Examining the uniqueness of frequency and intensity symptom ratings in posttraumatic stress disorder assessment

Jon D. Elhai, Brenda M. Lindsay, Matt J. Gray, Anouk L. Grubaugh, Terry C. North, B. Christopher Frueh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Data from two studies are presented, investigating the relative effectiveness of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom frequency and intensity rating dimensions, in assessing overall PTSD severity and diagnosis. We assessed frequency and intensity ratings using 1) the Modified PTSD Symptom Scale with 298 trauma-exposed college students, and 2) the Clinician- Administered PTSD Scale with 130 combat-exposed military veterans. Results demonstrated little empirical justification for separating frequency and intensity ratings when measuring PTSD. Large overlaps in variance were evidenced between the dimensions (suggesting construct redundancy), with little meaningful contribution to diagnosing PTSD using one dimension over the other. Implications for future PTSD clinical and research assessment are discussed, including the potential to decrease administration time for these commonly used PTSD measures, given their time-consuming nature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)940-944
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Volume194
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2006

Keywords

  • Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale
  • Military veterans
  • Modified PTSD Symptom Scale
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Severity (disorders)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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