PCL-S - PTSD Checklist - Specific


The PCL-S is a 17-item self-report measure covering the 17 DSM-IV symptoms of PTSD. It is a version of the PCL-C that asks about a specific, identified "stressful experience" (as opposed to stressful experiences in general, as in the PCL-C).

Special Instructions

The patient should answer the questions with respect to the trauma they experienced, not as an indicator of the general distress they might be feeling.

Scores Produced

  • Total (17-85)
  •  B Items (0-5)
  • C Items (0-7)
  • D Items (0-5)


It is a positive screen if all of the following are true:

  • B Items score is greater than or equal to 1, AND
  • C Items score is greater than or equal to 3, AND
  • D Items score is greater than or equal to 2, AND
  • Total meets or exceeds an established cut-off (see 2nd reference)


Blanchard, E. B., Jones-Alexander, J., Buckley, T. C., & Forneris, C. A. (1996). Psychometric properties of the PTSD checklist (PCL). Behavioral Research & Therapy, 34, 669-673. Retrieved from: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/pages/assessments/assessment-pdf/PCL-handout.pdf


PCL-S - PTSD Checklist - Specific .docx

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