Traumatic events pose great challenges on mental health services in scarcity of specialist trauma clinicians and services. Simple short screening instruments for detecting adverse psychological responses are needed. Several brief screening instruments have been developed. However, some are limited, especially in relation to reflecting the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis. Recently, several studies have challenged pre-existing ideas about PTSD’s latent structure. Factor analytic research currently supports two four factor models. One particular model contains a dysphoria factor which has been associated with depression and anxiety. The symptoms in this factor have been hailed as less specific to PTSD. The scope of this article is therefore to present a short screening instrument, based on this research; Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – 8 items. The PTSD-8 is shown to have good psychometric properties in three independent samples of whiplash patients (n=1710), rape victims (n=305), and disaster victims (n=516). Good test-rest reliability is also shown in a pilot study of young adults from families with alcohol problems (n=56).

Keywords: Screen, brief instrument, measure, PTSD, trauma, dysphoria.
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