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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Trauma History Screen (THS)


Trauma History Screen (THS)

Carlson, Palmieri, Smith, Kimerling, Ruzek, & Burling, 2009


The Trauma History Screen (THS) is a brief, 13-item self-report measure that examines 11 events and one general event, including military trauma, sexual assault, and natural disasters. For each event, respondents are asked to indicate whether the event occurred ("yes" or "no") and the number of times something like this happened. For each event endorsed, additional dimensions are assessed, including age when it happened, a description of what happened, whether there was actual or a threat of death or injury, feelings of helplessness and feelings of 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

  • A really bad car, boat, train, or airplane accident (yes or no). Number of times something like this happened.


Carlson, E., Palmieri, P., Smith, S., Kimerling, R., Ruzek, J., & Burling, T. (unpublished manuscript). A brief self-report measure of traumatic events: The Trauma History Screen.

To Obtain Scale

This measure was created by staff at the VA National Center for PTSD. To obtain this scale complete the online request form.

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.

See Assessment Measures Specifically for VA Providers and Staff to download the THS.

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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