Screening for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: an evaluation of two self-report scales among crime victims

Psychol Assess. 2003 Mar;15(1):101-9. doi: 10.1037/1040-3590.15.1.101.


The validity of the Impact of Events Scale (IES) and the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Symptom Scale, Self-Report version (PSS-SR) was examined among crime victims. Both instruments performed well as screeners for PTSD. For the IES, sensitivity ranged between .93 and 1.00; for the PSS-SR, sensitivity ranged between .80 and .90. Specificity for the IES ranged between .78 and .84 and for the PSS-SR ranged between .84 and .88. Some individual items from the 2 scales performed just as well as the total scales. The authors conclude that either of these short self-report instruments or their individual items are suitable as screeners for PTSD, specifically in settings where mental health professionals are unavailable. Cross-validation of these results is necessary because of the small sample size in this study.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Crime*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self-Assessment*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*