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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Trauma History Screen (THS)


Trauma History Screen (THS)


The Trauma History Screen (THS) is a brief, 14-item self-report measure that inquires about 13 event types and "other" events. For each event, respondents are asked to indicate whether the event occurred ("yes" or "no"). Next, respondents are asked to mark the number of times endorsed events happened. Respondents are then asked for detail about events "that really bothered you emotionally." Dimensions are assessed, including age at time of event, actual or a threat of death or injury, helplessness, 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

  • Item: The events below may or may not have happened to you ...

    A really bad car, boat, train, or airplane accident.
  • Response: Dichotomous item ("Yes" or "No")


Carlson, E.B., Smith, S.R., Palmieri, P.A., Dalenberg, C.J., Ruzek, J.I., Kimerling, R., Burling, T.A., & Spain, D.A. (2011). Development and validation of a brief self-report measure of trauma exposure: The Trauma History Screen (PDF). Psychological Assessment, 23, 463-477. doi: 10.1037/a0022294

To Obtain Scale

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

Download the Trauma History Screen:

Are you using this measure with U.S. Veterans or Service members?

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Our PTSD Consultation Program can answer administration or scoring questions: or 866-948-7880.

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.

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