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Enhancing self-report assessment of PTSD: Development of an item bank

Authors

  • Nicole Del Vecchio,

    1. Bedford VA Medical Center
    Current affiliation:
    1. Center for Health Quality, Outcomes and Economic Research, Bedford VA Medical Center
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  • A. Rani Elwy,

    1. Bedford VA Medical Center and Boston University School of Public Health
    Current affiliation:
    1. Center for Health Quality, Outcomes and Economic Research, Bedford VA Medical Center, and Department of Health Policy and Management, Boston University School of Public Health
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  • Eric Smith,

    1. Bedford VA Medical Center and University of Massachusetts Medical School
    Current affiliation:
    1. Center for Health Quality, Outcomes and Economic Research, Bedford VA Medical Center, and Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School
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  • Kathryn A. Bottonari,

    1. Bedford VA Medical Center
    Current affiliation:
    1. Charlie Norwood Bedford VA Medical Center
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  • Susan V. Eisen

    Corresponding author
    1. Bedford VA Medical Center and Boston University School of Public Health
    Current affiliation:
    1. Center for Health Quality, Outcomes and Economic Research, Bedford VA Medical Center, and Department of Health Policy and Management, Boston University School of Public Health
    • Center for Health Quality, Outcomes, and Economic Research, 200 Springs Road (152), Bedford, MA 01730.
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  • This research was supported by a VA grant from the Veterans Administration Health Services Research & Development (HSR & D) service (Susan V. Eisen, Principal Investigator). The work was conducted at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, MA. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Abstract

The authors report results of work to enhance self-report posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) assessment by developing an item bank for use in a computer-adapted test. Computer-adapted tests have great potential to decrease the burden of PTSD assessment and outcomes monitoring. The authors conducted a systematic literature review of PTSD instruments, created a database of items, performed qualitative review and readability analysis, and conducted cognitive interviews with veterans diagnosed with PTSD. The systematic review yielded 480 studies in which 41 PTSD instruments comprising 993 items met inclusion criteria. The final PTSD item bank includes 104 items representing each of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 1994), PTSD symptom clusters (reexperiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal), and 3 additional subdomains (depersonalization, guilt, and sexual problems) that expanded the assessment item pool.

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