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PTSD: National Center for PTSD


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Davidson, 2002


The SPAN is a four-item self-report screen derived from the Davidson Trauma Scale. Its name is an acronym for the four symptoms assessed (startle, physically upset by reminders, anger, and numbness). The four items that make up the SPAN are the items from the DTS that best distinguished a sample of patients with PTSD from a sample of patients without PTSD.

Respondents are asked to rate items on a five-point scale (ranging from 0 = "Not at all distressing" to 4 = "Extremely distressing") to indicate how distressing each of the symptoms-items has been during the past week. A total score of five indicates a positive screen. Those screening positive should then be assessed with a structured interview for PTSD.

Sample Item

Sample items cannot be reproduced.


Davidson, J. (2002). SPAN Addendum to DTS Manual. Multi-Health Systems Inc. New York.

To Obtain Scale

Multi-Health Systems, Inc.
PO Box 950
North Tonawanda, NY 14120-0950
Phone: (800) 456-3003

Measure availability: We provide information on a variety of measures assessing trauma and PTSD. These measures are intended for use by qualified mental health professionals and researchers. Measures authored by National Center staff are available as direct downloads or by request. Measures developed outside of the National Center can be requested via contact information available on the information page for the specific measure.

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