Combat Exposure Scale
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About Combat Exposure Scale
The Combat Exposure Scale (CES) is a 7-item self-report measure that assesses wartime stressors experienced by combatants. Items are rated on a 5-point frequency (1 = “no” or “never” to 5 = “more than 50 times”), 5-point duration (1 = “never” to 5 = “more than 6 months”), 4-point frequency (1 = “no” to 4 = “more than 12 times”) or 4-point degree of loss (1 = “no one” to 4 = “more than 50%”) scale.
Respondents are asked to respond based on their exposure to various combat situations, such as firing rounds at the enemy and being on dangerous duty. The total CES score (ranging from 0 – 41) is calculated by using a sum of weighted scores, which can be classified into one of five categories of combat exposure ranging from “light” to “heavy.” The CES was developed to be easily administered and scored and is useful in both research and clinical settings.
Administration and Scoring
The CES was developed to be easily administered and scored and is useful in both research and clinical settings. The total CES score (ranging from 0 – 41) is calculated by using a sum of weighted scores, which can be classified into one of five categories of combat exposure ranging from “light” to “heavy.”
- Item: Were you ever surrounded by the enemy?
- Response: 5-point frequency (1 = “no” to 5 = “more than 12 times”)
Keane, T.M., Fairbank, J.A., Caddell, J.M., Zimering, R.T., Taylor, K.L., & Mora, C. (1989). Clinical evaluation of a measure to assess combat exposure (PDF). Psychological Assessment, 1, 53-55. doi: 10.1037/1040-3522.214.171.124 PILOTS ID: 01555
To Obtain Scale
This measure was created by staff at VA’s National Center for PTSD.
Measure availability: Information on measures is available to everyone. However, the assessment tools themselves can only be distributed to qualified mental health professionals and researchers. We maintain measures developed by the affiliated staff of the National Center for PTSD.
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