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

Penn Inventory for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (Penn Inventory)



This section is for Researchers, Providers, & Helpers

This section is for Researchers, Providers, and Helpers

Penn Inventory for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (Penn Inventory)

Hammarberg, 1992


The Penn Inventory is a 26-item self-report measure that assesses DSM-IV symptoms of PTSD. It can be used with clients with multiple traumatic experiences because symptoms are not keyed to any particular traumatic event. The response format resembles that of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) by having respondents endorse one statement from a series of four scaled sentences that best describes the degree, frequency, or intensity of their feelings during the past week.

Scores for each statements range from 0 to 3. The Penn does not assess all of the 17 DSM symptoms of PTSD and it includes items that are not directly related to DSM criteria (e.g., self-knowledge). The Penn yields a continuous total score (ranging from 0 to 78) reflecting severity of PTSD. A preliminary determination of PTSD diagnosis can be derived by using a cutoff score.

Sample Item

0 = I know someone nearby who really understands me.
1 = I'm not concerned whether anyone nearby really understands me.
2 = I'm worried because no one nearby really understands me.
3 = I'm very worried because no one nearby understands me at all.

(Respondents are asked to circle a number next to the one statement that best describes how they have been feeling.)


Hammarberg, M. (1992). Penn Inventory for posttraumatic stress disorder: Psychometric properties. Psychological Assessment, 4, 67-76. (NOTE: Includes measure in its entirety.)

Hammarberg, M. (1996). Psychometric review of the Penn Inventory for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In B. H. Stamm (Ed.), Measurement of stress, trauma, and adaptation (pp. 231-235). Lutherville, MD: Sidran Press. (NOTE: Includes measure in its entirety.)

Additional Reviews

Orsillo (2001) (PDF) p. 277.

Orsillo, Susan M. (2001). Measures for acute stress disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder. In M.M. Antony & S.M. Orsillo (Eds.), Practitioner's guide to empirically based measures of anxiety (pp. 255-307). New York: KluwerAcademic/Plenum. PILOTS ID 24368

Norris and Hamblen (2004) (PDF) p. 85.

Norris, Fran H. & Hamblen, Jessica L. (2004). Standardized self-report measures of civilian trauma and PTSD. In J.P. Wilson, T.M. Keane & T. Martin (Eds.), Assessing psychological trauma and PTSD (pp. 63-102). New York: Guilford Press. PILOTS ID 18638

To Obtain Scale

Melvyn Hammarberg, PhD
Department of Anthropology
University of Pennsylvania
325 University Museum
33rd and Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6398

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.

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