The MPSS-SR is a 17-item self-report measure that assesses the 17 DSM-III-R symptoms of PTSD. This scale is a modification of the PTSD Symptom Scale (PSS; Foa, Riggs, Dancu, & Rothbaum, 1993), which was a precursor of the Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale (PDS; Foa, et al.).
The major modifications are that the items are not keyed to any particular traumatic event and that the MPSS-SR includes severity ratings in addition to the original measure's frequency ratings for each item. Thus, items are rated on 4-point frequency (ranging from 0 = "not at all" to 3 = "5 or more times per week") and intensity scales (ranging from A = "not at all upsetting" to D = "extremely upsetting").
In addition, for each item, respondents are asked to identify, if they can, which event each symptom is linked to. Respondents are asked about how they have been feeling for the past two weeks. The MPSS-SR can be used to make a preliminary determination of the diagnosis of PTSD using either DSM-III-R criteria or a frequency, severity, or total score cutoff scores. It can be scored as a continuous measure of PTSD symptom severity.
"Have you had repeated bad dreams or nightmares? About which event(s)?" (Respondents are asked to rate "how often?" and "how upsetting?" the symptom was.)
Falsetti, S. A., Resnick, H. S., Resick, P. A., & Kilpatrick, D. (1993). The Modified PTSD Symptom Scale: A brief self-report measure of posttraumatic stress disorder. The Behavioral Therapist, 16, 161-162.
Orsillo (2001) (PDF) p. 299.
Orsillo, Susan M. (2001). Measures for acute stress disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder. In M.M. Antony & S.M. Orsillo (Eds.), Practitioner's guide to empirically based measures of anxiety (pp. 255-307). New York: KluwerAcademic/Plenum. PILOTS ID 24368
Sherry Falsetti, PhD
Dept. of Family and Community Medicine
College of Medicine at Rockford
Univ. of Illinois at Chicago
1221 East State Street
Rockford, IL 61104
Measure availability: Information on measures is available to everyone. However, the assessment tools themselves can only be distributed to qualified mental health professionals and researchers. We maintain measures developed by affiliated staff of the National Center for PTSD.