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Psychologisches Institut Gesundheitspsychologie des Kindes- und Jugendalters

Development and Validation of a Measure assessing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder-related Functional Impairment in Trauma-exposed Children and Adolescents

Principal investigator: Dr. phil. Lasse Bartels, Prof. Dr. M. Landolt

Funding: Not applicable

Duration of project: February 2023 – June 2026

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in children and adolescents is often associated with a myriad of significant impairments in daily functioning, including family relationships, school/work, leisure time activities, and social relationships. While a majority of attention has been placed on the conceptualization and assessment of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS), less emphasis has been placed on the effect of PTSS on the capacity to strive in daily life. Despite the well-recognized debilitating effect of PTSD on daily functioning, no measure has yet been developed to assess PTSD-related functional impairment tailored to trauma-exposed children and adolescents based on the input from the target population and their caregivers. 

The aim of this project is to develop and validate an instrument (self- and caregiver-report) that assesses PTSD-related functional impairment in trauma-exposed children and adolescents (young children age 2-6 years as well as for older children and adolescents age 7-17 years) that is useful in both clinical and research settings.
Initially, a systematic review on the current assessment of PTSD-related functional impairment in children and adolescents will be conducted. Based on the identified domains of functional impairment from the review, focus groups and a Delphi Process involving trauma-exposed children and adolescents, caregivers, and clinical experts will be conducted to establish consensus on a relevant set of functional impairment domains and belonging items. Psychometric properties of the questionnaire will be investigated in an international sample of trauma-exposed children and adolescents and their caregivers.