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PTSD and Suicide Screener

John Briere, PhD

Screens for PTSD and suicide risk quickly
Paper and pencil, Online administration and scoring via PARiConnect
Age range:
18 years to 99 years
1-5 minutes
Qualification level:
A degree, certificate, or license to practice in a health care profession or occupation, including (but not limited to) the following: medicine, neurology, nursing, occupational therapy and other allied health care professions, physician's assistants, psychiatry, social work; plus appropriate training and experience in the ethical administration, scoring, and interpretation of clinical behavioral assessment instruments. Certain health care providers may be eligible to purchase selected "B" and "C" level instruments within their area of expertise. Specifically, relevant supervised clinical experience using tests (i.e., internship, residency, etc.) in combination with formal coursework ( i.e., Tests and Measurement, Individual Assessment, or equivalent) qualifies a health care provider to purchase certain restricted products. Any PAR Customer already qualified to purchase a "B" or "C" level product, is also qualified to purchase an "S" level product. If you are not already qualified to purchase a "B"or "C" level product from PAR, please download and complete the special Qualification Form for Medical and Allied Health Professionals. (You will need Adobe Acrobat to view.) Close

Derived from the Detailed Assessment of Posttraumatic Stress (DAPS), the PSS screens individuals for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suicide risk in minutes.

Features and benefits

  • The one-page self-report form consists of only 14 items, requiring just a few minutes to administer and score.
  • The PSS is helpful in determining PTSD and suicide risk for individuals exposed to a variety of traumas, including childhood abuse, adult sexual or physical assaults, disasters, motor vehicle accidents, shootings and stabbings, burns, life-threatening illnesses, invasive medical procedures, and events associated with military deployment.
  • Administration and scoring are available 24/7 on PARiConnect. View a sample report under the "Resources" tab above. 

Test structure

  • The PSS consists of two scales: PTSD Risk (PR) and Suicide Risk (SR). The PR scale consists of eight items from the DAPS that, together, tap into aspects of all PTSD symptom clusters in both the DSM-IV-TR and the DSM-5 and best predict PTSD status. The SR scale consists of four items from the DAPS Suicidality scale that best index suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
  • The PSS generates risk indices based on empirically derived cutoff scores.

Technical information

  • Samples included a stratified, random normative sample of 446 trauma-exposed individuals from the general population and a clinical sample of 69 trauma-exposed individuals.
  • The PSS has good sensitivity and specificity for a DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of PTSD.
  • Reliability analyses indicated that both PR and SR scales are internally consistent, with alpha coefficients of .87 and .91, respectively.