Yonsei Med J.  2011 Jul;52(4):673-679. 10.3349/ymj.2011.52.4.673.

A Validation Study of the Korean Version of SPAN

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. alberto@catholic.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, Dankook University Hospital, Cheonan, Korea.
  • 5Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 6Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Wonkwang University, Iksan, Korea.
  • 7Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 8Department of Psychiatry, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.
  • 9Department of Psychiatry and Stress Research Institute, College of Medicine, Inje University, Seoul, Korea.


The SPAN, which is acronym standing for its four components: Startle, Physiological arousal, Anger, and Numbness, is a short post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) screening scale. This study sought to develop and validate a Korean version of the SPAN (SPAN-K).
Ninety-three PTSD patients (PTSD group), 73 patients with non-psychotic psychiatric disorders (psychiatric control group), and 88 healthy participants (normal control group) were recruited for this study. Participants completed a variety of psychiatric assessments including the SPAN-K, the Davidson Trauma Scale (DTS), the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI).
Cronbach's alpha and test-retest reliability values for the SPAN-K were both 0.80. Mean SPAN-K scores were 10.06 for the PTSD group, 4.94 for the psychiatric control group, and 1.42 for the normal control group. With respect to concurrent validity, correlation coefficients were 0.87 for SPAN-K vs. CAPS total scores (p<0.001) and 0.86 for SPAN-K vs. DTS scores (p<0.001). Additionally, correlation coefficients were 0.31 and 0.42 for SPAN-K vs. STAI-S and STAI-T, respectively. Receiver operating characteristic analysis of SPAN-K showed good diagnostic accuracy with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.87. The SPAN-K showed the highest efficiency at a cutoff score of 7, with a sensitivity of 0.83, a specificity of 0.81, positive predictive value (PPV) of 0.88, and negative predictive value (NPV) of 0.73.
These results suggest that the SPAN-K had good psychometric properties and may be a useful instrument for rapid screening of PTSD patients.


PTSD; reliability; screening; SPAN; validity
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