PTSD Checklist for DSM-5

The PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5) is a self-report measure that assesses the presence and severity of PTSD symptoms. Items on the PCL-5 correspond with DSM-5 criteria for PTSD. The PCL-5 can be used to quantify and monitor symptoms over time, to screen individuals for PTSD, and to assist in making a provisional or temporary diagnosis of PTSD.

Total number of questions


Administration method


Standardized cadence

Every month

Age range




Scoring and interpretation

Evidence for the PCL-5 suggested 5 points as a minimum threshold for determining whether an individual has responded to treatment and 10 points as a minimum threshold for determining whether the improvement is clinically meaningful. A PCL-5 cut-point of 33 appears to be a reasonable value to use for provisional PTSD diagnosis.

Reliability and validity

The PCL-5 administered to an outpatient sample (N = 278) resulted in a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.94, test-retest reliability of r = 0.82, and convergent validity of rs = 0.74 to 0.85.

Additional information

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