Journal List > J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc > v.54(2) > 1017736

Choe, Kang, Choi, Chung, So, Jang, Kim, and Kim: Application of Mobile App and Paper Survey of PTSD Checklist in the Elderly Korean Veterans of the Vietnam War



The posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) checklist (PCL) is currently the most popular self-report scale employed in screening PTSD. This study was conducted 1) to test the reliability and validity of PCL in veterans of the Vietnam War and 2) to compare the results when using a conventional paper survey and mobile app survey.


Participants included 186 Korean veterans of the Vietnam War. Mini Mental Status Examination, PTSD module of Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID), and Life Event Checklist were administered. PCL was administered in either written format or mobile app. Diagnostic validity of the PCL was compared using the PTSD module of SCID. Other psychometric properties of PCL were also calculated.


PCL results using different methods, paper and mobile app, showed no significant difference in each item and total score. Cronbach's coefficient of PCL was 0.95, optimal cut-off 49.5, sensitivity 91.7%, and specificity 93.5%.


PCL showed excellent internal reliability, sensitivity, specificity, and validity. There was no statistically significant difference between survey methods. These results suggest that PCL is a reliable self-report scale in veterans. In addition, PCL with mobile app can be helpful in screening PTSD.

Figures and Tables

Fig. 1

Screen view of PCL app. PCL : Posttraumatic stress disorder checklist.

Fig. 2

The receiver operating characteristic curve comparing the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) checklist scale score against PTSD module of Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV.

Fig. 3

Preference and intention of future use of mobile device (mobile group, n=92).

Table 1

Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of mobile group and paper group


Mean values (standard deviation) are presented unless otherwise stated. Comparison made by t-test and chi-square test as appropriate

Table 2

Comparison of PCL scores between mobile group and paper group


PCL : Posttraumatic stress disorder checklist

Table 3

Internal reliability analysis of PCL


PCL : Posttraumatic stress disorder checklist

Table 4

Factor loading of principle-components analysis for the PCL


PCL : Posttraumatic stress disorder checklist


Conflicts of Interest The authors have no financial conflicts of interest


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