Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 405–412

Brief measure of posttraumatic stress reactions: Impact of Event Scale-6

  • Siri Thoresen
  • Kristian Tambs
  • Ajmal Hussain
  • Trond Heir
  • Venke A. Johansen
  • Jonathan I. Bisson
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00127-009-0073-x

Cite this article as:
Thoresen, S., Tambs, K., Hussain, A. et al. Soc Psychiat Epidemiol (2010) 45: 405. doi:10.1007/s00127-009-0073-x

Abstract

Background

The Impact of Event Scale-revised (IES-R) is one of the most widely used measures of posttraumatic stress reactions. However, for some purposes, such as large epidemiological studies, there is a need for briefer instruments. The aim of this study was to develop and validate an abbreviated version of the IES-R that could capture the three current symptom clusters of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Methods

Stepwise multiple regression was applied to abbreviate the IES-R in one sample. The abbreviated version was then tested in three separate samples of individuals exposed to different kinds of potentially traumatic events. Agreement with a reference measure of PTSD, the PTSD checklist (PCL), was calculated for the abbreviated and the full-scale versions of IES.

Results

The abbreviation procedure resulted in a subset of six items (the IES-6), which correlated highly (pooled correlation = 0.95) with the IES-R across samples. Correlations between the IES-6 and IES-R subscales were somewhat lower (r = 0.78–0.94). Both the IES-6 and IES-R were in high agreement with the PCL.

Conclusion

The IES-6 appears to be a robust brief measure of posttraumatic stress reactions. It may be useful for research in epidemiological studies, and it may also have a role as a screening instrument in clinical practice.

Keywords

Stress disordersPosttraumaticInstrumentationEpidemiologyQuestionnaires

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Siri Thoresen
    • 1
  • Kristian Tambs
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ajmal Hussain
    • 1
  • Trond Heir
    • 1
  • Venke A. Johansen
    • 4
  • Jonathan I. Bisson
    • 5
  1. 1.Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress StudiesOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of Mental HealthNorwegian Institute of Public HealthOsloNorway
  3. 3.Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral GeneticsVirginia Commonwealth University RichmondRichmondUSA
  4. 4.Resource Centre on Violence, Traumatic Stress and Suicide PreventionBergenNorway
  5. 5.School of MedicineCardiff UniversityCardiffUK