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PTSD: National Center for PTSD


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Trauma History Screen (THS)



This section is for Researchers, Providers, & Helpers

Trauma History Screen (THS)


The Trauma History Screen (THS) is a brief, 14-item self-report measure that inquires about 13 event types and "other" events. For each event, respondents are asked to indicate whether the event occurred ("yes" or "no"). Next, respondents are asked to mark the number of times endorsed events happened. Respondents are then asked for detail about events "that really bothered you emotionally." Dimensions are assessed, including age at time of event, actual or a threat of death or injury, helplessness, dissociation, a four-point scale for duration of distress ("not at all" to "a month or more") and a five-point scale for distress level ("not at all" to "very much").


The THS is suitable both for clinical and research purposes, and can be administered to a wide population with its low reading level, use of common language, and simple responses.

Sample Item

  • Item: The events below may or may not have happened to you ...

    A really bad car, boat, train, or airplane accident.
  • Response: Dichotomous item ("Yes" or "No")


Carlson, E.B., Smith, S.R., Palmieri, P.A., Dalenberg, C.J., Ruzek, J.I., Kimerling, R., Burling, T.A., & Spain, D.A. (2011). Development and validation of a brief self-report measure of trauma exposure: The Trauma History Screen (PDF). Psychological Assessment, 23, 463-477. doi: 10.1037/a0022294

To Obtain Scale

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

Download the Trauma History Screen:

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

Our PTSD Consultation Program can answer administration or scoring questions: 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.

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