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Speroff T, Sinnott PL, Marx B, Owen RR, Jackson JC, Greevy R, Sayer N, Murdoch M, Shane AC, Smith J, Alvarez J, Nwosu SK, Keane T, Weathers F, Schnurr PP, Friedman MJ. Impact of evidence-based standardized assessment on the disability clinical interview for diagnosis of service-connected PTSD: a cluster-randomized trial. Journal of traumatic stress. 2012 Dec 1; 25(6):607-15.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the fastest growing compensated medical conditions. The present study compared usual disability examiner practices for PTSD with a standardized assessment that incorporates evidence-based assessments. The design was a multicenter, cluster randomized, parallel-group study involving 33 clinical examiners and 384 veterans at 6 Veterans Affairs medical centers. The standardized group incorporated the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale and the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule-II into their assessment interview. The main outcome measures were completeness and accuracy of PTSD diagnosis and completeness of functional assessment. The standardized assessments were 85% complete for diagnosis compared to 30% for nonstandardized assessments (p < .001), and, for functional impairment, 76% versus 3% (p < .001). The findings demonstrate that the quality of PTSD disability examination would be improved by using evidence-based assessment.