Factor Analysis of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale in Ethiopian Patients with Schizophrenia

Poster A23, Monday, October 8, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Tithi D. Baul1, Kalyn Reddy2, Christina P.C. Borba1,2, Girmay Medhin3, Abebaw Fekadu3, Miraf Mesfin3, Melkam Alemayehu3, Claire Oppenheim2, Solomon Teferra3, David C. Henderson1,2; 1Boston Medical Center, 2Boston University School of Medicine, 3Addis Ababa University

Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder affecting more than 21 million people worldwide. Although symptoms of schizophrenia are heterogeneous, they are often characterized as positive or negative with a few overlap. To assess these symptoms, clinicians use the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). While the PANSS is currently the hallmark clinical scale to assess symptoms of schizophrenia, it has undergone multiple factor analyses which have produced models ranging from three to seven factors. We performed an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) on the PANSS screening assessments (N=374) from a clinical trial in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The mean PANSS scores of the study sample were as follows: PANSS positive subscale 18.75±6.04, PANSS negative subscale 20.57±6.81, PANSS general psychopathology 36.64±10.59, and total PANSS 72.02±20.43. Results of our EFA show a five-factor model, which closely corresponds with the factors obtained in a pentagonal model describing negative, positive, cognitive/disorganized, anxiety/depression, and excited psychopathology. However, the factor that captures cognitive/disorganized symptoms also captures negative symptoms such as blunted affect, poor rapport, lack of spontaneity, motor retardation, and disturbance of volition suggesting that it may be difficult to ascertain cognitive/disorganized symptoms from certain negative symptoms in Ethiopian patients. Although the data from this study suggests a pentagonal model capturing the multidimensional symptomology of schizophrenia among Ethiopian patients, we cannot claim that the structure and parameters of the PANSS are similar to the ones used in Western settings. Therefore, it is crucial to validate psychometric instruments to account for cultural variances among different global populations.

Topic Area: Diagnosis and Phenomenology

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