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Schizophr Res. 2001 Mar 1;47(2-3):149-57.

The factor structure for positive and negative symptoms in South African Xhosa patients with schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychiatry, PO Box 19063, University of Stellenbosch, Tygerberg 7505, South Africa.


Most studies investigating the symptom dimensions of schizophrenia utilising the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS) and the Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms (SAPS) favour a three factor model. This study sought to investigate the factor structure of both the global and individual items of the SANS and SAPS in a large sample of South African Xhosa patients with schizophrenia. A total of 422 subjects participated. Both principal components and factor analytical procedures were applied. For the global items, a two-factor solution representing positive and negative symptoms accounted for 59.9% of the variance. Alternatively, the three-dimensional model of negative, psychotic and disorganisation factors was supported by a five-factor solution if the more heterogeneous items of attention and alogia were ignored. Analysis of the individual items yielded a five-factor solution with the negative symptoms splitting into diminished expression and disordered relating, and the positive symptoms separating into factors for psychosis, thought disorder and bizarre behaviour. Our findings are very similar to those from other parts of the world, providing evidence that the factor structure for the symptoms of schizophrenia is relatively resistant to cultural influences. This is particularly true for negative symptoms.

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