Clinical Global Impression-Schizophrenia Scale

A number of instruments have been developed in efforts to enhance diagnosis of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder whose definition has proved challenging (Kumari et al., 2017). In attempts to obtain a universal definition of this condition, several instruments have been created. One of these instruments is the Clinical Global Impression-Schizophrenia Scale-CGI-SCH. This instrument is used in assessing overall severity where schizophrenia is concerned; it provides a measurement of negative, cognitive, positive, and depressive symptoms (Kumari et al., 2017). Going by the authors’ description or analysis, the CGI-SCH is a valid, reliable instrument for assessing schizophrenia. Besides being reliable in evaluating the severity of schizophrenia, the scale reportedly has a high correlation with other commonly used tools such as the Global Assessment of Function as well as the positive and negative symptoms scale, PANSS. In addition, the CGI-SCH is said to be simple and quick to administer, hence its suitability for routine clinical work as well as observational studies (Kumari et al., 2017).

Another strong point supporting the effectiveness of the CGI-SCH scale in schizophrenia diagnosis is its ability to measure patient response to treatment. In fact, the scale is one of the few instruments that can effectively detect differences in the way patients respond to antipsychotic therapy (Lee et al., 2016; Garcia-Portilla et al., 2022).

That notwithstanding, the CGI-SCH is criticized for being sensitive to change and not having strong correlations with depression ratings (Kumari et al., 2017). On a different note, it appears that the scale cannot be used to fully assess schizophrenia without employing other tools. This conclusion is drawn from the report that CGI-SCH is yet to gain widespread use compared to other scales, notably PANSS and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (Lee et al., 2016). This implies that the CGI-SCH scale is only part of a comprehensive assessment for schizophrenia.


Garcia-Portilla, M. P., Benito Ruiz, A., Gómez Robina, F., García Dorado, M., & López Rengel, P. M. (2021). Impact on functionality of the paliperidone palmitate three-month formulation in patients with a recent diagnosis of schizophrenia: a real-world observational prospective study. Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy, (just-accepted). DOI: 10.1080/14656566.2021.2023496

Kumari, S., Malik, M., Florival, C., Manalai, P., & Sonje, S. (2017). An assessment of five (PANSS, SAPS, SANS, NSA-16, CGI-SCH) commonly used symptoms rating scales in schizophrenia and comparison to newer scales (CAINS, BNSS). Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy8(3).

Lee, J., Takeuchi, H., Fervaha, G., Sin, G. L., Foussias, G., Agid, O., … & Remington, G. (2016). Subtyping schizophrenia by treatment response: antipsychotic development and the central role of positive symptoms. Focus14(3), 396-402.

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