What are the best strategies for using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) in individuals with psychosis?

The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) is a useful tool for evaluating psychotic symptoms. However, it is a complex instrument that is time consuming to administer, and requires a structured approach to rater training.

There are several core principles that can be used to effectively implement the PANSS in individuals with psychosis:

  1. Read each item definition and all anchor points carefully and interpret each element as literally as possible.
  2. Always give the highest rating that applies –“rate up” when more than one score might be applicable.
  3. Always consider the reference period and time frame. Typically, ratings are based on the most severe phenomenon for a given item in the past week.
  4. Use all available information for rating, as long as it meets the basis for rating.

Access the resources below to find more information about PANSS.


Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) Training: Challenges, Solutions, and Future Directions (Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, 2017)

This resource was selected by SMI Adviser content partners and approved by the SMI Adviser clinical expert team for inclusion in the knowledge base.


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