The use of the Liverpool University neuroleptic side-effect rating scale (LUNSERS) in clinical practice


  • Paul Morrison, BA(Hons), PhD, RMN, RGN, PGCE, AFBPsS, CPsychol, MAPS.

  • Deanne Gaskill, RN, BAppSc, GradDipHSc, MAppSc.

  • Tom Meehan, RN, BHlthSc, MPH, MSocSc, GDip(Data Analysis), FANZCMHN.

  • Paul Lunney, BDSc(Hons), GradDipAppFin, MBA.

  • Gayle Lawrence, RPN, RN, BHSc(Nurs).

  • Paul Collings, BA(Hons), PhD.

Correspondence: Paul Morrison School of Nursing, University of Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia. Email:


Forty-four mental health clients completed the Liverpool University Neuroleptic Side-Effect Rating Scale (LUNSERS)—a self-rating scale to assess the prevalence and intensity of neuroleptic side-effects. In the month prior to the study, 50% of the clients surveyed had experienced more than half of the side-effects outlined on the 41-item scale. A prevalence profile allowed us to rank the frequency of individual side-effects across the sample. Some side-effects such as ‘difficulty concentrating’, ‘difficulty remembering’, ‘tiredness’ and ‘restlessness’ were experienced by most of the clients in the study while ‘unusual skin marks’, ‘difficulty passing water’, ‘rashes’ were experienced by a few. A prevalence profile may be a useful guide in developing strategies for managing side-effects more effectively in small groups of clients. In addition, the use of the LUNSERS in clinical practice would enable case managers to establish baseline measures for individual clients and evaluate changes in medication and other non-medical strategies for reducing unwanted side-effects. The identification and assessment of antipsychotic side-effects is an important area for client and professional carer education.