Date of Conferral
Diagnosing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is challenging and is currently, diagnosis through self-administered checklists. Because a diagnosis of PTSD can open up significant benefits to compensation, education, and medical care, people can tailor their responses to the checklist to help ensure a diagnosis of PTSD. The purpose of the study was to examine the utility of the quantitative electroencephalograph for diagnosing PTSD. Frequency and presence of biomarkers and alpha brain wave symmetry in the frontal and parietal lobes were examined. Research questions involved examining the presence of alpha wave imbalance across the frontal lobe and between the right and left parietal lobes. A secondary data analysis was conducted using data from 108 subjects; these data included records from those with and without a PTSD diagnosis. The results of logistic regression showed that 63% of the clients diagnosed with PTSD were correctly identified and between 7% and 8% of the variance in PTSD was accounted for by frontal lobe asymmetry. The parietal lobe imbalance correctly classified PTSD in 59% of the patients and it identified 3.5–4.9% of the variance, suggesting that asymmetry in the frontal and parietal lobes should not be used as the primary method for diagnosing PTSD. Implications for social change include identifying an objective diagnostic tool that can potentially decrease the possibility of inaccurate diagnoses based on self-reported symptoms. This could lead to eliminating some of the shame and embarrassment veterans and first responders feel toward seeking help for PTSD.