Validity and reliability of the Structured Clinical Interview for the Trauma and Loss Spectrum (SCI-TALS)

Dell'Osso, Liliana; Shear, Katherine; Carmassi, Claudia; Rucci, Paola; Maser, Jack; Frank, Ellen; Endicott, Jean; Lorettu, Liliana; Altamura, A Carlo; Carpiniello, Bernardo; Perris, Francesco; Conversano, Ciro; Ciapparelli, Antonio; Carlini, Marina; Sarno, Nannina; Cassano, Giovanni

Background: DSM-IV identifies three stress response disorders (acute stress Disorder (ASD), post-traumatic stress Disorder (PTSD) and adjustment disorders (AD)) that derive from specific life events. An additional condition of complicated grief (CG), well described in the literature, is triggered by bereavement. This paper reports on the reliability and validity of the Structured Clinical Interview for Trauma and Loss Spectrum (SCI-TALS) developed to assess the spectrum of stress response. The instrument is based on a spectrum model that emphasizes soft signs, low-grade symptoms, subthreshold syndromes, as well as temperamental and personality traits comprising clinical and subsyndromal manifestations.
Methods: Study participants, enrolled at 6 Italian Departments of Psychiatry located at six sites, included consecutive patients with PTSD, 44 with CG and a comparative group of 48 unselected controls.
Results: We showed good reliability and validity of the SCI-TALS. Domain scores were significantly higher in participants with PTSD or CG compared to controls. There were high correlations between specific SCI-TALS domains and corresponding scores on established measures of similar constructs. Participants endorsing grief and loss events reported similar scores on all instruments, except those with CG who scored significantly higher on the domain of grief reactions.
Conclusion: These findings provide strong support for the internal consistency, the discriminant validity and the reliability of the SCI-TALS. These results also support the existence of a specific grief-related condition and the proposal that different forms of stress response have similar manifestations.


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Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health

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Academic Units
Social Work
BioMed Central
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September 9, 2014