Validity of the posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD) checklist in pregnant women

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  • Abstract BACKGROUND: The PTSD Checklist-civilian (PCL-C) is one of the most commonly used self-report measures of PTSD symptoms, however, little is known about its validity when used in pregnancy. This study aims to evaluate the reliability and validity of the PCL-C as a screen for detecting PTSD sy...

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Main Author: Gelaye, Bizu
Other Authors: Zheng, Yinnan, Medina-Mora, Maria Elena, Rondon, Marta B., Sánchez, Sixto E., Williams, Michelle A.
Format: Artículo
Language: eng
Published: 2017
Subjects:
Online Access: http://hdl.handle.net/10757/622252
Summary:Abstract BACKGROUND: The PTSD Checklist-civilian (PCL-C) is one of the most commonly used self-report measures of PTSD symptoms, however, little is known about its validity when used in pregnancy. This study aims to evaluate the reliability and validity of the PCL-C as a screen for detecting PTSD symptoms among pregnant women. METHODS: A total of 3372 pregnant women who attended their first prenatal care visit in Lima, Peru participated in the study. We assessed the reliability of the PCL-C items using Cronbach's alpha. Criterion validity and performance characteristics of PCL-C were assessed against an independent, blinded Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) interview using measures of sensitivity, specificity and receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves. We tested construct validity using exploratory and confirmatory factor analytic approaches. RESULTS: The reliability of the PCL-C was excellent (Cronbach's alpha =0.90). ROC analysis showed that a cut-off score of 26 offered optimal discriminatory power, with a sensitivity of 0.86 (95% CI: 0.78-0.92) and a specificity of 0.63 (95% CI: 0.62-0.65). The area under the ROC curve was 0.75 (95% CI: 0.71-0.78). A three-factor solution was extracted using exploratory factor analysis and was further complemented with three other models using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). In a CFA, a three-factor model based on DSM-IV symptom structure had reasonable fit statistics with comparative fit index of 0.86 and root mean square error of approximation of 0.09. CONCLUSION: The Spanish-language version of the PCL-C may be used as a screening tool for pregnant women. The PCL-C has good reliability, criterion validity and factorial validity. The optimal cut-off score obtained by maximizing the sensitivity and specificity should be considered cautiously; women who screened positive may require further investigation to confirm PTSD diagnosis.

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