Document Type : Original Article
Department of Clinical Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, University of Rwanda, Kigali-Rwanda
Department of Clinical Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, University of Rwanda, Kigali-RwandaKigali, Rwanda
Department of Mental Health & Behavior Research, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali-Rwanda
Introduction: The Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for DSM– 5 (PCL-5) is one of the most commonly used tools in measuring PTSD symptoms. However, little is known about its validity in post-genocide Rwanda. This research therefore, aimed at determining psychometric properties and diagnostic utility of the PCL-5 scale among university students in Rwanda.
Method: A total of 143 participants completed PCL-5, the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire-part4 (HTQ-part4), and the Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25 (Anxiety [HSCL-A] and Depression [HSCL-D] subscales). The Cronbach's alpha coefficient and the Mean Item Inter-Correlation (MIIC) were computed to assess the tool reliability and Receiver Operator Characteristics (ROC) was performed to determine a valid cutoff-score.
Results: Findings indicated excellent internal consistency for PCL-5 total score and each of the four subscales. PCL-5 scores correlated strongly with scores on HTQ-part4, HSCL-D and HSCL-A, supporting convergent validity. The diagnostic accuracy of the scale was excellent (AUC=0.934, p<.001). The optimal cutoff score of ≥23 optimized sensitivity (0.887) while maintaining adequate specificity (0.889).
Conclusion: It can be concluded that PCL-5 has high validity, internal consistency, and psychometric properties when applied to the sample of Rwandan students.