Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

PTSD: National Center for PTSD

Menu
Menu

Quick Links

Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge
EBenefits Badge
 

Combat Exposure Scale (CES)

 

Professional

This section is for Researchers, Providers, & Helpers

This section is for Researchers, Providers, and Helpers

Combat Exposure Scale (CES)

Description

The Combat Exposure Scale (CES) is a 7-item self-report measure that assesses wartime stressors experienced by combatants. Items are rated on a 5-point frequency (1 = “no” or “never” to 5 = “more than 50 times”), 5-point duration (1 = “never” to 5 = “more than 6 months”), 4-point frequency (1 = “no” to 4 = “more than 12 times”) or 4-point degree of loss (1 = “no one” to 4 = “more than 50%”) scale.

Respondents are asked to respond based on their exposure to various combat situations, such as firing rounds at the enemy and being on dangerous duty. The total CES score (ranging from 0 - 41) is calculated by using a sum of weighted scores, which can be classified into one of five categories of combat exposure ranging from “light” to “heavy.” The CES was developed to be easily administered and scored and is useful in both research and clinical settings.

Administration and Scoring

The CES was developed to be easily administered and scored and is useful in both research and clinical settings. The total CES score (ranging from 0 - 41) is calculated by using a sum of weighted scores, which can be classified into one of five categories of combat exposure ranging from "light" to "heavy."

Sample Item

  • Item: Were you ever surrounded by the enemy?
  • Response: 5-point frequency (1 = "no" to 5 = "more than 12 times")

References

Keane, T.M., Fairbank, J.A., Caddell, J.M., Zimering, R.T., Taylor, K.L., & Mora, C. (1989). Clinical evaluation of a measure to assess combat exposure (PDF). Psychological Assessment, 1, 53-55. doi: 10.1037/1040-3590.1.1.53 PILOTS ID: 01555

To Obtain Scale

This measure was created by staff at VA's National Center for PTSD.

Download the Combat Exposure Scale:

Are you using this measure with U.S. Veterans or Servicemembers?

Our PTSD Consultation Program can answer administration or scoring questions: PTSDconsult@va.gov or 866-948-7880.

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.

Share this page

Search Pilots

Search PILOTS*, the largest citation database on PTSD.
What is PILOTS?

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

PTSD Information Voice Mail:
(802) 296-6300
Contact Us: ncptsd@va.gov
Also see: VA Mental Health

FacebookTwitterYouTube