Brief Psychiatric Rating scale (BPRS)
Main reference: Overall JE, Gorham DR: The Brief Psychiatric Scale. Psychological Reports 10:799–812, 1962.
Type: Structured and unstructured interview, combined with observations of patient's behaviour and interactions over the preceding 2–3 days (in the case of in-patients) or with information from carers or other informants (in the case of out-patients).
Main indications: Designed to assess psychopathology (including positive, negative, and affective psychopathology) in patients with, or suspected of having, schizophrenia or other psychotic illnesses.
Rating performed by: Clinician.
Time period covered by scale: Usually the 2–3 days before the evaluation.
Time required to complete rating: 15–30 minutes.
Remarks: Widely used and frequently revised, in its traditional form covers 16 items (somatic concern, anxiety, emotional withdrawal, conceptual disorganisation, guilt feelings, tension, mannerisms and posturing, grandiosity, depressive mood, hostility, suspiciousness, hallucinatory behaviour, motor retardation, unco-operativeness, unusual thought content, and blunted affect).
Each item is scored on a scale of 1 (not present – i.e. normal) to 7. The assessment is based on interview with the patient and with observations of the patient's behaviour over the previous 2–3 days (or on reports of the patient's behaviour from family members or carers).
The scale has a consistent factor structure corresponding to broad clinical features such as tension and uncooperativeness. The non-linearity of the total score distribution limits the scale's use as a measure of change.
Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS)
Main reference: Kay SR, Fiszbein A, Opler LA: The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) for schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin 13:261-276, 1987a.
The description of this scale is under revision.
Published on CNSforum 19 Aug 2004