Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science

A French Adaptation of the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science

A French Adaptation of the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale

Article excerpt

The factor structure of a French adaptation of the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS-F) based on the original scale by Foa, Cashman, Jaycox, and Perry (1997) was examined in 287 community members. Confirmatory factor analysis evaluated three models: the three symptom clusters of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994), the 4-factor King, Leskin, King, and Weathers (1998) model and the 4-factor Simms, Watson, and Doebbelling (2002) model. The data's fit to the DSM-JV model was unacceptable. Both 4-factor models demonstrated a good fit; however, the Simms et al. (2002) model with intrusions, avoidance, dysphoria, and hyperarousal factors showed the best fit Scores calculated for the Simms et al. (2002) factors .showed good reliability and validity. The study also examined lifetime stressful event reporting and PTSD severity. "Stressful" events not traditionally defined as "traumatic" (e.g., death of a loved one) were frequently endorsed as the respondent's most stressful event (i.e., index event) and corresponded to a possible PTSD diagnosis. Furthermore, PTSD severity was associated with negative emotional appraisals of the index event (DSM-IV criterion A2 for PTSD) and lifetime cumulative stressful event intensity whereas PTSD severity was not associated with the degree of physical harm of the index event (criterion Al). Lifetime stressful experiences are discussed in light of evidence supporting a dysphoria component in PTSD.

Keywords: posttraumatic stress disorder, PDS, dysphoria, trauma, factor analysis

Self-report measures of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) offer a quick indication of symptom severity in clinical and research settings. One of the most popular scales, the PDS (Foa, Cashman, Jaycox, & Perry, 1997), distinguishes itself from others like the Impact of Events Scale - Revised (IES-R; Weiss & Marmar, 1997) and PTSD Checklist (PCL; Weathers, Litz, Herman, Huska, & Keane, 1993) by providing a complete assessment of PTSD per the diagnostic criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Thus, the PDS not only evaluates intrusions (criterion B), avoidance and numbing (C), and hyperarousal (D), but also event outcome and appraisal (Al, A2), symptom duration (E), and social and professional impairment (F). The practicality of the PDS has prompted foreign-language translations into German (Griesel, Wessa, & Flor, 2006), Bosnian (Powell & Rosner, 2005), Arabic (Noms & Aroian, 2008), Spanish (Novy, Stanley, Averill, & Daza, 2001) and Somali (Odenwald et al., 2007). To our knowledge, a validated French version of the PDS is not yet available.

Exploratory factor analysis of the original English version of the PDS by Foa et al. (1997) tested the three symptom criteria of PTSD defined by the DSM-IV. Criterion B includes five intrusive symptoms (e.g., recurrent dreams, images and thoughts of the traumatic event accompanied by emotional distress); criterion C includes seven symptoms of avoidance and emotional numbing (e.g., avoiding thoughts, feelings, places or people associated with the event, feeling detached from others, restricted affect); and criterion D includes six arousal symptoms (e.g., irritability, difficulty concentrating, exaggerated startle response). The three symptom scores based on the DSM-TV criteria demonstrated good scale score reliability, high test-retest reliability, and good concurrent and convergent validity with other psychopathological measures in PTSD patients and nonclinical trauma-exposed participants (Foa et al., 1997). However, subsequent factor analyses show that PDS symptom items do not support the DSM-TV structure to which they were assumed to adhere. A 2-factor model was shown to fit the data best in an exploratory factor analysis by Taylor, Kuch, Koch, Crockett, and Passey (1998) and a confirmatory factor analysis by Buckley, B lanchará, and Hickling (1998), with a first factor comprising Intrusions and avoidance, and a second factor comprising hyperarousal and emotional numbing. …

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