The Short Screening Scale for PTSD is a seven-item screen that was designed for all trauma survivors. The screen was empirically derived in the context of an epidemiological study of PTSD in an urban area of the United States. The seven items were those that most efficiently predicted PTSD diagnostic status.
The screen was designed to be administered after an assessment of trauma exposure. It consists of five avoidance items and two hyperarousal items. Respondents rate each item as either "yes" or "no" and the screen is scored by adding the number of "yes" responses. The authors suggest a cutoff score of four for this screen. Those screening positive should then be assessed with a structured interview for PTSD.
Breslau, N., Peterson, E.L., Kessler, R.C., Schultz, L.R. (1999). Short screening scale for DSM-IV post-traumatic stress disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156, 908-11.
See article: Bohnert, KM., Breslau, N. (2011), Assessing the performance of the short screening scale for post-traumatic stress disorder in a large nationally-representative survey. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 20(1), e1-e5. Published online in Wiley Online Library doi: 10.1002/mpr.331
Measures 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.