OBJECTIVE: To evaluate 1) whether early nonresponse to antipsychotics predicts nonresponse and nonremission, 2) patient and illness characteristics as outcome predictors, and 3) response prediction of 30-item Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS-30) compared with 6-item PANSS (PANSS-6) and Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement Scale (CGI-I) in youths with first-episode psychosis.

METHOD: Post hoc analysis from a 12-week, double-blinded, randomized trial of aripiprazole vs extended-release quetiapine in adolescents (age 12-17 years) with first-episode psychosis was performed. Early nonresponse (week 2 or week 4) was defined as <20% symptom reduction (PANSS-30) (or <20% symptom reduction [PANSS-6] or CGI-I score 4-7 [less than "minimally improved"]). Nonresponse (week 12) was defined as <50% symptom reduction (PANSS-30). Nonremission (week 12) was defined as a score of >3 on 8 selected PANSS-items. Positive/negative predictive values (PPV/NPV) and receiver operating characteristics, binary logistic regression models, and PPV/NPV using PANSS-6 and CGI-I were analyzed.

RESULTS: Of 113 randomized patients, 84 were included in post hoc analysis (mean [SD] age = 15.7 [1.3] years; 28.6% male). The 12-week symptom decrease was 31.9% [27.9%], most pronounced within the first 2 weeks (61.1% of total PANSS reduction). Response (27.4%) and remission (22.6%) rates were low. Results indicated that early nonresponse reliably predicted 12-week nonresponse (PPV: week 2, 82.2%; week 4, 90.0%) and nonremission (PPV: week 2, 80.0%; week 4, 90.0%); early nonresponse at week 4 was a statistically significant baseline predictor for 12-week nonresponse; and PANSS-6 had similar predictive significance as PANSS-30. However, outcomes were heterogeneous using CGI-I.

CONCLUSION: In youths with first-episode psychosis showing early nonresponse to aripiprazole or extended-release quetiapine, switching antipsychotic drug should be considered. PANSS-6 is a feasible and clinically relevant alternative to PANSS-30 to predict 12-week nonresponse/nonremission.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION INFORMATION: Tolerance and Effect of Antipsychotics in Children and Adolescents With Psychosis; https://www.

CLINICALTRIALS: gov/; NCT01119014.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)997-1009
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • adolescents
  • early response
  • PANSS-6
  • psychopharmacology
  • psychosis
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Antipsychotic Agents/pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Aripiprazole/pharmacology
  • Adolescent
  • Psychotic Disorders/drug therapy
  • Female
  • Quetiapine Fumarate/therapeutic use
  • Child


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