Since many common reactions after trauma look like the symptoms of PTSD, a mental health provider must decide if you have PTSD. Providers who have been trained to understand the thoughts and behaviors that go along with PTSD are best able to make that decision.
A provider must use his or her training and judgment to select the best test or set of questions to use. Then he or she must interpret the results of the test.
The American Psychological Association suggests that only trained professionals give tests to assess for PTSD. If you think you may have PTSD, talk to your doctor or a mental health provider. See information on how to find a therapist.
The National Center for PTSD provides comprehensive information on a variety of assessment measures used to evaluate trauma exposure and PTSD.
Training in Assessment of PTSD
Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 (CAPS-5) Clinician Training: This password-protected course allows you to score along during a video of experts conducting assessments with the CAPS-5. Expert tips and feedback are provided throughout the course. Clinicians have the opportunity to learn advanced interview skills for using the CAPS-5 in complex and challenging clinical situations.
Course: Practical PTSD Assessment
Practical PTSD Assessment. This PTSD 101 online course describes the purpose and importance of screening for PTSD and symptom change, including a review of the best DSM-5 tools for diagnosing PTSD.
Questions About Assessment? Consult with PTSD Experts
VA screens Veterans for PTSD annually for the first five years after military separation and every five years thereafter. VA uses the Primary Care PTSD screen (PC-PTSD) to identify Veterans with probable PTSD. Researchers are determining an optimal cutoff for the PC-PTSD and exploring the extent to which the PC-PTSD performance varies across different Veteran subgroups. Study results will enhance Veterans’ healthcare by ensuring that PTSD screening is performed according to current diagnostic criteria.
Career military women who served in Vietnam: Happier and in better health than all women. Recently published findings by investigators from the Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, VA National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine reports on the health of American women who were deployed to Vietnam for either military or civilian service. Read more.*
Be sure to forward this update to others so they can subscribe. We send one update per month to keep you informed of the latest PTSD developments.
Produced by VA’s National Center for PTSD – Executive Division
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Visit our Web site: www.ptsd.va.gov*Links will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs website to a non government site.
VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of these linked websites.