The critical warzone experiences (CWE) scale: initial psychometric properties and association with PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
The objective of the present research was to develop and evaluate a critical warzone experiences (CWE) scale for use with Iraq/Afghanistan veterans. The psychometric properties of the CWE were evaluated across three independent samples of Iraq/Afghanistan veterans. Despite its brevity (7 items), the CWE exhibited good internal consistency (average α =0.83), good temporal stability (1-year test-retest reliability=0.73), good concurrent validity with lengthier measures of warzone experiences (average r=0.74), and a clear unidimensional factor structure (average factor loading=0.69). Study 2 confirmed the CWE׳s factor structure through confirmatory factor analysis, and structural equation modeling demonstrated a strong association between CWE and post-deployment mental health, β =0.49, p<0.001. Study 3 provided further support for the predictive validity of the CWE by demonstrating that it was associated with PTSD diagnosis, clinician-rated PTSD symptom severity, and global functional impairment in an independent sample of Iraq/Afghanistan veterans (average r=0.59). While replication of these findings in more diverse samples is needed, the preliminary evidence from these studies indicates that the CWE is a brief, reliable, and valid measure of critical warzone experiences among Iraq/Afghanistan war veterans.
Kimbrel, NA; Evans, LD; Patel, AB; Wilson, LC; Meyer, EC; Gulliver, SB; Morissette, SB
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