Antipsychotic-placebo separation on the PANSS-6 subscale as compared to the PANSS-30: a pooled participant-level analysis

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In order for measurement-based care to be implemented, there is a need for brief rating instruments that can be administered in a short amount of time, but that are still sufficiently informative. Here, we assessed the drug-placebo sensitivity of the six-item subscale (PANSS-6) of the 30-item Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS-30) using a large collection of patient-level data (n = 6685) from randomized controlled trials of risperidone and paliperidone. When analyzing the data by study, we found no material difference in mean effect sizes (ES) between the two measures (PANSS-30 ES = 0.45, PANSS-6 ES = 0.44; p = 0.642). Stratifying the pooled population according to several putative effect moderators (e.g., age, formulation, dose, or diagnosis) generally yielded no meaningful ES differences between the two measures. Similarly, early improvement (≥20% improvement at week 1) on the PANSS-6 predicted subsequent response (≥40% improvement at endpoint) as well as the analog prediction using PANSS-30. Finally, cross-sectional symptom remission assessed via the PANSS-6 showed very good agreement (sensitivity = 100%, specificity = 98%) with cross-sectional symptom remission defined by the Remission in Schizophrenia Working Group.

Original languageEnglish
Article number41
Journalnpj Schizophrenia
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

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