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


Quick Links

Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge
EBenefits Badge

Dissociative Subtype of PTSD Scale (DSPS)



This section is for Researchers, Providers, & Helpers

This section is for Researchers, Providers, and Helpers

Dissociative Subtype of PTSD Scale (DSPS)


The DSPS is a 15-item measure that assesses lifetime and past-month (current) dissociative symptoms, including symptoms that define the DSM-5 definition of the dissociative subtype of PTSD. The measure has a branching structure such that individuals are first asked if they have ever (in their lifetime) experienced a given symptom and then asked if that symptom has been present in the past month.

If the symptom has been present in the past month, the frequency of the symptom is then rated on a 1-4 scale and the intensity of the symptom is rated on a 1-5 scale. The extent to which a given symptom has occurred exclusively in the context of use of medications or drugs that made the individual very tired or drowsy is also assessed.

The DSPS can be administered as a self-report measure or a semi-structured interview.


The scale is comprised of three subscales: Derealization/Depersonalization, Loss of Awareness, and Psychogenic Amnesia. Current and lifetime scores on each sub-scale can be derived per the scoring instructions. Only the Derealization/Depersonalization subscale has been shown to differentiate the DSM-5 dissociative subtype of PTSD. The two other scales reflect clinically relevant forms of dissociation that may become the focus of additional assessment and/or treatment.

Sample Item

  • Item: Have there been times when you felt like you were watching the world around you as an outsider, as if it were a movie, and the world did not seem real?
  • Response: Dichotomous item ("yes" or "no") for lifetime and if so, dichotomous item ("yes" or "no") for past month. If respondent answers "yes" for past month, additional questions for frequency (Likert-type scale: 1-4) and intensity (Likert-type scale: 1-5) are included.


Wolf, E. J., Mitchell, K. S., Sadeh, N., Hein, C., Fuhrman, I., Pietrzak, R. H., & Miller, M. W. (in press). The Dissociative Subtype of PTSD Scale (DSPS): Initial evaluation in a national sample of trauma-exposed Veterans. Assessment.

To Obtain Scale

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

Download the Dissociative Subtype of PTSD Scale:

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.

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:
Also see: VA Mental Health