A., Marx, B. P., & Schnurr, P. P. (2013). The PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5).

The PTSD Checklist (PCL) for DSM-5 is available for download from the National Center for PTSD at www.ptsd.va.gov.

General References

Blanchard, E. B., Jones-Alexander, J., Buckley, T. C., & Forneris, C. A. (1996). Psychometric properties of the PTSD checklist (PCL). Behavioral Research & Therapy, 34, 669-673.

Bliese, P. D., Wright, K. M., Adler, A. B., Cabrera, O., Castrol, C. A., & Hoge, C. W. (2008). Validating the primary care posttraumatic stress disorder screen and the posttraumatic stress disorder checklist with soldiers returning from combat. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76, 272-281.

Harrington, T., & Newman, E. (2007). The psychometric utility of two self-report measures of PTSD among women substance users. Addictive Behaviors, 32, 2788-2798.

Monson, C. M., Gradus, J. L., Young-Xu, Y., Schnurr, P. P., Price, J. L., & Schumm, J. A. (2008). Change in posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms: Do clinicians and patients agree? Psychological Assessment, 20, 131-138.

Sherman, J. J., Carlson, C., Wilson, J. F., Okeson, J., & McCubbin, J. A. (2005). Posttraumatic stress disorder among patients with orofacial pain. Journal of Orofacial Pain, 19, 309-317.

Walker, E. A., Newman, E., Dobie, D. J., Ciechanowski, P., & Katon, W. (2002). Validation of the PTSD checklist in an HMO sample of women. General Hospital Psychiatry, 24, 375-380.

Protocol ID:

122002

Variables:
Export Variables
Variable NameVariable IDVariable DescriptionVersiondbGaP Mapping
Research Domain Information
Measure Name:

PTSD Symptoms, Self-report

Release Date:

November 21, 2014

Definition

A questionnaire to assess post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.

Purpose

This measure can be used to screen for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and as a quantitative measure of PTSD symptom severity.

Keywords

Trauma, Potentially traumatic event, Stress, Stressor, Post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD