Protocol - Trauma and Adversity Exposure - General
The Life Events Checklist (LEC-5) for The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) is a self-report measure designed to screen for potentially traumatic events in a respondent’s lifetime. The sum of endorsements can be used as a variable for analysis, but the LEC-5 typically is used to facilitate identification of an index trauma for assessment of PTSD symptoms with an instrument such as the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS; see PTSD Symptoms, Severity and Diagnosis measure in the PhenX Toolkit). The LEC-5 assesses exposure to 16 event categories with known potential to result in significant distress and PTSD, and it includes an additional item addressing any other extraordinarily stressful events not captured by the 16 categories. For each item, the respondent selects: Happened to me; Witnessed it; Learned about it; Part of my job; Not sure; or Doesn’t apply. These options reflect DSM-based modalities of trauma exposure. LEC-5 quantifies types of exposures but does not address features (such as age at onset and perpetrator) or parameters (such as severity, frequency, and duration). Such information is provided in the PhenX Toolkit with the Exposures to Violence, Trauma, and Victimization - Adult protocol.
The Life Events Checklist (LEC-5) for The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) establishes exposure to categories of potentially traumatic events typically encountered by the general population. The LEC-5 was developed to be administered before the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS; see PTSD Symptoms, Severity and Diagnosis). Endorsements can be summed, but individual items are often used to guide follow-up questioning about specific experiences as part of a semistructured PTSD interview.
For assessment of potentially traumatic events related to military service, see the four subscales from the Deployment Risk and Resilience Inventory-2 (DRRI-2)
Summary of the Life Events Checklist for DSM-5 (LEC-5)
The LEC-5 assesses exposure to 17 event types with known potential to result in significant distress or PTSD. These events include:
- Natural disaster
- Accident at work, home, recreation, or during transportation
- Exposure to toxic substance
- Sexual assault or unwanted sexual experience
- Combat experience
- Illness, injury, or human suffering
- Sudden violent or accidental death
- Harm caused by participant
- Other stressful event
For each item, the respondent checks: Happened to me; Witnessed it; Learned about it; Part of my job; Not sure; or Doesn’t apply.
The LEC-5 generates:
- Number of events experienced
- Number of events witnessed
- Number of events learned about
Endorsements of potentially traumatic events are used to facilitate identification of an index trauma for a semi-structured PTSD interview such as the Clinician-Administered PTSD scale (CAPS-see PTSD Symptoms, Severity and Diagnosis measure in the PhenX Toolkit).
The Life Events Checklist for DSM-5 (LEC-5) is available for download from the National Center for PTSD at www.ptsd.va.gov.
Personnel and Training Required
|Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection||No|
|Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual||No|
Mode of Administration
Adults, ages 18 and older
The Life Events Checklist (LEC-5) for The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) is a widely used, brief, self-report measure with indirectly established psychometric properties based on its similarity to Life Events Checklist (LEC-IV) for The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-IV).
|caDSR Common Data Elements (CDE)||Trauma and Adversity Exposure Questionnaire Score||4588654||CDE Browser|
|Human Phenotype Ontology||Triggered by physical trauma||HP:0031135||HPO|
Process and Review
Protocol Name from Source
The Life Events Checklist (LEC-5)
Weathers, F. W., Blake, D. D., Schnurr, P. P., Kaloupek, D. G., Marx, B. P., & Keane, T. M. (2013). The Life Events Checklist for DSM-5 (LEC-5). Instrument available from the National Center for PTSD at www.ptsd.va.gov.
Elhai, J. D., Gray, M. J., Kashdan, T. B., & Franklin, C. L. (2005). Which instruments are most commonly used to assess traumatic event exposure and post-traumatic effects? A survey of traumatic stress professionals. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 18(5), 541-545.
Gray, M. J., Litz, B. T., Hsu, J. L., & Lombardo, T. W. (2004). Psychometric properties of the life events checklist. Assessment, 11(4), 330-341.
Kaloupek, D. G., Chard, K. M., Freed, M. C., Peterson, A. L., Riggs, D. S., Stein, M. B., & Tuma, F. (2010). Common data elements for posttraumatic stress disorder research. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 91(11), 1684-1691.
|Variable Name||Variable ID||Variable Description||dbGaP Mapping|
|PX630101000000||Protocol 630101 - proprietary. Check DCW for more||N/A|
Trauma and Adversity Exposure
November 21, 2014
A questionnaire to assess the participant’s exposure to potentially traumatic events (PTEs).
This measure is used to document exposure to potentially traumatic events (PTEs) that have sufficient characteristics (e.g., magnitude, proximity) to trigger a debilitating stress reaction and also to adversity that may amplify impact or impede recovery. Exposure to PTEs is associated with psychological and emotional distress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and substance abuse and also with increased use of health care services.
This measure includes two protocols. One protocol is used to screen the general population for lifetime exposure to PTEs. Cumulative exposure is associated with increased likelihood of developing PTSD after a new traumatic event. The other protocol is used to screen military populations for exposure to PTEs in a warzone or combat setting. Potentially traumatic exposures are common for military personnel in combat.
trauma and adversity exposure - general, trauma, potentially traumatic event, stress, stressor, post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD
|Protocol ID||Protocol Name|
|630101||Trauma and Adversity Exposure - General|
|630102||Trauma and Adversity Exposure - Military|
There are no publications listed for this protocol.