The CATS is based on self-assessment or assessment by a third party and can be administered in an interview format. For younger children or adolescents with reading comprehension difficulties, the interview format is preferable.
The CATS is used as a screening tool in the clinical/therapeutic setting. It may be part of the entry diagnostic routine and/or administered at a later time.
The CATS can be used as a stand-alone screening or as part of a more comprehensive clinical diagnostic and clinical interview.
The target population is children and adolescents between the ages of 3 and 17. The implementation of both the child and adolescent version and the caregiver version (ages 7-17) allows a more complete picture of symptomatology.
The procedure should be administered only by trained professionals. Review and feedback of results with patients and their caregivers is important. Discussing the results together provides an opportunity to validate the children's and adolescents' experiences and to explore key additional information relevant to therapy and recovery, such as identification of "triggers" within trauma memory, memories of the trauma, and children's and adolescents' cognitions/thoughts about the trauma and its impact. The screening is an opportunity to ensure the immediate safety of the child/adolescent and to provide important first clinical interventions to enhance the recovery process of affected children and adolescents.
The inventory can also be used as a routine symptom monitoring tool during treatment.