Teaching program for the unified dyskinesia rating scale

Christiopher G. Goetz, John G. Nutt, Glenn T. Stebbins, Teresa A. Chmura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The Unified Dyskinesia Rating Scale (UDysRS) has been introduced as a comprehensive rating tool for the evaluation of dyskinesias in Parkinson's disease (PD). To enhance a uniform application, we developed a DVD-based training program with instructions, patient examples, and a certification exercise. For training on the objective assessment of dyskinesia, seventy PD patients spanning the gamut of dyskinesias (none to severe) were videotaped during four tasks of daily living (speaking, drinking from a cup, putting on a coat, and walking). Dyskinesia severity in seven body parts was rated by 20 international movement disorder specialists using the UDysRS for impairment. Each task was also rated for disability. Inter-rater reliability was assessed with generalized weighted kappa and intraclass correlation coefficients. For the teaching program, examples of each severity level and each body part were selected based on the criterion that they received a uniform rating (± 1 point) by at least 75% of the raters. For the certification exercise, four cases were selected to represent the four quartiles of overall objective UDysRS scores to reflect slight, mild, moderate, and severe dyskinesia. Each selection was based on the highest inter-rater reliability score for that quartile (minimum kappa or intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.6). UDysRS ranges for certification were calculated based on the 95% confidence interval. The teaching program lasts 41 min, and the certification exercise requires 10 min (total 51 min). This training program, based on visual examples of dyskinesia and anchored in scores generated by movement disorder experts is aimed at increasing homogeneity of ratings among and within raters and centers. Large-scale multicenter randomized clinical trials of dyskinesia treatment are strengthened by a uniform standard of scale application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1296-1298
Number of pages3
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jul 15 2009


  • Dyskinesia
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Rating scales

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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