The Brief Negative Symptom Scale (BNSS): Independent validation in a large sample of Italian patients with schizophrenia

A. Mucci, S. Galderisi, E. Merlotti, A. Rossi, P. Rocca, P. Bucci, G. Piegari, M. Chieffi, A. Vignapiano, M. Maj, Teresa Campana, Stefania De Simone, Olimpia Gallo, Rosa Giugliano, Mario Luciano, Valentina Montefusco, Giuseppe Plescia, Gaia Sampogna, Ileana Andriola, Stefano PorcelliAlessandro Galluzzo, Giulia Signorini, Viola Bulgari, Federica Pinna, Maria Salvina Signorelli, Massimo di Giannantonio, Antonello Bellomo, Pietro Calcagno, Rita Roncone, Paolo Stratta, Massimiliano Buoli, Patrizia Zeppegno, Valeria Giannunzio, Carlo Marchesi, Liliana Dell'Osso, Chiara Squarcione, Anna Comparelli, Cinzia Niolu, Palmiero Monteleone, Arianna Goracci, Cristiana Montemagni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The Brief Negative Symptom Scale (BNSS) was developed to address the main limitations of the existing scales for the assessment of negative symptoms of schizophrenia. The initial validation of the scale by the group involved in its development demonstrated good convergent and discriminant validity, and a factor structure confirming the two domains of negative symptoms (reduced emotional/verbal expression and anhedonia/asociality/avolition). However, only relatively small samples of patients with schizophrenia were investigated. Further independent validation in large clinical samples might be instrumental to the broad diffusion of the scale in clinical research. Methods: The present study aimed to examine the BNSS inter-rater reliability, convergent/discriminant validity and factor structure in a large Italian sample of outpatients with schizophrenia. Results: Our results confirmed the excellent inter-rater reliability of the BNSS (the intraclass correlation coefficient ranged from 0.81 to 0.98 for individual items and was 0.98 for the total score). The convergent validity measures had r values from 0.62 to 0.77, while the divergent validity measures had r values from 0.20 to 0.28 in the main sample (. n=. 912) and in a subsample without clinically significant levels of depression and extrapyramidal symptoms (. n=. 496). The BNSS factor structure was supported in both groups. Conclusions: The study confirms that the BNSS is a promising measure for quantifying negative symptoms of schizophrenia in large multicenter clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-647
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Avolition
  • Negative symptoms
  • Poor emotion expression
  • Primary negative symptoms
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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