Publication Details

Pai, N. & Vella, S. C. (2015). Negative symptoms in schizophrenia: The prevailing challenges. Nitte University Journal of Health Science, 5 (2), 104-115.


Although many advances in the understanding and treatment of schizophrenia have been made many challenges still remain. Most notably is the lack of understanding pertaining to the negative symptoms dimension of schizophrenia and the treatment of such symptomology? Primary negative symptoms affect 20-40% of individuals with schizophrenia and are associated with the greatest impacts upon functional impairment and quality of life. A qualitative review of the prevailing challenges related to the nature, assessment and treatment of negative symptoms was conducted. The current literature in each of the aforementioned areas pertaining to primary negative symptoms was reviewed with a focus upon the key challenges and directions for future research. The results of the qualitative review indicate that the construct of negative symptoms requires further delineation and recent work in the area of the assessment of negative symptoms necessitates further development. In regards to the treatment of negative symptoms no definitive directions are espoused due to the extent of the dearth of knowledge in the area as highlighted in the discussion. The area of negative symptoms research requires multi-disciplinary collaborative research to address the major challenges to the understanding, assessment and treatment of negative symptoms in schizophrenia to improve the quality of life and functional outcomes of those with primary negative symptoms.