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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: 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.

Date this content was last updated is at the bottom of the page.

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Where to Get Help for PTSD

Using the PILOTS database for Assessment Information
The PILOTS database is the largest electronic index to the world's literature on traumatic stress.

The National Center for PTSD does not provide direct clinical care, individual referrals or benefits information.

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