This article introduces a new hybrid intake procedure developed for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) screening, which combines an automated textual assessment of respondents’ self-narratives and item-based measures that are administered consequently. Text mining technique and item response modeling were used to analyze long constructed response (i.e., self-narratives) and responses to standardized questionnaires (i.e., multiple choices), respectively. The whole procedure is combined in a Bayesian framework where the textual assessment functions as prior information for the estimation of the PTSD latent trait. The purpose of this study is twofold: first, to investigate whether the combination model of textual analysis and item-based scaling could enhance the classification accuracy of PTSD, and second, to examine whether the standard error of estimates could be reduced through the use of the narrative as a sort of routing test. With the sample at hand, the combination model resulted in a reduction in the misclassification rate, as well as a decrease of standard error of latent trait estimation. These findings highlight the benefits of combining textual assessment and item-based measures in a psychiatric screening process. We conclude that the hybrid test design is a promising approach to increase test efficiency and is expected to be applicable in a broader scope of educational and psychological measurement in the future.
- Bayesian framework
- Item response theory
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
- Text mining