Systematic review of screening instruments for adults at risk of PTSD



The development of effective methods of screening for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is important in the context of mass trauma, the geographical dispersion of victims, and the restricted availability of specialists in psychological trauma. The review focused on published English-language screening instruments for civilian PTSD consisting of 30 items or fewer and validated against structured clinical interviews. Thirteen instruments were identified meeting these criteria, all consisting of symptoms of traumatic stress. The review concluded that the performance of some currently available instruments is near to their maximal potential effectiveness, and that instruments with fewer items, simpler response scales, and simpler scoring methods perform as well as if not better than longer and more complex measures.