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PTSD Checklist - Stressor Specific (PCL-S)
Availability
The instrument is freely available here:
Classification
Supplemental for TBI
Short Description of Instrument
The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL) is a 17-item self- report measure of the DSM-IV symptoms of PTSD. Respondents rate how much they were “bothered by a symptom” on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (“not at all”) to 5 (“extremely”).
 
Proper administration requires that the test taker be able to respond meaningfully to the items. The test taker must be able to see, read, and comprehend the items. Average reading difficulty is about the 6th-grade level.
Psychometric Properties
The PCL provides a brief assessment of PTSD symptoms, can be used for diagnostic and severity purposes, and can be used to monitor change in response to treatment. Public domain and widely used measure.
Scoring
The PCL can be scored in two ways: a) a total score (range 17-85), or b) using differential symptom response to follow the DSM-IV criteria. In the latter approach item ratings of 3–5 (Moderately or above) are considered symptomatic and DSM criteria are used for a diagnosis:
 
    - Symptomatic response to at least 1 “B” item (Questions 1–5),
    - Symptomatic response to at least 3 “C” items (Questions 6–12),
    - Symptomatic response to at least 2 “D” items (Questions 13–17)
 
References
Weathers, F., Litz, B., Herman, D., Huska, J., & Keane, T. (October 1993). The PTSD Checklist (PCL): Reliability, Validity, and Diagnostic Utility. Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, San Antonio, TX.
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