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Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale


Overview: Brief assessment that helps identify the presence and symptom severity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Age Range: Individuals 18 to 65 years old

Reading Level: 8th grade

Administration: Paper-and-pencil or computer administration

Completion Time: 15 minutes (49 items)

Norms: Men and women who had experienced a traumatic event

Scoring Options: Manual Scoring

Publication Date: 1995


Product Details

The Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale (PDS) assessment is designed to aid in the detection and diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The PDS assessment parallels DSM-IV® diagnostic criteria for a PTSD diagnosis and may be administered repeatedly over time to help monitor changes in symptoms.

How to Use This Test

This test can be used by psychologists, social workers, and counselors to help:

  • Screen for the presence of PTSD in large groups or with patients who have identified themselves as victims of a traumatic event
  • Gauge symptom severity and functioning in patients already identified as suffering from PTSD

Key Features

  • The test can be administered in just 10-15 minutes.
  • The test helps identify the source of a client's pain early on, helping to make treatment planning more effective.
  • A diverse normative base offers a distinct advantage over other PTSD instruments that are normed primarily on men suffering from combat-related traumas.


PTSD Diagnosis (A diagnosis is confirmed if all six DSM-IV criteria are met.)
Symptom Severity Score
Symptom Severity Rating
Level of Impairment of Functioning

Psychometric Information

The PDS instrument was normed on a group of 248 men and women between the ages of 18 and 65 who had experienced a traumatic event at least one month before they took the test. The diverse normative base includes clients of women's shelters, PTSD treatment clinics, and Veterans Administration hospitals, in addition to staff of fire stations and ambulance corps.


Report Options

Profile Report (Product Number 51739)
The profile report indicates a Yes or No for a diagnosis of PTSD. The report indicates if each of the DSM-IV criteria for PTSD was met (Yes, No, or Incomplete Information). Symptom Severity, Number of Symptoms Endorsed, Symptom Severity Rating, and Level of Impairment in Functioning are also reported. There is also a narrative section that summarizes the survey results.

View a sample Profile Report (female).
View a sample Profile Report (male).

Progress Report (Product Number 51622)

This report is designed to monitor a client's progress over time. Provided at no additional charge, it graphically displays changes in a client's Symptom Severity Score and Number of Symptoms Endorsed for up to five previously reported PDS administrations.

View a sample Progress Report (female).
View a sample Progress Report (male).

Scoring Options

Manual Scoring - Administer assessments on answer sheets and score them quickly yourself with an answer key.



Frequently asked questions follow. Click on a question to see the response.

  • When I am in on-line entry, item 13 does not come up for editing.

    Item 13 will not come up for editing unless the response to Item 12 is Yes.

  • I administered the PDS assessment and although the individual did experience a traumatic event, (s)he omitted 8 items. Will I still get a meaningful report?

    It is very possible that you will still get a good deal of useful information. The information regarding a PTSD diagnosis will be accurate; however, the symptom severity information may be understated. If more than 12 items are omitted in Parts 2 through 4, it is likely that the results will not be meaningful.

Pricing & Ordering


This product has been discontinued as of December 31, 2014.  Paper-based inventory will continue to be sold until existing stock depletes.  Please note that we cannot guarantee availability of any item.

Order Components

Manual Scoring
  • Manuals



  • PDS Manual/User's Guide
  • Administration Materials



  • PDS Test Booklets
    Pkg of 5
  • PDS Hand Scoring Answer Sheets
    Pkg of 50
  • Scoring Materials



  • PDS Hand Scoring Worksheet
    Pkg of 50
  • PDS Hand Scoring Directions
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