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Title: Clinical utility and incremental validity of brief screening for traumatic event exposure in female university health service patients 
Author: Watson, Susan Brooks
Date: 2005
Abstract: Evidence suggests that routine screening of primary care patients for exposure to traumatic life events, and particularly assaultive trauma, may yield both clinical and cost benefits for healthcare systems (e.g., Green, Epstein, Krupnick, & Rowland, 1997; Lecrubier, 2004). However, although advocated by authorities, such screening has yet to be widely adopted. A sample of female university healthcare patients (N =339) was assessed for exposure to trauma in order to examine several unaddressed issues that may diminish the clinical utility of screening for trauma in primary care patients. Because the length of the traditional trauma history assessment makes it less acceptable for use in time-pressured primary care settings, the discriminative validity of a brief, self-administered screening question about exposure to trauma, the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV(SCID) posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) module's screening question (First, Spitzer, Williams& Gibbon, 1997) was compared to a longer, inventory method of assessment, the Traumatic Life Events Questionnaire (TLEQ; Kubany et al., 2000). Two versions of a brief screening question across two instructional sets were assessed to determine each condition's relative classification accuracy for identifying respondents who reported experiences of sexual or physical assault, and/or symptoms of PTSD. The SCID screen identified more than three-quarters of the survivors of traumatic assault; and more importantly, identified all but 2 of the 47 women who met criteria for PTSD. More than 40% of the participants reported at least one physically or sexually assaultive traumatic event; and while only 4% of those reporting non-assaultive traumatic events met criteria for PTSD on the DEQ, a full one-third of assaultive-trauma survivors met criteria for PTSD. Results suggest that a brief screening question about traumatic life events may be an acceptable option in settings where more time-consuming assessment procedures are not practical. However, given the high rate of symptoms reported by female survivors of assaultive trauma relative to non-assaultive traumatic events in this and other studies (e.g., Kessler, 2000; Lee & Young, 2001) a specific focus on screening for assaultive trauma might afford a more useful approach to trauma screening, at least among female populations. Implications and limitations of the present study are discussed, and suggestions made for the future development of optimal screening approaches for trauma exposure in primary care patients.
Description: Mode of access: World Wide Web. Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2005. Evidence suggests that routine screening of primary care patients for exposure to traumatic life events, and particularly assaultive trauma, may yield both clinical and cost benefits for healthcare systems (e.g., Green, Epstein, Krupnick, & Rowland, 1997; Lecrubier, 2004). However, although advocated by authorities, such screening has yet to be widely adopted. A sample of female university healthcare patients (N = 339) was assessed for exposure to trauma in order to examine several unaddressed issues that may diminish the clinical utility of screening for trauma in primary care patients. First, because the length of the traditional trauma history assessment makes it less acceptable for use in time-pressured primary care settings, the discriminative validity of a brief, self-administered screening question about exposure to trauma, the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID) posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) module's screening question (First, Spitzer, Williams & Gibbon, 1997) was compared to a longer, inventory method of assessment, the Traumatic Life Events Questionnaire (TLEQ, Kubany et al., 2000). Second, because it is unclear whether patients who have experienced assaultive trauma will disclose these experiences when asked in a primary care setting, the relative predictive efficacy of informing respondents that their responses would, or would not be, disclosed to health center personnel was evaluated. Two versions of the brief screening question were assessed across two instructional sets regarding disclosure, to determine each condition's relative classification accuracy for identifying respondents who reported experiences of sexual or physical assault, and/or symptoms of PTSD. The brief screen identified more than three-quarters of the survivors of traumatic assault; and more importantly, identified almost all of the women who reported significant PTSD symptomatology: the inventory method identified only 2 additional women of the 47 who met criteria for PTSD. Although survivors of sexual assault were significantly less likely to disclose their history to their provider, no differences were found for those assault survivors who also reported symptoms of PTSD. Results suggest that a brief screening question about traumatic life events may be an acceptable option in settings where more time-consuming assessment procedures are not practical. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 83-98). Electronic reproduction. Also available by subscription via World Wide Web x, 98 leaves, bound 29 cm
Identifier: http://micro189.lib3.hawaii.edu/ezproxy/details.php?dbId=320
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/11895
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Keywords: Women patients -- Medical examinations, Women college students -- Medical examinations, Women patients -- Psychology, Women college students -- Psychology, Psychic trauma, Life change events -- Psychological aspects

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