Development of an essential tremor embarrassment assessment

Rebecca E. Traub, Marina Gerbin, Mary M. Mullaney, Elan D. Louis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Introduction: Embarrassment is commonly reported in essential tremor (ET) patients yet there is no formal tool to assess embarrassment in ET. Our aim was to develop such a tool and to assess its clinimetric properties. A quantitative measure of embarrassment could be used to assess response to treatment in clinical practice and clinical trials. Methods: Based on surveys of international tremor experts and ET patients, we constructed the Essential Tremor Embarrassment Assessment (ETEA), a brief, easily administered, 14-item self-assessment scale. The ETEA was assessed for validity, reliability and other clinimetric properties in 75 ET patients. Results: Forty-seven tremor experts from eight countries were surveyed. On average, they estimated that 75% of their patients experienced embarrassment, yet there was very little agreement (range = 10-95%). Among ET patients, three-quarters (77.3%) reported at least occasional embarrassment due to their tremor and one-third (36.4%) reported daily embarrassment. ETEA scores correlated with a tremor disability questionnaire score (p =0.02 and p =0.01) and Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale scores (p<0.001 and p<0.001). Test-retest reliability was high (p<0.001). Factor analysis identified four factors, explaining 62.4% of the variance. For the major factors (I and II), high internal consistency was found (Cronbach's alpha = 0.85 and 0.74). Conclusion: Embarrassment is commonly experienced by ET patients. The ETEA is a reliable and valid tool to measure embarrassment in patients with this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)661-665
Number of pages5
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Assessment
  • Clinical
  • Embarrassment
  • Epidemiology
  • Essential tremor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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