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Price M, Kuhn E, Hoffman JE, Ruzek J, Acierno R. Comparison of the PTSD Checklist (PCL) Administered via a Mobile Device Relative to a Paper Form. Journal of traumatic stress. 2015 Oct 1; 28(5):480-3.
Mobile devices are increasingly used to administer self-report measures of mental health symptoms. There are significant differences, however, in the way that information is presented on mobile devices compared to the traditional paper forms that were used to administer such measures. Such differences may systematically alter responses. The present study evaluated if and how responses differed for a self-report measure, the PTSD Checklist (PCL), administered via mobile device relative to paper and pencil. Participants were 153 trauma-exposed individuals who completed counterbalanced administrations of the PCL on a mobile device and on paper. PCL total scores (d = 0.07) and item responses did not meaningfully or significantly differ across administrations. Power was sufficient to detect a difference in total score between administrations determined by prior work of 3.46 with a d = 0.23. The magnitude of differences between administration formats was unrelated to prior use of mobile devices or participant age. These findings suggest that responses to self-report measures administered via mobile device are equivalent to those obtained via paper and they can be used with experienced as well as na ve users of mobile devices.