Report on Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale Workshop
Department of Psychiatry, Dow Medical College, Dow University of Medical Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan
It is said, “practice makes perfect”. A medic comes well ahead of other professionals who fit this maxim. Owing to the ever changing and ever growing nature of medical sciences, doctors and allied health professionals are in the continuous phase of learning and practicing new techniques and clinical skills.
In recognition of this, the Psychiatry Department of Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) with the support of International Health Links Funding Scheme (IHLFS) arranged a training workshop for psychiatrists, psychologists, and researchers to refine their skills in administering the very important psychometric tool known as the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). It is a standardized tool for evaluating positive, negative, and general psychopathology in schizophrenia. This tool requires a structured clinical interview with the patient, during which thirty symptoms are rated by severity. The assessment yields separate scores for the positive syndrome, negative syndrome, composite, and general psychopathology scales. Ratings are assigned on very fine and overlapping findings from the interview. Hence, there are always chances of variation in ratings based on individual raters’ understanding of symptomatology. Harmonization and concordance can be achieved through practice and meticulous understanding of fine lines between symptoms.
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