+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Evaluation of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: validation of a measure, the PCLS

Evaluation of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: validation of a measure, the PCLS

L'Encephale 29(3 Pt 1): 232-238

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder frequently found in psychiatric clinic and in the population of victims of traumatic events. PTSD, characterized by an intense fear, helplessness or horror, resulting from exposure to a traumatic event, is clinically manifested with three main syndromes: reexperiencing, avoidance behavior and numbing of emotion, and physiological hyperarousal. The Post-Traumatic Checklist Scale (PCLS) is a brief and self-report questionnaire for evaluating the severity of three main syndromes of PTSD. The scale can be divided into three sub-scores corresponding to the three main syndromes of the disorder: reexperiencing (items 1-5), avoidance (items 6-12) and hyperarousal (items 13-17). The validation studies in English version (Weathers et al., 1993, Blanchard et al., 1996) and French version (Ventureyra et al., 2001) showed that the PCLS possesses good psychometric properties. But the discriminating validation with another pathological group and the sensitivity of the scale to change of treatment have not yet been studied up to now. The aim of this study is the validation of the French version of the PCLS in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) subjects compared with subjects suffering from other anxiety disorders and non-clinical subjects. The sensitivity of the PCLS after a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for PTSD was studied for the first time. Fifty-seven outpatients suffering from PTSD according to DSM IV criteria, 23 patients suffering from other anxiety disorders and 28 non-clinical subjects were included in this study. All subjects were assessed with the PCLS. The Beck Depression Inventory--13 items (BDI-13) and the Fear Questionnaire (FQ) were used for the two groups of patients. Fifty-five PTSD patients were administered the PCLS twice over an interval of one to two weeks without any intervention in order to determine the test-retest reliability of the PCLS. And 24 PTSD patients were reassessed with the PCLS after 16 sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in order to study the sensitivity to treatment of the PCLS. The CBT technique for PTSD consisted of relaxation, exposition, recital, cognitive restructuration and stress management. The total score and the subscores on the PCLS were found to be significantly higher in PTSD patients than in two control groups: suffering from other anxiety disorders subjects (61.2/41.4, p<0.0001) and non-clinical subjects (61.2/28.8, p<0.0001). The correlation between the PCLS total score and the others measures showed that the PCLS correlated significantly with the depression measure, the BDI-13 (p<0.001), and the sub-scores of Fear Questionnaire (agoraphobia: p<0.001; anxiety-depression: p<0.001; distress: p<0.001), but not with the social phobia sub-score of the FQ. The PCLS showed a satisfactory test-retest reliability in 55 patients (the total score: r=0.75, p<0.0001; the sub-score of reexperiencing: r=0.844, p<0.0001; the sub-score of avoidance: r=0.702, p<0.0001; the sub-score of hyperarousal: r=0.712, p<0.0001). The t-test showed that the total score of the PCLS was significantly reduced in 24 patients after 16 sessions of CBT (the mean gain=13.1, t=5.63, p<0.0001). The results of our study confirm that the PCLS possesses good empirical and discriminating validity and a good sensitivity. The fact that the PTSD patients reported significantly higher total scores on the PCLS and its three subscores than other anxiety disorder subjects and non-clinical subjects indicates that the PCLS differentiates well the patients presenting PTSD from other anxiety disorder subjects and non-clinical subjects. The PCLS total score also correlates significantly with the other measures of psychopathology used in the study, such as measures of phobia (the Fear Questionnaire agoraphobia subscale), depression (the Beck Depression Inventory -13) and distress (the Fear Questionnaire distress subscale). This may be explained by the fact that some PTSD symptoms overlap with those of depression and of anxiety or phobia. The PCLS showed anxiety or phobia. The PCLS showed a satisfactory test-retest reliability. The PCLS is therefore a valid and effective measurement of PTSD. It may be a useful tool for screening and assessing PTSD in clinical practice and research in psychiatry.

Please choose payment method:

(PDF emailed within 1 workday: $29.90)

Accession: 048993064

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 12876547

Related references

Validation of a measure to assess Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: a Sinhalese version of Impact of Event Scale. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health 3: 4, 2007

Screening of current post-traumatic stress disorder in patients with substance use disorder using the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21): a reliable and convenient measure. European Addiction Research 21(2): 71-77, 2015

Race/ethnic differences in exposure to traumatic events, development of post-traumatic stress disorder, and treatment-seeking for post-traumatic stress disorder in the United States. Psychological Medicine 41(1): 71-83, 2011

The eight-item treatment-outcome post-traumatic stress disorder scale: a brief measure to assess treatment outcome in post-traumatic stress disorder. International Clinical Psychopharmacology 12(1): 41-45, 1997

Validation of a brief screen for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with substance use disorder patients. Addictive Behaviors 31(11): 2074-2079, 2006

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Post Partum: The Impact of Birth on the Prevalence of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Multiparous Women. Geburtshilfe und Frauenheilkunde 72(1): 56-63, 2012

A randomized, controlled trial of virtual reality-graded exposure therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder in active duty service members with combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder. Cyberpsychology Behavior and Social Networking 14(4): 223-229, 2011

Outcome of crisis intervention for borderline personality disorder and post traumatic stress disorder: a model for modification of the mechanism of disorder in complex post traumatic syndromes. Annals of General Psychiatry 9: 19, 2010

Controlled Low-Pressure Blast-Wave Exposure Causes Distinct Behavioral and Morphological Responses Modelling Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Comorbid Mild Traumatic Brain Injury-Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Journal of Neurotrauma 34(1): 145-164, 2017

Post-traumatic stress disorder. Accountable methods of validation are needed. Bmj 322(7297): 1302-3; Author Reply 1303-4, 2001

The structure of post-traumatic stress disorder and complex post-traumatic stress disorder amongst West Papuan refugees. Bmc Psychiatry 15: 111, 2015

Serum lipid concentrations in Croatian veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder,post-traumatic stress disorder comorbid with major depressive disorder,or major depressive disorder. Journal of Korean Medical Science 19(3): 431-436, 2004

Stabilisation therapy as an answer to complex post-traumatic stress disorder. Diagnosis, treatment and research in women abused in childhood with a complex post-traumatic stress disorder. Tijdschrift Voor Psychiatrie 48(3): 217-222, 2006

Validation of a questionnaire to diagnose post traumatic stress disorder after intensive care treatment. Anesthesiology 89(3A): A379, 1998

Validation of the UCLA Child Post traumatic stress disorder-reaction index in Zambia. International Journal of Mental Health Systems 5(1): 24, 2011