Distinguishing depression and negative symptoms in unmedicated patients with schizophrenia

John W. Newcomer*, William O. Faustman, Welli Yeh, John G. Csernansky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Depression can occur in schizophrenia but can be difficult to distinguish from negative symptoms of the illness. To evaluate whether concurrent use of the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) could successfully separate depression and negative symptoms, we examined ratings on 69 unmedicated schizophrenic inpatients. A classical BPRS depression subscale score correlated highly (rho = 0.80) with the HRSD total score. The classical BPRS "negative symptom" subscale score was unrelated to both the BPRS and HRSD depression summary measures. Among individual HRSD items, negative symptoms correlated only with work/activities and retardation. The findings suggest that negative and depressive symptoms may be assessed independently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-250
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1990


  • Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale
  • Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • deficit symptoms
  • depression
  • negative symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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