Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-IV

Submitted by administrator on

Developed at the National Center for PTSD, the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) has become the “gold standard” for assessing posttraumatic stress disorder in individuals over age 15. This user-friendly structured interview is ideal for screening, differential diagnosis, confirmation of a PTSD diagnosis, or identifying Acute Stress Disorder. Completion time for the full CAPS interview is 45-60 minutes. The CAPS consists of 30 carefully worded interview questions that target DSM-IV criteria for PTSD without leading the respondent. The interview gives a clear picture of symptom severity and sufficient information to determine whether a current or lifetime diagnosis of PTSD is indicated. In addition, the CAPS includes a protocol for assessing Criterion A, a diagnostic requirement that the patient has experienced at least one traumatic event involving both life threat or serious injury and an overwhelming emotional response. The scale also offers an optional Life Events Checklist, with just 17 items, that can be completed by the patient to help identify precipitating traumatic events. Although initially developed with combat veterans, the CAPS has been successfully used with many veteran, civilian and refugee trauma populations, including victims of rape, car accidents, incest, torture, cancer, and the Holocaust. It has gained international acceptance because it is psychometrically sound and because it is flexible and easy to use. Supported by 10 years of research, the CAPS is a highly useful and flexible tool for evaluating PTSD.

Mental Health

Studies Using This Assessment