Psychology, Department of


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Published in Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, Vol. 28, No. 2 (June 2006), pp. 131–135. DOI: 10.1007/s10862-006-7491-9 Copyright © 2006 Springer Science + Business Media, Inc.Used by permission.


This study examined the sensitivity of the Anxiety Disorder Interview Schedule IV (ADIS-IV) in detecting potentially traumatic childhood abuse experiences in a sample of 50 consecutive adult anxiety disorder patients. Of 13 patients who reported traumatic childhood maltreatment experiences using a behaviorally specific abuse history questionnaire, seven failed to report these experiences during the ADIS-IV interview (a sensitivity of 46%). Findings suggest that the two omnibus gating questions on the ADIS-IV may be insufficient in capturing exposure to certain traumatic events, as stipulated by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual diagnostic criteria for a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This potential for under identification of trauma history suggests that caution is warranted regarding the use of the ADIS-IV to screen for self-reported trauma exposure in adult outpatients. Alternatives, including the use of PTSD-specific interviews and supplemental trauma event checklists, are discussed.