Journal of Traumatic Stress Disorders & TreatmentISSN: 2324-8947

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The Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory (PTCI) – Development and Validation of a Shortened Military Version Based on a Sample of German Soldiers with Deployment- Related Trauma


Background: Differentiated and economical diagnostic methods are in ever greater demand in the treatment of soldiers traumatised by war. In the context of cognitive-behavioural approaches, the Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory (PTCI) serves to identify dysfunctional cognitions that play a key role in the development and persistence of trauma-related disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Objectives: The aim of this study is develop and validate an efficient shortened version of the PTCI for soldiers traumatised on deployment in order to provide an improved and practical instrument for use in everyday clinical practice.

Methodology: A total of 352 Bundeswehr soldiers diagnosed with deployment-related mental health problems were examined using the PTCI, with the number of items covered by the original instrument being reduced from 33 to 12. The resulting military version of the PTCI (PTCI –Short Version / PTCI-SV) was then validated using a sample of 109 personnel with deployment-related PTSD.

Results: The overall scale of the PTCI-SV showed good internal consistency with α=0.86. (Subscales: “negative cognitions about the self” α=0.89; “negative cognitions about the world” α=0.86; “self-blame” α=0.61).

Discussion: The possibility of improving trauma therapy for soldiers with deployment-related mental health issues by further developing existing screening instruments is discussed.

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