Seroquel (quetiapine)

Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS)

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Kay SR, Fiszbein A, Opler LA. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale for schizophrenia. Schizophr Bull. 1987; 13:261-276.

Appropriate for: Patients with schizophrenia
Administered by: Personnel trained in psychiatric interview techniques, with experience working with populations with schizophrenia (eg psychiatrists, mental healthcare professionals)
Time to complete: 30-40 minutes

Summary of Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale:
PANSS is a 30-item rating instrument evaluating the presence/absence and severity of positive, negative and general psychopathology of schizophrenia. The scale was developed from the BPRS and the Psychopathology Rating Scale. All 30 items are rated on a 7-point scale (1=absent; 7=extreme).

Benefits of the PANSS scale:

  • Broad evaluation - PANSS covers positive and negative symptoms associated with schizophrenia, as well as other symptoms (eg aggression, thought disturbance, depression)
  • Provision of clinical descriptors for each item improve reliability
  • Training packages are available
  • Reliable history - A widely recognised and utilised assessment tool, particularly in clinical studies
  • Test/re-test - Features a test/re-test function to evaluate reliability of ratings
  • Factor structure is well-established
  • BPRS rating scale can be derived from PANSS (validity open to question)
  • PANSS is an advance on BPRS, addressing broader psychopathology and greater reliability

Challenges of the PANSS scale:

  • Comprehensive tool - PANSS includes 30 items, necessitating a long interview with the patient (30-40 minutes). In busy clinical practice, the duration of patient interviews is insufficient to allow administration of PANSS. In patients with cognitive dysfunction symptoms, responses may become less accurate towards the end of the interview
  • Less history than BPRS
  • Patient subjectiveness - Items are assessed based on patient perceptions relating to their experiences in the previous week; patients' views might be influenced by experience of previous interviews and results might be subjectively influenced

For further information including details of how to obtain this scale please contact customer service of Multi-Health Systems at [email protected]


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