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      The validity of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5) as screening instrument with Kurdish and Arab displaced populations living in the Kurdistan region of Iraq


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          The Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL) is a valid and reliable self-report measure for the assessment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Recently the PCL was updated according to the DSM-5 criteria for PTSD. So far only a few studies have examined the psychometric properties of the PCL-5, and all of these are restricted to populations living in industrialized countries. The aim of this study was to determine the psychometric properties and diagnostic utility of the PCL-5 as a screening instrument for war-affected displaced Kurdish and Arab populations. The specific goal was to determine a contextually valid cut-off score for a probable diagnosis of PTSD.


          The PCL-5 was translated into Arabic and two Kurdish dialects. Trained interviewers administered these translations as assisted self-reports to 206 adults living in camps for displaced people in Iraq, together with depression and war-exposure instruments. Two weeks later, 98 randomly chosen subjects were reassessed by expert clinical psychologists. In the absence of a gold-standard instrument with proven validity in this context, the expert interviewers applied the PCL-5 items in the form of a clinical interview and used a DSM-5-algorithm to determine a diagnosis of PTSD. Receiver operator characteristics (ROC) were performed to determine a valid cutoff-score.


          The internal consistency of the PCL-5 was high (alpha = .85) and the instrument showed an adequate convergent validity. Using the cut-off score of 23, the PCL-5 achieved the optimal balance of sensitivity and specificity (area under the curve = .82, p < .001; sensitivity = .82, specificity = .70).


          Given that the comparison of the two assessments included both a re-test interval and validation by different interviewers, our results indicate that the PCL-5 can be recommended as an assessment and screening instrument for Kurdish and Arab populations.

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          Psychometric properties of the PTSD Checklist for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fifth Edition (PCL-5) in veterans.

          This study examined the psychometric properties of the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Checklist for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fifth Edition (PCL-5; Weathers, Litz, et al., 2013b) in 2 independent samples of veterans receiving care at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center (N = 468). A subsample of these participants (n = 140) was used to define a valid diagnostic cutoff score for the instrument using the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 (CAPS-5; Weathers, Blake, et al., 2013) as the reference standard. The PCL-5 test scores demonstrated good internal consistency (α = .96), test-retest reliability (r = .84), and convergent and discriminant validity. Consistent with previous studies (Armour et al., 2015; Liu et al., 2014), confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the data were best explained by a 6-factor anhedonia model and a 7-factor hybrid model. Signal detection analyses using the CAPS-5 revealed that PCL-5 scores of 31 to 33 were optimally efficient for diagnosing PTSD (κ(.5) = .58). Overall, the findings suggest that the PCL-5 is a psychometrically sound instrument that can be used effectively with veterans. Further, by determining a valid cutoff score using the CAPS-5, the PCL-5 can now be used to identify veterans with probable PTSD. However, findings also suggest the need for research to evaluate cluster structure of DSM-5. (PsycINFO Database Record
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            Understanding diagnostic tests 3: Receiver operating characteristic curves.

            The results of many clinical tests are quantitative and are provided on a continuous scale. To help decide the presence or absence of disease, a cut-off point for 'normal' or 'abnormal' is chosen. The sensitivity and specificity of a test vary according to the level that is chosen as the cut-off point. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, a graphical technique for describing and comparing the accuracy of diagnostic tests, is obtained by plotting the sensitivity of a test on the y axis against 1-specificity on the x axis. Two methods commonly used to establish the optimal cut-off point include the point on the ROC curve closest to (0, 1) and the Youden index. The area under the ROC curve provides a measure of the overall performance of a diagnostic test. In this paper, the author explains how the ROC curve can be used to select optimal cut-off points for a test result, to assess the diagnostic accuracy of a test, and to compare the usefulness of tests. The ROC curve is obtained by calculating the sensitivity and specificity of a test at every possible cut-off point, and plotting sensitivity against 1-specificity. The curve may be used to select optimal cut-off values for a test result, to assess the diagnostic accuracy of a test, and to compare the usefulness of different tests.
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              Psychometric analysis of the PTSD Checklist-5 (PCL-5) among treatment-seeking military service members.

              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

                Author and article information

                BMC Psychiatry
                BMC Psychiatry
                BMC Psychiatry
                BioMed Central (London )
                16 August 2018
                16 August 2018
                : 18
                : 259
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0001 0944 9128, GRID grid.7491.b, Department of Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, , Bielefeld University, ; Bielefeld, Germany
                [2 ]vivo international, Konstanz, Germany
                [3 ]GRID grid.440835.e, Department of Clinical Psychology, , Koya University, ; Koya, Kurdistan Region of Iraq Iraq
                © The Author(s). 2018

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                : 1 November 2017
                : 7 August 2018
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001663, Volkswagen Foundation;
                Award ID: 91474
                Award ID: 91474
                Award ID: 91474
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                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001655, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst;
                Award ID: 91562643
                Award Recipient :
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2018

                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                pcl,ptsd,validation,arab spring,displaced people
                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                pcl, ptsd, validation, arab spring, displaced people


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