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

Schizophr Res. 2018 Jul:197:269-273. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2017.11.031. Epub 2017 Dec 21.


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 64mg/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 64mg group (N=83) showed a significant decrease in BNSS total score (effect size d [ES] 0.56, p<0.01) and both factor scores (AAA ES=0.48, EXP ES=0.46, p<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 32mg group (N=78) did not differ significantly from placebo (N=83) on BNSS total score (ES=0.33, p<0.09), AAA (ES=0.25, p<0.20) or EXP (ES=0.30, p<0.12) scores. These results demonstrate the BNSS is sensitive to change.

Keywords: Factor analysis; Negative symptoms; Psychometrics; Schizophrenia; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antipsychotic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antipsychotic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indoles / administration & dosage
  • Indoles / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / standards*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Psychometrics / standards
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Indoles
  • roluperidone