This article on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) offers a review of progress in the field of assessing PTSD. From the article: "Knowledge of PTSD is advancing rapidly, as evidenced by the burgeoning literature on traumatic events and their psychological and social sequelae (Blake, Albano & Keane, 1992). Driving this expansion of information is the development and utilization of assessment approaches and instruments that are both conceptually and technically sophisticated. Numerous methodologically sound studies appear in the literature regularly that document the capacity of researchers and clinicians working in the field of trauma to evaluate comprehensively the nature of high-magnitude stressors, the characteristics of the persons exposed, and the expression of symptoms following exposure. As advocated by Sutker et al. (1991), the assessment of PTSD is increasingly characterized by person-environment conceptualizations with an emphasis on continuous measures of the stressor events, person characteristics, individual symptom responses, and a comprehensive assessment of compromised and spared abilities among individuals exposed. This approach to assessment is both dynamic and interactive, placing a greater emphasis on longitudinal rather than cross-sectional views in understanding psychological outcomes associated with traumatic event exposure. [...] The publications cited in this article were selected not to be exhaustive of all important articles on PTSD assessment, but rather to present articles that served as precedents for instrument development or application; remaining articles were selected because they summarized well the existing literature on PTSD assessment. It is remarkable, and indeed gratifying, that the field of PTSD assessment has expanded so broadly. Through this expansion, work on treatment, psychopathology, health care utilization, and long-range effects can proceed in a systematic, coherent manner."
National Center for PTSD: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/
PTSD Research Quarterly (Fall 1992), v.3 no.4