Are Shorter Versions of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) Doable? A Critical Review

| December 1, 2017 | 0 Comments

by Jean-Pierre Lindenmayer, MD 

Dr. Lindenmayer is Clinical Professor of the Department of Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine in New York, New York.

Funding: No funding was provided for this article.

Disclosures: The author has no financial conflicts relevant to the content of this article.

Abstract: The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) is a well-established assessment tool for measuring symptom severity in schizophrenia. Researchers and clinicians have been interested in the development of a short version of the PANSS that could reduce the burden of its administration for patients and raters. The author presents a comprehensive overview of existing brief PANSS measures, including their strengths and limitations, and discusses some possible next steps. There are two available scales that offer a reduced number of original PANSS items: PANSS-14 and PANSS-19; and two shorter versions that include six items: Brief PANSS and PANSS-6­. The PANSS-6 has been tested quite extensively in established trials and appears to demonstrate high sensitivity to change and an established cut off definition for remission. Prospective testing in new antipsychotic treatment trials is still required for these shorter versions of PANSS. In addition, they need to be supplemented with interview guides, as well as provide conversion formulas to translate total scores from the short PANSS versions to the PANSS-30. Both short versions of the PANSS are essentially designed to evaluate response to antipsychotic treatment. Future PANSS scale development needs to address specific measurement of treatment-responsive positive symptoms by including treatment-sensitive items, as well as illness-phase specific PANSS tools.

Keywords: Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, PANSS, Brief PANSS, PANSS-6, schizophrenia, patient assessment

Innov Clin Neurosci. 2017;14(11–12):73–76


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Category: Assessment Tools, Drug Development, Past Articles, Patient Assessment, Psychiatry, Psychopharmacology, Review, Scales, Schizophrenia, Trial Methodology

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