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Recent Findings Show the Interrelationship between the Different Domains of Negative Symptoms across Different Measurement Scales in Schizophrenia Patients
Author: Dr. Raymond Chan      Update time: 2022/09/01
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Negative symptoms are core features of schizophrenia and determinants of clinical and functional outcomes. Negative symptoms are complex psychopathology, and comprise avolition, anhedonia, asociality, alogia and affective blunting. However, the underlying factor structure of negative symptoms in schizophrenia is yet to be determined. It is unclear whether the previous findings are “measurement-invariant”, which provide stronger support to the validity of the reported factor-structure. In clinical practice, we can use multiple measurement scales to assess negative symptoms including the self-reported scales and the clinical interview. Moreover, the issue of “domain-specific correspondence” of the five consensus domains of negative symptoms in schizophrenia has not yet been studied.

In order to address this unclear issue, Dr. Raymond Chan from Neuropsychology and Applied Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, CAS Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences and his collaborators have adopted network analysis to specifically examine the interrelationship between negative symptom domains captured by different rating scales, and to examine the domain-specific correspondence across multiple scales in schizophrenia patients.

They assessed negative symptoms using the Brief Negative Symptom Scale (BNSS) and the Self-evaluation of Negative Symptoms (SNS), and the Scale for Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS) to 204 patients with schizophrenia. Their findings showed that the SANS and the BNSS intermingled together, whereas the SNS clustered together. The SANS attention domain lied at the periphery of the network while the SANS anhedonia-asociality and the SANS affective flattening showed the highest node strength. Specifically, the five nodes of the BNSS bridged the nodes of the SANS and the SNS. BNSS blunted affect and SANS anhedonia-asociality also exhibited the highest bridge strength.

Taken together, these findings support that the BNSS may bridge the clinical interview rating and the self-reported measure of negative symptoms in schizophrenia patients. Their findings further suggested domain-specific correspondence in the bridge centrality network, supporting the measurement-invariance of the NIMH negative symptoms consensus.

This study was partly supported by the CAS Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology and the Phillip K.H. Wong Foundation to Raymond Chan.

This study was published online on August 16,2022  in European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience.

-        Wang, L. L.#, Tam, M. H. W.#, Ho, K. K. Y., Hung, K. S. Y., Wong, J. O. Y., Lui, S. S. Y.*, Chan, R. C. K.* (2022). Bridge centrality network structure of negative symptoms in people with schizophrenia. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience.

Related publications:
-        Wang, L. L., Lam, C. Y. T., Huang, J., Cheung, E. F. C., Lui, S. S. Y., Chan, R. C. K.* (2021). Range-adaptive value representation in different stages of schizophrenia: A proof of concept study. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 47(6), 1524–1533

-        Hu, H. X., Lau, W. Y. S., Ma, E. P. Y., Hung, K. Y. S., Chen, S. Y., Cheng, K. S., Cheung, E. F. C., Lui, S. S. Y.*, Chan, R. C. K. (2022). The important role of motivation and pleasure deficits on social functioning in patients with schizophrenia: A network analysis. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 48(4), 960-870. 

LIU Chen
Institute of Psychology
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Beijing 100101, China.
E-mail: liuc@psych.ac.cn


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