Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
https://trends.org.br/article/doi/10.1590/S2237-60892012000400007
Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Original Article

Factor structure, internal consistency and reliability of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL): an exploratory study

Estrutura fatorial, consistência interna e confiabilidade do Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL): um estudo exploratório

Eduardo de Paula Lima; Sandhi Maria Barreto; Ada Ávila Assunção

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder resulting from exposure to traumatic events. The Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL) is a self-report measure largely used to evaluate the presence of PTSD. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the internal consistency, temporal reliability and factor validity of the Portuguese language version of the PCL used in Brazil. METHODS: A total of 186 participants were recruited. The sample was heterogeneous with regard to occupation, sociodemographic data, mental health history, and exposure to traumatic events. Subjects answered the PCL at two occasions within a 15 days’ interval (range: 5-15 days). RESULTS: Cronbach’s alpha coefficients indicated high internal consistency for the total scale (0.91) and for the theoretical dimensions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) (0.83, 0.81, and 0.80). Temporal reliability (test-retest) was high and consistent for different cutoffs. Maximum likelihood exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted and oblique rotation (Promax) was applied. The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) index (0.911) and Bartlett’s test of sphericity (χ² = 1,381.34, p < 0.001) indicated that correlation matrices were suitable for factor analysis. The analysis yielded three symptom clusters which accounted for 48.9% of the variance, namely, intrusions, avoidance, and numbing-hyperarousal. CONCLUSION: Our findings provide additional data regarding the psychometric properties of the PCL, including internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and factor validity. Results are discussed in relation to PTSD theoretical models.

Keywords

Posttraumatic stress disorders, validity of tests, reproducibility of results, statistical factor analysis

Resumo

INTRODUÇÃO: O transtorno do estresse pós-traumático (TEPT) é um transtorno de ansiedade decorrente da exposição a eventos traumáticos. Entre as medidas de avaliação dos sintomas, destaca-se o Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL). OBJETIVO: Investigar a consistência interna, a confiabilidade temporal e a validade fatorial da versão do PCL em português, utilizada no Brasil. MÉTODOS: Participaram do estudo 186 indivíduos heterogêneos em relação a ocupação, características sociodemográficas, histórico de saúde mental e exposição a eventos traumáticos. O PCL foi aplicado em dois momentos considerando um intervalo máximo de 15 dias (intervalo: 5-15 dias). RESULTADOS: A consistência interna (alfa de Cronbach) foi adequada para a escala total (0,91) e para as dimensões teóricas do Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) (0,83, 0,81 e 0,80). A confiabilidade temporal foi alta e consistente para diferentes pontos de corte. A análise fatorial exploratória pelo método da máxima verossimilhança, com rotação oblíqua (Promax), foi realizada. O índice Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) (0,911) e o teste de esfericidade de Bartlett (χ² = 1.381,34, p < 0,001) indicaram que a matriz de correlações era adequada para análise fatorial. Os resultados indicaram três conglomerados de sintomas que explicaram 48,9% da variância, a saber, revivecência, esquiva e entorpecimento-hiperexcitabilidade. CONCLUSÃO: Nossos achados fornecem informações adicionais sobre as características psicométricas do PCL, incluindo consistência interna, confiabilidade teste-reteste e validade fatorial. Os resultados são discutidos em relação a modelos teóricos de TEPT.

Palavras-chave

Transtornos de estresse pós-traumáticos, validade dos testes, reprodutibilidade dos testes, análise fatorial

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