Background The aim of the present study was to assess the internal consistency and discriminant and convergent validity of the Bosnian version of a self-report measure of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale (PTDS). The PTDS yields both a PTSD diagnosis according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th edition (DSM-IV) and a measure of symptom severity. Methods 812 people living in Sarajevo or in Banja Luka in Bosnia-Herzegovina, of whom the majority had experienced a high number of traumatic war events, were administered the PTDS and other measures of trauma-related psychopathology. The psychometric properties of the instrument were assessed using Cronbach's alpha and principal components analysis, and its construct validity was assessed via Spearman correlation coefficients with the other instruments. Results The PTDS and its subscales demonstrated high internal consistency. The principal components revealed by an exploratory analysis are broadly consistent with the DSM-IV subscales except that they reproduce some previously reported difficulties with the "numbing" items from the avoidance subscale. The construct validity of the PTDS was supported by appropriate correlations with other relevant measures of trauma related psychopathology. Conclusion The Bosnian version of the PTDS thus appears to be a time-economic and psychometrically sound measure for screening and assessing current PTSD. This self-report measure awaits further validation by interview methods.