Structural differences within negative and depressive syndrome dimensions in schizophrenia, organic brain disease, and major depression: A confirmatory factor analysis of the positive and negative syndrome scale

Daniel P. Eisenberg, Dmitry B. Aniskin, Leonard White, Judith A. Stein, Philip D. Harvey, Igor I. Galynker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Objective: The emerging dimensional approach to classification and treatment of psychiatric disorders calls for better understanding of diagnosis-related variations in psychiatric syndromes and for proper validation of psychometric scales used for the evaluation of those syndromes. This study tested the hypothesis that negative and depressive syndromes as measured by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) are consistent across different diagnoses. Method: We administered the PANSS to subjects with schizophrenia (n = 305), organic brain disease (OBD, n = 66) and major depressive disorder (MDD, n = 75). Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to establish if the PANSS items for negative symptoms and for depression fit the hypothesized factor structure and if the item factor loadings were similar among the diagnostic groups. Results: The negative and depressive symptom subscales fit well according to a variety of fit indexes for all groups individually after some modest model modification. However, multisample modeling procedures indicated that the pattern of factor loadings was significantly different among the groups in most cases. Conclusion: The results of this study indicate diagnosis-related variations in the negative and depressive syndrome dimensions in schizophrenia, OBD and MDD. These results also validate limited use of the PANSS for evaluation of negative and depressive syndromes in disorders other than schizophrenia. Larger studies are warranted to further evaluate clinical and nosologic significance of diagnostic categories, dimensions and structures of psychiatric syndromes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-248
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Confirmatory factor analysis
  • Major depression
  • Negative symptoms
  • Organic brain disease
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

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