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The SCI-TALS includes 116 items exploring the lifetime experience of a range of loss and/or traumatic events and lifetime symptoms, behaviors and personal characteristics that might represent manifestations and/or risk factors for the development of a stress response syndrome. The instrument is organized into 9 domains.
Domain I (Items 1–10) catalogues a range of loss events, including death of a loved one, loss of an important relationship, loss of property, losses of physical functioning, or loss of social and economical status. Several authors have pointed to the fact that low magnitude events (e.g.: divorce, serious illness and financial reverses) may produce typical symptoms of traumatic stress, i.e. intrusion, avoidance and arousal. In line with these studies, and with the spectrum concept, we included a range of severity of loss and trauma (Domain III) events as possible inciting events.
Domain II (Items 11–37) describes grief reactions that include a range of typical, atypical and sub-syndromal symptoms, related to the possible occurrence of complicated grief, conceptualized as a loss-specific stress response disorder. Loss specific items include longing, yearning and searching for the lost person or place, daydreams about what was lost, a need to reminisce, spending time with objects that are associated with the lost person or place, and frequent intense pangs of grief and sadness related to the loss. Stress response items include intrusions of recurrent upsetting images, avoidance of reminders of the loss, and failure to adapt (difficulty accepting the death, guilt or remorse, feeling life has no purpose and impairment in functioning). This domain also includes a section with 7 items targeting trait-like interpersonal functioning that might comprise a risk factor for persistent grief. Examples include the need to be a caregiver, difficulty asking for help, and sensitivity to separation from loved ones.
Domain III (Items 38–58) lists events that range from DSM-IV qualifying traumas (e.g.: combat, natural disasters, sexual abuse, severe accidents) and "low-magnitude" events (e.g.: failures at school or at work, sexual harassment, abortion), that the patient might have experienced in his/her lifetime.
Domain IV (Items 59–76) includes a range of emotional, physical and cognitive responses to loss and/or traumatic events identified in Domains I and III.
Domain V (Items 77–85), Domain VI (Items 86–97), and Domain VIII (Items 106–110) include re-experiencing, avoidance and numbing, and arousal symptoms respectively.
Domain VII (Items 98–105) targets maladaptive coping, and a last Domain (IX; Items 111–116) includes an experimental list of 6 personality traits that are not included in the analyses.


The SCI-TALS consists of 116 items. Items responses are coded in a dichotomous way (yes/no) and domain scores are obtained by counting the number of positive answers.
See algorithm section, below on this page for how to score the instrument.

Psychometric Properties

Dell’Osso L, Shear MK, Carmassi C, Rucci P, Maser JD, Frank E, Endicott J, Lorettu L, Altamura CA, Carpiniello B, Perris F, Conversano C, Ciapparelli A, Carlini M, Sarno N, Cassano GB. Validity and reliability of the Structured Clinical Interview for the Trauma and Loss Spectrum (SCI-TALS). Clin Pract Epidemiol Ment Health. 2008 Jan 28;4:2. Free PMC Article.

Dell’Osso L, Carmassi C, Rucci P, Conversano C, Shear MK, Calugi S, Maser JD, Endicott J, Fagiolini A, Cassano GB. A multidimensional spectrum approach to post-traumatic stress disorder: comparison between the Structured Clinical Interview for Trauma and Loss Spectrum (SCI-TALS) and the Self-Report instrument (TALS-SR). Compr Psychiatry. 2009 Sep-Oct;50(5):485-90.

Note: each items is scored as "0" (NO), "1" (YES).
(1) loss events sum of items 1-10
(2) grief reactions sum of items 11 - 37
(3) potentially traumatic events sum of items 38 - 58
(4) reactions to losses or upsetting events sum of items 59 - 76
(5) re-experiencing sum of items 77-85
(6) avoidance and numbing sum of items 86-97
(7) maladaptive coping sum of items 98-105
(8) arousal sum of items 106-110
(9) personal characteristics/risk factors sum of items 111-116