The brief negative symptom scale (BNSS): Sensitivity to treatment effects

ABSTRACT: The Brief Negative Symptom Scale (BNSS) grew out of a recommendation by the NIMH-sponsored Consensus Development Conference on Negative Symptoms that a scale based on contemporary concepts be developed. We assessed sensitivity to change of the BNSS in a trial of MIN-101, which showed efficacy for negative symptoms (PANSS pentagonal model) at daily doses of 32 and 64 mg/day. Using mixed-effects model for repeated measures, we examined change in BNSS total score and in the BNSS factors of anhedonia/avolition/asociality (AAA), and expressivity (EXP). Compared to placebo, the 64 mg group (N = 83) showed a significant decrease in BNSS total score (effect size d [ES] 0.56, p b 0.01) and both factor scores (AAA ES = 0.48, EXP ES = 0.46, p b 0.02 for both). Patients in the trial had minimal depression and positive symptom scores; covarying for disorganization, positive symptoms, or anxiety/depression did not cause a meaningful change in the significance of the BNSS total or factor scores in this group. The 32 mg group (N = 78) did not differ significantly from placebo (N = 83) on BNSS total score (ES = 0.33, p b 0.09), AAA (ES = 0.25, p b 0.20) or EXP (ES = 0.30, p b 0.12) scores. These results demonstrate the BNSS is sensitive to change.

About the Author

Dr. Mark Opler, PhD, MPH | Chief Research Officer

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©.

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