The aim of this study was to determine optimally efficient cutoff scores on the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL) for identifying full posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and partial PTSD (P-PTSD) in active-duty Marines and Sailors. Participants were 1,016 Marines and Sailors who were administered the PCL and Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) 3 months after returning from Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. PCL cutoffs were tested against three CAPS-based classifications: full PTSD, stringent P-PTSD, and lenient P-PTSD. A PCL score of 39 was found to be optimally efficient for identifying full PTSD. Scores of 38 and 33 were found to be optimally efficient for identifying stringent and lenient P-PTSD, respectively. Findings suggest that the PCL cutoff that is optimally efficient for detecting PTSD in active-duty Marines and Sailors is substantially lower than the score of 50 commonly used by researchers. In addition, findings provide scores useful for identifying P-PTSD in returning service members.
Keywords: CAPS; Marines; PCL; PTSD; Sailors; military; subthreshold.
© The Author(s) 2014.