DTS™
Davidson Trauma Scale

Jonathan Davidson, M.D.

Description


Providing a quick and accurate measure of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms, the DTS assessment is a 17-item, self-rating scale that takes respondents only 10 minutes to complete. Each item corresponds to a DSM-IV™ symptom of PTSD, and each symptom is rated in terms of frequency and severity.

The DTS assessment can be used to screen clients at initial evaluation, evaluate psychopathology in trauma victims, assess the effectiveness of treatment, and predict treatment success. The scale covers all types of trauma: accident, combat, sexual, criminal assault, natural disaster, torture, burns, loss of property, near death experiences, and bereavement.

The DTS QuikScore™ Form makes administration, scoring, and interpretation easy. Clients’ responses are automatically transferred to the underlying scoring page so results can be easily tabulated. Also integrated into the QuikScore™ Form is the DTS table that shows the percentage of PTSD and non-PTSD individuals that obtain each DTS score—a great interpretive aid.

Unique features of the DTS assessment include the ability to break down the DTS total score so that frequency and severity can be assessed independently. Furthermore, the DTS norms provide subscale scores reflecting the three trauma symptom clusters in DSM-IV™.

Developed by Jonathan Davidson, cochair of the DSM-IV™ PTSD Task Force and renowned as one of the leading authorities in the field, the DTS has shown good test-retest and split-half reliability; internal consistency; and concurrent, construct, and predictive validity.

How to Use the Assessment
Respondents are asked to rate each of the 17 items referring to a particular traumatic event, or series of events, according to level of distress based on their ratings of symptoms that have occurred during the past week. Both frequency and severity are rated for each item. If the respondent has experienced multiple traumatic episodes, multiple copies of the DTS may be administered. 

A total score, reflecting both frequency and severity ratings for all 17 items and separate ratings for the total frequency and total severity of all 17 items, can be used to interpret results. The 3 clusters—Intrusive, Avoidance/Numbing, and Hyperarousal—can be scored separately as well. Intrusion symptoms are covered in 5 items corresponding to Cluster B in DSM-IV™; 7 items correspond to Avoidance and Numbing, Cluster C in DSM-IV™; and 5 items correspond to Hyperarousal, Cluster D in DSM-IV™. A table that gives relative frequencies for individuals with and without PTSD at given DTS scores is also integrated into the form. This table aids in the interpretation of the respondent’s Total DTS score.

The DTS is suitable for adults who have an eighth-grade reading level or higher and is appropriate for both individual and group administrations.

Startle, Physiological Arousal, Anxiety, and Numbness (SPAN)
Based on the DTS assessment, this 4-item questionnaire screens for critical indicators of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Respondents are asked to refer to a particular traumatic event or series of events and designate symptom severity within the past week using a 5-point rating scale. The SPAN scale is ideal for use in primary care offices, multidiscipline clinics, and for research purposes. A total score is used to indicate which clients could be referred for more comprehensive screening and follow-up, including a DTS administration.
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Scales & Forms


  • Intrusion
  • Avoidance/Numbing
  • Hyperarousal
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QUICK FACTS

Authors
Jonathan Davidson, M.D.

Age Range 18 years and older

Administration Time 10 minutes

Administration Type Self-report

Qualification Level B

Formats
  • Handscored

RELATED ASSESSMENT

SAS–SR