The small size of our sample and the convenience sampling method used should be considered as potential limitations of this study. Although the MINI is generally considered to be a reliable and valid tool for the screening of mental disorders, it is not a gold standard diagnostic tool. For example, the MINI does not differentiate between different types of anxiety disorders. Therefore, the diagnosis of PTSD in our study was based on the PC-PTSD-5 cutoff scores. In addition, although the PC-PTSD-5 has good test-retest reliability, it may underestimate PTSD for patients with low symptom severity. Our findings suggest that a score of 8 is a reasonable cutoff for the PC-PTSD-5 in this population. Future studies may need to address this limitation by identifying a cutoff for each PTSD symptom cluster. In addition, the PC-PTSD-5 may have substantial variation depending on the severity and/or the recency of the trauma exposure. Future research should also address this limitation in a larger sample.
To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate the PC-PTSD-5 utility in primary care for patients at different stages of the disease. Our findings provide a foundation for future studies to examine whether this diagnostic instrument can be successfully implemented in diverse clinical settings and who should receive PC-PTSD-5. For example, the use of the PC-PTSD-5 may facilitate identification of subgroups of patients with PTSD who may benefit from different interventions. Identifying a treatment tailored for each individual (including the level of risk for the patient to be involved in the crisis) may allow the clinician to return the patient to a safe environment as soon as possible and to make the most effective use of limited resources. In addition, a patient-centered diagnosis may be useful for the clinician to use when discussing the treatment with the patient or family. Furthermore, the PC-PTSD-5 is easy to use, has good internal consistency, and acceptable test-retest reliability. Similar to the symptom clusters used in the M.I.N.I., the subscales cover a wide range of PTSD symptoms. The PC-PTSD-5 also has good agreement with clinician-administered PTSD assessments (e.g., CAPS) and has the advantage of self-report, which is important for the use of the PC-PTSD-5 in primary care.
In this study, participants were recruited through the outpatient clinic of Charit University's Psychiatrist in a public hospital in French Guiana. Patients were referred by their general practitioner or directly by the psychiatric outpatients clinic as part of their care. The study sample comprised 102 native Arabic speakers. Participants were able to sign up for this study until the end of the three months recruitment period, and they were interviewed at their first meeting with the psychiatrist. Two of the interviews were performed by two trained and licensed psychologists. The study was approved by the Charit University ethics committee, and all participants were informed that their participation was voluntary and could be stopped anytime. 827ec27edc