The Maryland Psychiatric Research Center scale and the characterization of involuntary movements

Shawn L. Cassady, Gunvant K. Thaker, Ann Summerfelt, Carol A. Tamminga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The Maryland Psychiatric Research Center involuntary movement scale (MPRC scale) has been used in the evaluation of 1107 patients referred for drug-induced movement disorders. The scale has increased discrimination of body area and severity compared to other scales. Validity was examined using principal component analyses, pharmacologic response studies and associations with AIMS, global judgement and motor diagnosis. Reliability was examined using Cronbach's alpha, intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) between raters and test-retest measurements. The prevalence of dyskinetic and parkinsonian signs at several levels of severity are reported. Total dyskinesia was strongly correlated with AIMS score, r = 0.97. Inter-rarer reliability was 0.81-0.90 for total dyskinesia score. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis shows a total dyskinesia score of 4 or above to predict tardive dyskinesia, consistent with RDC-TD criteria. Hand dyskinesia showed a high prevalence comparable to that of oral dyskinesias. The MPRC scale is a valid, sensitive and reliable instrument for the rating of neuroleptic-induced dyskinetic and parkinsonian syndromes and may offer advantages over other scales in neurophysiologic research and brain imaging with its ease of use, uniform structure and greater discrimination of anatomic place and severity in the rating of involuntary movements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-37
Number of pages17
JournalPsychiatry research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 18 1997


  • Diagnosis
  • Movement disorder
  • Prevalence
  • Reliability
  • Tardive dyskinesia
  • Validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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