Davidson Trauma Scale (DTS): normative scores in the general population and effect sizes in placebo-controlled SSRI trials

Depress Anxiety. 2002;15(2):75-8. doi: 10.1002/da.10021.


The Davidson Trauma Scale (DTS) was developed as a self-rating for use in diagnosing and measuring symptom severity and treatment outcome in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); 630 subjects were identified by random digit dialing and evaluated for a history of trauma. Prevalence rates of PTSD and subthreshold PTSD with impairment were 2.2 and 4.1%, respectively. In this general population sample, 438 subjects endorsed at least one trauma, and four groups were generated: A) threshold PTSD (n = 13), B) subthreshold PTSD with impairment (n = 26), C) subthreshold PTSD without impairment (n = 78), and D) no PTSD (n = 321). Mean (SD) DTS score in the entire population was 11.0 +/- 18.1. Differences were found in four of the five pairwise between-group contrasts. In a second sample of 447 clinical trial participants from three SSRI vs. placebo studies, we assessed treatment effect size according to different measures. In all three clinical trials, effect size with the DTS was equal to, or better than, those found for the Impact of Event Scale (IES), Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), and Structured Interview for PTSD (SIP). These results further affirm the utility of the DTS as a self-rating measure of PTSD symptom severity and in evaluating treatment response.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Effect Modifier, Epidemiologic
  • Female
  • Fluoxetine / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reference Values
  • Sampling Studies
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Sertraline / therapeutic use
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / drug therapy
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Fluoxetine
  • Sertraline