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Keywords:

  • Parkinson's disease;
  • Rating scale;
  • Reliability

Abstract

A multicenter study has been conducted to determine the interobserver reproducibility of four of the most frequently used rating scales for Parkinson's disease: the Columbia University Rating Scale (CURS) and the Webster Rating Scale (WRS), both for assessing clinical signs; the Northwestern University Disability Scale (NUDS); and the Hoehn and Y ahr staging. Four resident neurologists, inexperienced in the use of the four scales, independently examined 48 parkinsonian patients. The extent to which their assessments agreed was determined by calculating the Cohen k index after the scores had been recodified. The physicians' scores agreed substantially for the CURS and the Hoehn and Y ahr scale, while those for the NUDS and the WRS agreed only moderately. Analysis of individual item scores within the scales suggests improvements that would offer greater interobserver consistency.