, Volume 65, Issue 4, pp 299-322

A new five factor model of schizophrenia

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Abstract

Schizophrenic psychopathology is heterogeneous and multidimensional. Various strategies have been developed over the past several years to assess and measure more accurately discrete domains of psychopathology. One of the more fruitful strategies to investigate more homogenous domains of psychopathology has been the positive-negative syndrome approach. However, this approach is unable to address a number of important issues. Most schizophrenics present a mixed syndrome; the criteria for what constitutes a positive and negative syndrome are variable; distinguishing primary from secondary negative symptoms can be difficult. In order to address some of these problems, we propose the introduction of a five syndrome model based on a reanalysis of factor analytic procedures used on 240 schizophrenics assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). We present data on a 5-factor solution which appears to best fit the psychopathological data and which is supported by three independent and comparable factor analyses; negative, positive, excitement, cognitive and depression/anxiety domains of psychopathology give patients their individual mark. Data on internal consistency of the five factors and on initial validation using demographic and clinical variables are presented.