Journal of Traumatic Stress Disorders & Treatment ISSN: 2324-8947

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Diagnostic Accuracy and Operating Characteristics of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Checklist in the Postearthquake Population in Armenia

Diagnostic Accuracy and Operating Characteristics of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Checklist in the Postearthquake Population in Armenia

The objective of this study was to determine the diagnostic accuracy and the operating characteristics of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist Civilian (PCL-C) in the post-earthquake population of Armenia. A community sample of 126 participants witnessing the 1988 Spitak earthquake were administered the Armenian-language version PCL-C and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV disorders (SCID). Receiver operating characteristics curve (ROC) analysis was used to estimate the diagnostic accuracy of the instrument. PCL-C exhibited overall high diagnostic accuracy in the study population (area under the ROC curve was calculated as 0.903, SE=0.026). The cut score of 50 was identified as the most optimal and the most efficient based on the Youden index with equal values placed on sensitivity (0.94; 95% CI=0.80–0.99) and specificity (0.81; 95% CI=0.71–0.88), and a base rate of 26.2%. However, the higher cut score of 54 yielded the prevalence estimate equivalent to the base rate. The study results render the Armenian-language version PCL-C as an accurate and valid instrument to screen for PTSD symptoms in the post-earthquake population. This paper highlights the need for future investigators to study the PCL-C operating characteristics in broader population subgroups in Armenia.

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