Rater training and the maintenance of the consistency of ratings are critical to ensuring reliability of study measures and sensitivity to changes in the course of a clinical trial. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) has been widely used in clinical trials of schizophrenia and other disorders and is considered the “gold standard” for assessment of antipsychotic treatment efficacy. The various features associated with training and calibration of this scale are complex, reflecting the intricacy and heterogeneity of the disorders that the PANSS is used to evaluate.
In this article, the authors review the methods for ensuring reliability of the PANSS as well as a proposed trajectory for its use in the future. An overview of the current principles, implementation, technologies, and strategies for the best use of the PANSS; tips for how to achieve consistency among raters; and optimal training practices of this instrument are presented.
About the Author
Dr. Mark Opler serves as Chief Research Officer, directing scientific research and development at MedAvante-ProPhase. Dr. Opler was the founder of ProPhase and served as its CEO and Chief Scientific Officer among other positions. He holds the titles of Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at New York University and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. His academic research focuses on the etiology, phenomenology, and treatment of serious and persistent mental disorders. He is also leading the development of the new upcoming edition of the PANSS Manual©.More Content by Dr. Mark Opler, PhD, MPH | Chief Research Officer