This study compared the diagnostic utility of the symptom part of the child PTSD symptom scale (CPSS) screening instrument with the clinician-administered PTSD scale for children and adolescents (CAPS-CA).
The study included a clinical sample of traumatized children and adolescents (mean age 15.1, range 10–18) living in Norway, who were assessed for posttraumatic stress symptoms using the CPSS and the CAPS-CA. Diagnostic utility was investigated using receiver operating characteristic analyses.
The results showed that CPSS reached medium effect sizes (AUC from .63 to .76). The sensitivity was good (.80), but the specificity was relatively low (.56). Kappa between CPSS and CAPS-CA was low (κ = .27).
Findings suggests that CPSS is a good tool for screening purposes, but not as a diagnostic instrument in an early phase of assessment. Implications and limitations of the findings are discussed.