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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Researchers from the Veterans Administration, Academia, and Adaptive Testing Technologies Develop and Validate New Rapid PTSD Computerized Adaptive Assessment Tools for U.S. Military Veterans

July 8, 2021 GMT

CHICAGO, July 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- A promising new research study published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open demonstrates that two newly developed computerized adaptive post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) assessment tools can be used among military Veterans to rapidly and validly diagnose PTSD and measure symptom severity.

Developed by researchers at The Veterans Administration, The University of Colorado, The University of Pittsburgh, The University of Chicago, and Adaptive Testing Technologies, the Computerized Adaptive Diagnostic (CAD-PTSD) and the Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT-PTSD) assessment tools outperformed traditional and longer PTSD measures. Specifically,:

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The CAD-PTSD is a diagnostic screener that can reproduce the clinician administered CAPS-5 PTSD diagnosis, currently the gold standard for diagnosing PTSD, with “outstanding” diagnostic accuracy, without the need for a trained clinician to administer the assessment tool. Using adaptive administration, a reduction in veteran and clinician burden was noted.

The CAT-PTSD measures the severity of PTSD symptoms and was found to outperform a commonly used measure (PCL-5) in half the time.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event.1 PTSD is common among Veterans and recognized as one of the signature injuries of the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, with a prevalence of 23 percent among those who served in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF).2

“These findings suggest that the CAD- and CAT-PTSD could be used to facilitate assessment procedures necessary to encourage evidence-based treatment,” said Lisa Brenner, Ph.D., Director, Veterans Affairs Rocky Mountain MIRECC, Rocky Mountain Regional Medical Center Aurora, CO, Vice Chair of Research, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), Professor of PM&R, Psychiatry, & Neurology, University of Colorado, and lead author of the study.

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Adaptive Testing Technologies’ Computerized Adaptive Diagnostic (CAD) and Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT-MH™) assessment tools, including the CAD-PTSD and CAT-PTSD tools, were developed by Robert Gibbons, Ph.D., Blum-Riese Professor at the University of Chicago. They are validated for use with a variety of mental health conditions, including PTSD, depression, anxiety, mania, psychosis, substance use disorder, suicidality, ADHD, and also assess Social Determinants of Health. They use a unique algorithm based on multidimensional item response theory and machine learning to adaptively select an optimal set of questions for each person, tailored to that person’s level of severity at that point in time, thereby increasing the precision of measurement and accuracy of diagnosis. The tests are cloud-based, HIPAA compliant, administered remotely or on-site, self-guided, and can easily be integrated into electronic health records for immediate review by health care providers.

“The CAT-MH™, which includes adaptive diagnostic screeners (CADs) and adaptive severity measures (CATs) for numerous mental health conditions, substance use disorders, and suicide risk, represents a paradigm shift in mental health screening and measurement. Adding PTSD to this list is enormously important for our nation’s public health and the health of our Veterans and active military,” said Professor Gibbons. “We believe the future of mental health measurement will be based on adaptive screening and measurement since they provide more rapid, less burdensome, and more accurate diagnoses and severity measurements that benefit patients, their providers, and the overall health care system.”

About the Study

Conducted at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the study included 713 military Veteran participants who completed the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5), a standard PTSD-symptom assessment. Further, a sub-sample of 304 Veterans were interviewed using the gold standard for PTSD diagnosis, the Clinician Administered Scale for PTSD for DSM-5 (CAPS-5). After the researchers created CAD-PTSD and CAT-PTSD, they cross validated them with the PCL-5 and CAPS-5.

About Adaptive Testing Technologies

Adaptive Testing Technologies (ATT) is the leader in the design, testing, and implementation of large-scale, cloud-based mental health assessment tools based on Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) and Computerized Adaptive Diagnostic (CAD) technologies. These tools are utilized by health professionals to assess a variety of mental health conditions – including depression, anxiety, mania, psychosis, PTSD, substance use disorder, suicide risk, ADHD, and assess Social Determinants of Health. The CAT-MH™ and K-CAT® represent the first and only validated, comprehensive, multidimensional item-response-theory-based adaptive screening and measurement systems in the world. They provide levels of precision and accuracy that is far beyond what can be achieved using traditional fixed-length mental health assessment scales and can be administered anywhere at any frequency, in or out of the clinic, to any sized population. ATT’s tools are currently being utilized in emergency departments, psychiatric and primary care clinics, telemedicine, student health clinics, perinatal medicine clinics, child welfare settings, substance use disorder programs, federal and state mental health programs, employee assistance programs, and the judicial system. The tools are available worldwide and are currently being used in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, India, and Chile.

1. http://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/ptsd/what-is-ptsd
2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25768399/

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SOURCE Adaptive Testing Technologies