Italian version of the “Brief Negative Symptom Scale”

Versione italiana della “Brief Negative Symptom Scale”

E. Merlotti, A. Mucci, P. Bucci, A. Nardi, S. Galderisi

Dipartimento di Psichiatria, Seconda Università di Napoli SUN



Negative symptoms have long been recognized as an integral and clinically important part of schizophrenia. Recent literature suggests that they do not represent a unitary construct, but include at least two domains that might have a different impact on real-life functioning of patients with schizophrenia. As identified at the NIMH-MATRICS Consensus Development Conference on Negative Symptoms, a significant barrier to progress in the treatment of this symptom domain is the current lack of an adequate measure for its assessment. It was in response to this need that a new measure, the Brief Negative Symptom Scale (BNSS), a semistructured interview was developed. This scale has been translated into Italian by our group. The translation is presented here.


The instrument has been translated into Italian by two specialists in psychiatry and was back translated into English by native English-speaker translator. The English version thus obtained was subjected to the evaluation of Brian Kirkpatrick (BK), one of the authors of the original version, in order to ensure the absence of translation or interpretation errors. The modifications suggested by BK were examined by the two specialists who made the first translation and applied where deemed appropriate, or re-discussed with BK until reaching an agreement.


The BNSS is a 13-item instrument designed not only to be suitable for clinical trials, but also in epidemiological and psychological studies. The scale measures the 5 domains indicated by the Consensus Development Conference as essential parts of the negative dimension, namely affective flattening, alogia, anhedonia, avolition and asociality. The items are formulated so that the score is not influenced by the patient’s cultural level. The scale allows separate assessment of anticipatory and consummatory anhedonia. A further advantage is the distinction between internal experience and behavior.


The BNSS shows several potential advantages, compared with the current negative symptom scales. In particular, the scale enables researchers to consider many aspects of negative symptoms separately and relate them to treatments, imaging, and other variables.

Scarica il PDF