Screening of current post-traumatic stress disorder in patients with substance use disorder using the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21): A reliable and convenient measure
Number of pages
SourceEuropean Addiction Research, 21, 2, (2015), pp. 71-77
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
European Addiction Research
SubjectExperimental Psychopathology and Treatment
Background: Several instruments have been developed and validated as screens for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in substance use disorder (SUD) patients. Unfortunately, many of these instruments have one or several disadvantages (e.g. low specificity, low sensitivity or high costs). No research has been conducted on instruments that screen simultaneously for other psychiatric disorders, which would be a potentially time-saving and cost-effective approach. In the current study we tested the psychometric properties of the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) as a screen for PTSD. Methods: The DASS was assessed in an inpatient facility during intake with 58 patients and again 4 weeks after admission. Another 138 patients were assessed 4 weeks after admission only. The results were compared to the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) that was also administered after 4 weeks of abstinence. Results: ROC curve analyses showed an area under the curve of 0.84 for the DASS at intake and 0.78 for the DASS after 4 weeks' abstinence. Conclusion: The DASS is therefore a reliable and convenient measure to use as a screen for PTSD in SUD patients.
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