Revisiting the therapeutic effect of rTMS on negative symptoms in schizophrenia: A meta-analysis

C. Shi, X. Yu, E.F.C. Cheung, Ho Keung David Shum, R.C.K. Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationLiterature reviewAcademic researchpeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


This study sought to determine the moderators in the treatment effect of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on negative symptoms in schizophrenia. We performed a meta-analysis of prospective studies on the therapeutic application of rTMS in schizophrenia assessing the effects of both low-frequency and high-frequency rTMS on negative symptoms. Results indicate that rTMS is effective in alleviating negative symptoms in schizophrenia. The effect size was moderate (0.63 and 0.53, respectively). The effect size of rTMS on negative symptoms in sham-controlled trials was 0.80 as measured by the SANS and 0.41 as measured by the PANSS. A longer duration of illness was associated with poorer efficacy of rTMS on negative symptoms. A 10. Hz setting, at least 3 consecutive weeks of treatment, treatment site at the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and a 110% motor threshold (MT) were found to be the best rTMS parameters for the treatment of negative symptoms. The results of our meta-analysis suggest that rTMS is an effective treatment option for negative symptoms in schizophrenia. The moderators of rTMS on negative symptoms included duration of illness, stimulus frequency, duration of illness, position and intensity of treatment as well as the type of outcome measures used. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-513
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Intervention
  • Meta-analysis
  • Negative symptoms
  • Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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