A brief report on the Penn Inventory for posttraumatic stress disorder

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Abstract

In this report we provide normative data for the Penn Inventory for posttraumatic stress disorder for men and women who were referred to a specialist outpatient clinic following a range of traumatic events. Data are provided from clinical assessment of 80 people. There was no significant difference between male and female scores. Using the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale to ascertain diagnostic status and Hammarberg's cut-off criterion of 35, the Penn Inventory showed a sensitivity of .90 for male participants and .89 for female participants and a specificity of .55 for male participants and .67 for female participants. The Penn Inventory correlated highly with other measures of psychological distress. We discuss that the Penn Inventory may be best used as a screening instrument or measure of change of general mental well-being after trauma, rather than a diagnostic tool for specific traumatic stress symptoms.

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