The PCL-5 can be scored in different ways:
•A total symptom severity score (range - 0-80) can be obtained by summing the scores for each of the 20 items.
•DSM-5 symptom cluster severity scores can be obtained by summing the scores for the items within a given cluster, i.e., cluster B (items 1-5), cluster C (items 6-7), cluster D (items 8-14), and cluster E (items 15-20).
•A provisional PTSD diagnosis can be made by treating each item rated as 2 = "Moderately" or higher as a symptom endorsed, then following the DSM-5 diagnostic rule which requires at least: 1 B item (questions 1-5), 1 C item (questions 6-7), 2 D items (questions 8-14), 2 E items (questions 15-20).
•Preliminary validation work is sufficient to make initial cut-point suggestions, but this information may be subject to change. Overall, optimal PCL-5 cut-points appear to be 11-14 points lower than PCL for DSM-IV cut-points, with closer to an 11-point difference for more stringent cutoffs and closer to a 14-point difference for more lenient cutoffs. A PCL-5 cut-point of 38 appears to be a reasonable value to propose until further psychometric work is available.
•with the revised Life Events Checklist for DSM-5 (LEC-5) and extended Criterion A assessment

PTSD Checklist 5 Version - PCL 20 items
(to be completed by a subject under supervision of a trained clinician)

       DATE:           TIME (24hr): 

INSTRUCTIONS: Below is a list of problems and complaints that people sometimes have in response to stressful experiences. Please read each one carefully, then click the circle to indicate how much you have been bothered by that problem in the past month.

  In the past month, how much were you bothered by:

at all

A little bit


a bit


  1.  Repeated, disturbing, and unwanted memories of the
       stressful experience?





  2.  Repeated, disturbing dreams of the stressful experience?





  3.  Suddenly feeling or acting as if the stressful experience were
       actually happening again (as if you were actually back there
       reliving it)?





  4.  Feeling very upset when something reminded you of the
       stressful experience?





  5.  Having strong physical reactions when something reminded
       you of the stressful experience (for example, heart pounding,
       trouble breathing, sweating)?





  6.  Avoiding memories, thoughts, or feelings related to the
       stressful experience?





  7.  Avoiding external reminders of the stressful experience (for
       example, people, places, conversations, activities, objects, or





  8.  Trouble remembering important parts of the stressful





  9.  Having strong negative beliefs about yourself, other people,
       or the world (for example, having thoughts such as: I am
       bad, there is something seriously wrong with me, no one can
       be trusted, the world is completely dangerous)?





 10. Blaming yourself or someone else for the stressful
       experience or what happened after it?





 11. Having strong negative feelings such as fear, horror, anger,
       guilt, or shame?





 12. Loss of interest in activities that you used to enjoy?





 13. Feeling distant or cut off from other people?





 14. Trouble experiencing positive feelings (for example, being
       unable to feel happiness or have loving feelings for people
       close to you





 15. Irritable behavior, angry outbursts, or acting aggressively?





 16. Taking too many risks or doing things that could cause you





 17. Being “superalert” or watchful or on guard?





 18. Feeling jumpy or easily startled?





 19. Having difficulty concentrating?





 20. Trouble falling or staying asleep







PCL5  maximum score = 80

0    -  19      normal
20  -  39      mild
40  -  59      moderate
60  -  69      severe
70  -  80      extreme


PCL-5 for DSM-V (8/14/2013)
Weathers, Litz, Keane, Palmieri, Marx, & Schnurr - National Center for PTSD

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