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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS)

Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS-5)

Enda B. Foa, 2013


The PDS-5 is a 24-item self-report measure that assesses PTSD symptom severity in the last month according to DSM-5 criteria. The PDS-5 begins with two trauma screen questions to assess trauma history and identify an index trauma. An item for each of the 20 DSM-5 PTSD symptoms is included, and an additional four items ask about distress and interference caused by PTSD symptoms as well as onset and duration of symptoms.


Symptom items are rated on a 5-point scale of frequency and severity ranging from 0 (Not at all) to 4 (6 or more times a week / severe). Information about cutoff point for identifying probable PTSD diagnosis can be found in the psychometric paper include in the Reference section below.

Sample Item

Please read each statement carefully and circle the number that best describes how often that problem has been happening and how much it upset you over THE LAST MONTH. Rate each problem with respect to the traumatic event that you wrote above.

Unwanted upsetting memories about the trauma

0 = Not at all
1 = Once a week or less/a little
2 = 2 to 3 times a week/somewhat
3 = 4 to 5 times a week/very much
4 = 6 or more times a week/severe


The PSS-SR measured the 17 DSM-III-R PTSD symptoms and the PDS assessed DSM-IV symptoms.


Foa, E. B., McLean, C. P., Zang, Y., Zhong, J., Powers, M. B., Kauffman, B. Y., ... Knowles, K. (2016). Psychometric properties of the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale for DSM-5 (PDS-5). Psychological Assessment, 28, 1166-1171. doi:10.1037/pas0000258

To Obtain Scale

Dr. Edna B. Foa
3535 Market Street 6th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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Measure availability: We provide information on a variety of measures assessing trauma and PTSD. These measures are intended for use by qualified mental health professionals and researchers. Measures authored by National Center staff are available as direct downloads or by request. Measures developed outside of the National Center can be requested via contact information available on the information page for the specific measure.

PTSD Information Voice Mail: (802) 296-6300
Also see: VA Mental Health