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Keywords:

  • Parkinson's disease;
  • rating scales;
  • Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale;
  • clinimetrics

Abstract

This article presents the revision process, major innovations, and clinimetric testing program for the Movement Disorder Society (MDS)–sponsored revision of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), known as the MDS-UPDRS. The UPDRS is the most widely used scale for the clinical study of Parkinson's disease (PD). The MDS previously organized a critique of the UPDRS, which cited many strengths, but recommended revision of the scale to accommodate new advances and to resolve problematic areas. An MDS-UPDRS committee prepared the revision using the recommendations of the published critique of the scale. Subcommittees developed new material that was reviewed by the entire committee. A 1-day face-to-face committee meeting was organized to resolve areas of debate and to arrive at a working draft ready for clinimetric testing. The MDS-UPDRS retains the UPDRS structure of four parts with a total summed score, but the parts have been modified to provide a section that integrates nonmotor elements of PD: I, Nonmotor Experiences of Daily Living; II, Motor Experiences of Daily Living; III, Motor Examination; and IV, Motor Complications. All items have five response options with uniform anchors of 0 = normal, 1 = slight, 2 = mild, 3 = moderate, and 4 = severe. Several questions in Part I and all of Part II are written as a patient/caregiver questionnaire, so that the total rater time should remain approximately 30 minutes. Detailed instructions for testing and data acquisition accompany the MDS-UPDRS in order to increase uniform usage. Multiple language editions are planned. A three-part clinimetric program will provide testing of reliability, validity, and responsiveness to interventions. Although the MDS-UPDRS will not be published until it has successfully passed clinimetric testing, explanation of the process, key changes, and clinimetric programs allow clinicians and researchers to understand and participate in the revision process. © 2006 Movement Disorder Society