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Psychol Assess. 2016 Nov;28(11):1392-1403. Epub 2016 Jan 11.

Psychometric analysis of the PTSD Checklist-5 (PCL-5) among treatment-seeking military service members.

Author information

1
Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center, VA Boston Healthcare System.
2
Department of Psychology, Auburn University.
3
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center.
4
Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
5
Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
6
Department of Behavioral Health, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center.
7
Department of Psychiatry.

Abstract

The Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL-5; Weathers et al., 2013) was recently revised to reflect the changed diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013). We investigated the psychometric properties of PCL-5 scores in a large cohort (N = 912) of military service members seeking PTSD treatment while stationed in garrison. We examined the internal consistency, convergent and discriminant validity, and DSM-5 factor structure of PCL-5 scores, their sensitivity to clinical change relative to PTSD Symptom Scale-Interview (PSS-I; Foa, Riggs, Dancu, & Rothbaum, 1993) scores, and their diagnostic utility for predicting a PTSD diagnosis based on various measures and scoring rules. PCL-5 scores exhibited high internal consistency. There was strong agreement between the order of hypothesized and observed correlations among PCL-5 and criterion measure scores. The best-fitting structural model was a 7-factor hybrid model (Armour et al., 2015), which demonstrated closer fit than all other models evaluated, including the DSM-5 model. The PCL-5's sensitivity to clinical change, pre- to posttreatment, was comparable with that of the PSS-I. Optimally efficient cut scores for predicting PTSD diagnosis were consistent with prior research with service members (Hoge, Riviere, Wilk, Herrell, & Weathers, 2014). The results indicate that the PCL-5 is a psychometrically sound measure of DSM-5 PTSD symptoms that is useful for identifying provisional PTSD diagnostic status, quantifying PTSD symptom severity, and detecting clinical change over time in PTSD symptoms among service members seeking treatment. (PsycINFO Database Record.

PMID:
26751087
DOI:
10.1037/pas0000260
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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