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Davidson Trauma Scale

Jonathan Davidson, M.D.

Technical Information

The DTS was developed and tested in broad-based samples totaling over 400 subjects, inclusive of men and women and different traumata. Subjects were recruited from four clinical research studies of PTSD groups. Study 1 was composed of 78 female rape victims in treatment at Duke University Medical Center, North Carolina. Study 2 included 53 Hurricane Andrew victims from Florida. Study 3 consisted of 110 male combat veterans seen at Durham Veterans' Administration Medical Center, North Carolina. Study 4 consisted of 102 individuals in a multi-center clinical trial throughout the United States The DTS Manual documents specific demographic aspects of the sample.

Scientific Validation
Because the DTS items were selected to represent each of the defining symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder in DSM-IV™, the scale can be useful in assessing diagnostic probability and the frequency and severity of PTSD symptoms.

Detailed data are presented, including:

  • split-half reliability, between occasion reliability (i.e., test retest), and internal consistency co-efficients
  • diagnostic sensitivity, specificity, predictive value, and efficiency of the DTS relative to an independent SCID diagnosis of PTSD
  • convergent validity as supported by a comparison with three other psychometric measures
  • divergent validity as supported by the failure of the DTS to show statistically significant associates with measures unrelated conceptually to the severity of PTSD
  • evidence for the construct validity of the DTS lies in the ability of the Total DTS Score to distinguish, by means of an independent clinical interview, between respondents diagnosed with PTSD and those without the diagnosis
  • additional evidence to show that the DTS is able to distinguish between people who respond to treatment and those who fail to respond
  • the ability of the DTS to show change across time and to separately distinguish between varying levels of severity

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About the Author

Jonathan R.T. Davidson, M.D.
Jonathan R.T. Davidson, M.D., is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center and the Director of the Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Program. He qualified in medicine from University College Hospital, London, England in 1967, completed his post-registration requirements, and then entered residency training at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland. Dr. Davidson achieved his psychiatry board certification as Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (United Kingdom) in 1972. He subsequently served on the faculty at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill until 1978. He has been with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center since that time.

Dr. Davidson has been a productive investigator in the field of clinical psychopharmacology, psychiatric nosology, and risk factors. He has also specialized in depression, anxiety, disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder, and has co-authored the book Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: DSM-IV and Beyond. He has co-chaired the PTSD work group of the American Psychiatric Association for DSM-IV and has received many grants both from the federal government and industry. He takes an active role as a advocate of anxiety disorders research and treatment, serving on the board of directors for the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. He has given over 300 talks and presentations to the media and continues his research in treatment outcome and risk factors, with emphasis on PTSD.
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Jonathan Davidson, M.D.

Age Range 18 years and older

Administration Time 10 minutes

Administration Type Self-report

Qualification Level B

  • Handscored