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Screening for post-traumatic stress disorder in female Veteran's Affairs patients: validation of the PTSD checklist.

Dobie DJ, Kivlahan DR, Maynard C, Bush KR, McFall M, Epler AJ, Bradley KA. Screening for post-traumatic stress disorder in female Veteran's Affairs patients: validation of the PTSD checklist. General hospital psychiatry. 2002 Nov 1; 24(6):367-74.

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Abstract:

We evaluated the screening validity of a self-report measure for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the PTSD Checklist (PCL), in female Veterans Affairs (VA) patients. All women seen for care at the VA Puget Sound Health Care system from October 1996-January 1999 (n = 2,545) were invited to participate in a research interview. Participants (n = 282) completed the 17-item PCL, followed by a gold standard diagnostic interview for PTSD, the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS). Thirty-six percent of the participants (n = 100) met CAPS diagnostic criteria for current PTSD. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to evaluate the screening performance of the PCL. The area under the ROC curve was 0.86 (95% CI 0.82-0.90). A PCL score of 38 optimized the performance of the PCL as a screening test (sensitivity 0.79, specificity 0.79). The PCL performed well as a screening measure for the detection of PTSD in female VA patients.





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