Post Traumatic Stress Disorder | PCL-5

PTSD Checklist for DSM-V (PCL-5)

Recommended frequency: Every 4 weeks
View Sample

Summary

The PTSD Checklist for DSM-V (PCL-5) is a self-report measure that assesses the 20 DSM-V symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The PCL-5 has been validated as a means of monitoring symptom change during treatment. This instrument is 20 questions long and generates a total symptom severity score between 0 and 80.

Psychometric Properties

Based on preliminary validation research for this new version of the PCL, a cut-point of 33 appears to be a reasonable value to propose until further psychometric work is available. This cut-point has been determined based on the significant body of research supporting the PCL for DSM-IV (the previous version, identifying DSM-IV symptoms).

Evidence for the PCL for DSM-IV suggests that a 5-10 point change represents reliable change and a 10-20 point change represents clinically significant change. Change scores for PCL-5 are not yet available, although it is expected that reliable and clinically meaningful change will be in a similar range.

Source: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/assessment/adult-sr/ptsd-checklist.asp

The Scale

Below is a list of problems that people sometimes have in response to a very stressful experience. Please read each problem carefully and then circle one of the numbers to indicate how much you have been bothered by that problem in the past month.

Printable Version

Scoring

The interpretation of the PCL-5 should be made by a clinician. The PCL-5 can be scored in different ways: using a total symptom severity score, calculating DSM-5 symptom cluster severity scores, as a diagnostic tool. For the purpose of using the PCL-5 for ongoing progress measurement, Greenspace has elected to calculate the total symptom severity score.

A total symptom severity score (range of 0-80) can be obtained by summing the scores for each of the 20 items. Preliminary validation work is sufficient to make initial cut-point suggestions, but this information may be subject to change. A PCL-5 cut-point of 33 appears to be a reasonable value to propose until further psychometric work is available. This cut-point has been determined based on the significant body of research supporting the PCL for DSM-IV (the previous version, identifying DSM-IV symptoms).

Evidence for the PCL for DSM-IV suggests that a 5-10 point change represents reliable change and a 10-20 point change represents clinically significant change. Change scores for PCL-5 are not yet available, although it is expected that reliable and clinically meaningful change will be in a similar range.

Copyright Information

PCL-5 (8/14/2013) Weathers, Litz, Keane, Palmieri, Marx, & Schnurr -- National Center for PTSD

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us