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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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PTSDpubs Database FAQ

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PTSDpubs Database FAQ

Do I Need an Account to Log In?

No, PTSDpubs is freely available so no login is required. However, you may set up a personal account within the database if you would like to save searches or set up alerts. To set up an account:

  1. Click the silhouette icon in the upper right corner
  2. Click "Sign into My Research" in the pop-up menu
  3. Click "Create a My Research Account"

What Is the Thesaurus and Where Do I Find It?

The thesaurus provides access to a controlled vocabulary (also known as subject headings), with broader, narrower, and related terms. These terms help you search by accounting for differences in writing and spelling since there's always more than one way to say something. What one author calls "pharmacotherapy," another will call "medication" or "drug therapy." Posttraumatic stress disorder can also be post-traumatic stress disorder or even just PTSD. Unfortunately, when you search using just one of these variants, like post-traumatic stress disorder or drug therapy, you will get different results than if you had searched for PTSD or pharmacotherapy. To account for this, PTSDpubs uses a controlled vocabulary to help you easily locate publications on your topic without trying to think of and type out all possible variants.

Another benefit of using the thesaurus is the hierarchical structure, with broader and narrower terms. For example, the thesaurus phrase "cognitive behavioral therapy" has multiple narrower terms, including behavioral activation, exposure therapy, and motivational interviewing. If you want to search all of these narrower terms at once, you can check the "explode" box. Explode simply means that all narrower terms will be included in your search, which can be a great timesaver.

The thesaurus is available in Advanced Search.

How Do I Search for a Test or Measure?

The "Test & Measure" search box is in Advanced Search. This search box will look for keywords in the Test & Measure field. For example, if you search for PTSD Checklist, you will get all versions, including civilian, military, specific, DSM-5, etc.

To find a specific measure, click the link Look up Test & Measures that is located to the right of the Test & Measure search box. The pop up box that appears allows you to search for a test and then select just the ones of interest.

How Do I Get the Full-Text Article?

Most records have a DOI link that will take you to the publisher's website. Depending on your library's subscriptions, you may be able to download the full-text using this link. Please contact your local library if you need assistance accessing full-text articles.

What Does "In-Process" Mean?

In-process articles have complete citation information, like author names and journal titles, but do not have thesaurus terms or instruments added yet. They will be fully indexed in the near future. PTSDpubs adds articles to the database as in-process in order to ensure the most current information is available to you.

Get help for PTSD

If you need help right away:

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