Validation of the Short Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Rating Interview (expanded version, Sprint-E) as a measure of postdisaster distress and treatment need

Fran H. Norris, PhD, Jessica L. Hamblen, PhD, Lisa M. Brown, PhD, John A. Schinka, PhD

Abstract


Objective: Professionals and paraprofessionals working in disaster settings need tools to identify persons with mental health needs.To validate the Sprint-E as a measure of postdisaster distress and treatment need, the authors tested (1) the concurrent validity of the measure compared with other measures of distress, (2) the sensitivity and specificity of a “3/7 rule” on the Sprint-E relative to probable PTSD diagnosis, and (3) the hypothesis that Sprint-E scores would be stable in the absence of treatment but would improve in its presence.
Method: In Study 1, data were collected at the point of enrollment from 165 adults participating in a Florida treatment program implemented in response to the 2004 hurricanes. In Study 2, data were collected at points of referral, pretreatment, and intermediate treatment from 128 adults participating in a Baton Rouge Louisiana treatment program implemented in response to the 2005 hurricanes, Katrina and Rita.
Results: The utility of a 3/7 rule for the Sprint-E, with 3 suggesting possible and 7 suggesting probable treatment needs, was supported in Study 1. Tested against the PTSD Checklist, the Sprint-E performed well in ROC analyses (area under the curve _ 0.87); a score of 7 achieved sensitivity of 78 percent and specificity of 79 percent. In Study 2, Sprint-E scores evidenced little change between referral and pretreatment but substantial change between pretreatment and intermediate treatment.
Conclusion: The Sprint-E is useful as an assessment and referral tool in situations where more in-depth assessment is not feasible and mental health services are available.


Keywords


disaster, PTSD, treatment, assessment, referral

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/ajdm.2008.0027

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