The UCLA PTSD Reaction Index for DSM-5 Brief Form: A Screening Tool for Trauma-Exposed Youths


Benjamin Rolon-Arroyo, Benjamin Oosterhoff, Christopher M. Layne, Alan M. Steinberg, Robert S. Pynoos, Julie B. Kaplow


Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry


Objective Children and adolescents who experience potentially traumatic events are at risk for developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although psychometrically sound measures are now available to assess these youths, brief tools are currently needed for screening purposes. Two studies were conducted to develop and validate the UCLA PTSD Reaction Index for DSM-5–Brief Form (RI-5-BF). Method Study 1 used item response theory models to derive the RI-5-BF from the UCLA PTSD Reaction Index for DSM-5 and assess its internal consistency using a sample of 486 trauma-exposed youths (mean age = 13.32 years, SD = 2.90) recruited through a practice research network. Study 2 used receiver operating characteristic analyses and diagnostic efficiency statistics to assess the discriminant-groups validity and clinical utility of the RI-5-BF in identifying children at different levels of PTSD risk using a sample of 41 treatment-seeking youths (mean age = 12.44 years, SD = 2.99). Results In study 1, item response theory models identified the 11 most informative items across their respective subscales. The RI-5-BF exhibited excellent internal consistency in both studies (? > .93). In study 2, receiver operating characteristic analyses indicated that an RI-5-BF score of 21 maximized sensitivity and specificity. Moreover, diagnostic likelihood ratios across multiple levels of scores provided support for the measure’s clinical utility in identifying different levels of PTSD risk. Conclusion These findings provide support for both the psychometric properties of the RI-5-BF as a brief screening measure for PTSD in children and adolescents and its utility for identifying youths meriting further assessment and consideration for treatment.



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