The PTSD Checklist (PCL) in victims of terrorism: Comparative analysis of the psychometric properties of its administration by telephone vs. in person

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Abstract
Introduction and objectives. In many situations, such as confinement situations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not possible to administer psychological instruments in person, as originally contemplated in their development. However, the mode of administration can affect the psychometric properties of instrument scores. The PTSD Checklist (PCL) is one of the most widely used instruments for assessing the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in person. This study is the first research that has analyzed and compared the factorial structure, the internal consistency, the validity of contrasted groups, the diagnostic validity, and the nomological validity of scores on the PCL administered in person and by telephone.

Material and methods. The PCL was administered in both application modes to a sample of 634 victims of terrorism along with a structured diagnostic interview and measures of depression and anxiety. Results. Scores on both administration modes of the PCL have the same unifactorial structure, excellent indexes of internal consistency (alpha > .90) and very good indexes of diagnostic validity to identify the PTSD (AUC > .90), discriminate significantly and with large effect sizes (d = 0.88–2.84) between victims with PTSD, with depressive or anxiety disorders and without disorders, and present significant and large correlations with measures of other constructs with which PTSD is closely related, namely depression and anxiety.

Conclusions. The results suggest that the PCL can be administered over the telephone with the same psychometric guarantees as in person.
Year of Publication
2021
Journal
Ansiedad y Estrés
Volume
27
Issue
2-3
Number of Pages
140-148
Date Published
10/2021
Type of Article
Journal article
ISSN Number
1134-7937
ISBN Number
2174-0437
DOI
10.5093/anyes2021a19