Send to

Choose Destination
Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol. 2008 May;58(5):192-9. Epub 2007 Sep 10.

[Assessment of complex PTSD - internal and external validity of a diagnostic interview].

[Article in German]

Author information

Klinikum rechts der Isar der TU München, Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie.



The diagnostic construct of complex posttraumatic stress disorder (complex PTSD) describes the consequences of early onset and long-term persisting psychological traumatizations. The interview for complex PTSD (I-kPTBS) - is the German adaptation of the structured interview for disorders of extreme stress (SIDES). The present study reports first data regarding the internal validity of the I-kPTBS as well as on the external validity of the diagnosis of complex PTSD.


The I-kPTBS was applied in 72 consecutive patients of a specialized outpatient clinic. 31 patients fulfilled the criteria of the diagnosis complex PTSD. 25 suffered from a PTSD but did not fulfil the diagnostic criteria of complex PTSD. Both groups where compared regarding their symptoms, resources and reports of childhood events.


Internal consistence of the I-kPTBS regarding the sample was good to excellent (alpha = 0.88). As expected, patients with the diagnosis of complex PTSD showed more severe dissociative, depressive and general anxiety symptoms than patients with PTSD alone. Patients fulfilling the criteria of complex PTSD reported a lower age at their first traumatic event, more multiple traumatizations and more often a dissociative disorder as comorbid diagnosis. Patients with complex PTSD show a higher traumaload in childhood and a lower level of compensatory resources.


The interview for complex PTSD (I-kPTBS) describes a consistent diagnostic construct. The results demonstrate that the diagnosis of complex PTSD selects a specific group of patients with early childhood trauma and high symptom level. Specific criteria can differentiate this patient group well from patients that suffer from PTSD alone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart, New York
Loading ...
Support Center