The Child Trauma Screening Questionnaire (CTSQ) is a 10-item self-report screen which can be used to assist in the identification of children at risk of developing PTSD. The questions are designed to assess traumatic stress reactions in children following a potentially traumatic event.
How is the CTSQ Scored?
Children are required to respond to each question with either a 'yes' (scored 1) or a 'no' (scored 0) indicating whether or not they have experienced the symptom since the event. Children who answer 'yes' to 5 or more questions are identified as being at high risk of developing PTSD.
Development of the CTSQ
The Child Trauma Screening Questionnaire was adapted from the 10-item Trauma Screening Questionnaire (TSQ) developed by Brewin and colleagues in 2002 (see footnote for the full publication). The TSQ was chosen because Brewin found that it was an excellent predictor of PTSD in adult survivors of a rail crash (sensitivity: 0.86; specificity: 0.93; PPV: 0.86; NPV: 0.93; overall efficiency: 0.90).
The CTSQ is a child version of the Trauma Screening Questionnaire, and was adapted by rewording the questions to make them more comprehensible for children. It assesses for reexperiencing (5 items) and hyperarousal (5 items) symptoms. Avoidance items were not incorporated in the CTSQ, as avoidance items (ie, amnesia and foreshortened future symptoms) are not easily comprehended by children in the acute post-trauma timeframe.
The CTSQ was administered to a pilot sample to test for comprehension, and no problems were identified. The findings from this pilot study were published in the following paper:
Kenardy, J. A., Spence, S. H., & Macleod, A. C. (2006). Screening for posttraumatic stress disorder in children after accidental injury. Pediatrics, 118(3), 1002-1009.
Psychometric Properties of the CTSQ
Download a copy of the psychometric properties of the CTSQ.
How can I use the CTSQ?
Although the CTSQ is freely available, it is also copyrighted and we ask that you please let us know of your intended use.
If you would like to use the CTSQ please register your interest by completing this Registration Form.
If you wish to use the instrument for research it is highly desirable that you forward a copy of your results to us, as this will allow us to build a database on the performance of the Child Trauma Screening Questionnaire.
If you use the instrument in any publication, please use the following citation:
Kenardy JA, Spence SH, Macleod AC. (2006). Screening for posttraumatic stress disorder in children after accidental injury. Pediatrics, 118(3), 1002-1009.
Translations of the CTSQ:
Publications that have used the CTSQ
Kenardy JA, Spence SH, & Macleod AC. (2006). Screening for posttraumatic stress disorder in children after accidental injury. Pediatrics, 118(3), 1002-1009.
Olsson KA, Kenardy JA, De Young AC, Spence SH. (2008). Predicting children's post-traumatic stress symptoms following hospitalization for accidental injury: Combining the Child Trauma Screening Questionnaire and heart rate. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 22(8), 1447-1453.
The CTSQ has also been used as a concurrent screening tool with children and has demonstrated excellent case-finding properties. The findings from this research can be found in the following publication:
Charuvastr, A., Goldfarb, E., Petkova E. & Cloitre, M. (2010) Implementation of a Screen and Treat Program for Child Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in a School Setting After a School Suicide Journal of Traumatic Stress, Vol. 23, No. 4, pp. 500-503
Who should I contact about the CTSQ?
If you have any questions about the CTSQ please contact:
Professor Justin Kenardy
Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine
The University of Queensland
UQ Oral Health Centre Level 7
Herston QLD 4006
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1. Brewin CR, Rose S, Andrews B, et al. Brief screening instrument for post-traumatic stress disorder. Br. J. Psychiatry. Aug 2002;181:158-162.