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Does This Symptom Scale Work in Bipolar Disorder?

Value previously demonstrated in schizophrenia

The Brief Negative Symptom Scale (BNSS), previously shown to have excellent psychometric properties in schizophrenia, also has value in those with other serious mental illnesses, according to a study involving 123 individuals.

Participants included those with bipolar disorder (n=46), schizophrenia (n=50), and healthy controls (n=27). Investigators assessed negative, positive, disorganized, mood, and general psychiatric symptoms via neuropsychological testing and a clinical interview.

Among the results:

• Those with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder scored higher than controls on BNSS items.

• Those with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder differed on blunted affect and alogia items, but not anhedonia, avolition, or asociality.

• Those with bipolar disorder and a history of psychosis showed the same negative symptom severity as those without a history of psychosis.

The authors concluded that BNSS had excellent internal consistency across all 3 groups.

Citation: Strauss G, Vertinski M, Vogel S, Ringdahl E, Allen D. Negative symptoms in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia: A psychometric evaluation of the brief negative symptom scale across diagnostic categories. [Published online ahead of print December 29, 2015]. Schizophr Res. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2015.12.014.