The PCL-5 is a 20-item self-report measure that assesses the 20 DSM-5 symptoms of PTSD. The PCL-5 has a variety of purposes, including:
Monitoring symptom change during and after treatment
Screening individuals for PTSD
Making a provisional PTSD diagnosis
The gold standard for diagnosing PTSD is a structured clinical interview such as the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-5). When necessary, the PCL-5 can be scored to provide a provisional PTSD diagnosis.
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