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The differentiation of post traumatic stress disorder in Vietnam veterans with the MMPI

1 March 1987


This study attempted to validate an empirically based Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) subscale designed to diagnose Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The initial MMPI-PTSD scores of 167 subjects who participated in a Veterans Administration inpatient PTSD treatment program were compared to their discharge diagnoses. The MMPI-PTSD score resulted in a correct classification of 56% of the PTSD subjects and is considerably lower than the diagnostic hit rate reported in the original investigation (Keane, Malloy, and Fairbank, 1984). The present results suggest that the diagnostic hit rate of the MMPI-PTSD scale performs scarcely better than chance in the classification of individuals with PTSD i nan inpatient population. The implications of a high base rate and its effect upon diagnostic hit rates are discussed.


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