Aarhus University Seal

AIAS Fellow Søren Dinesen Østergaard receives grant from the Independent Research Fund Denmark

Søren Dinesen Østergaard, MD PhD, has been awarded a grant of DKK 2.6 mill from the Independent Research Fund Denmark to test a new method for measuring the severity of schizophrenia.

Together with researchers from Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital, AIAS Jens Christian Skou Fellow Søren Dinesen Østergaard has developed a new method for measuring the severity of schizophrenia. The method must now be validated before it can be implemented and used in clinical practice. Søren Dinesen Østergaard has received the grant from the Independent Research Fund Denmark to conduct this validation at the Department for Psychoses at Aarhus University Hospital. The project is entitled: "Validation of PANSS-6: A Brief Rating Scale Measuring the Severity of Schizophrenia".

When measuring the severity of a mental disorder a so-called ’rating scale’ is applied. Based on observation and interview of the patient each symptom is given a score (rating) on a scale (often from 0-4 with higher numbers representing more severe symptoms). The total score obtained by adding the individual symptom scores is then used as a measure of the overall severity of the illness. The most frequently used rating scale for measuring the severity of schizophrenia is the ”Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale” (PANSS). PANSS includes 30 symptoms and takes approximately 60 minutes to administer. At a busy hospital department or outpatient clinic, it is often not possible to spend so much time to measure the severity of illness in each individual patient – and therefore the severity is not measured routinely. This is likely to make the treatment of schizophrenia less effective.

AIAS Fellow Søren Dinesen Østergaard and his colleagues have shown that rating only six of the 30 PANSS symptoms seems to be sufficient to obtain a measure of the severity of schizophrenia. This new brief version of PANSS is called ”PANSS-6” and takes approximately 15-20 minutes to administer, which makes it ideal for use in clinical practice.

Read more about  Søren Dinesen Østergaard's project at AIAS

Read more about the Independent Research Fund Denmark (Danmarks Frie Forskningsråd)


Søren Dinesen Østergaard, MD, PhD

Jens Christian Skou Junior Fellow, Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies

Associate Professor at Aarhus University, Dept. of Clinical Medicine and                

Aarhus University Hospital, Psychosis Research Unit
Phone: +45 61 28 27 53
E-mail: sdo@clin.au.dk