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A Rating Scale for Drug-Induced Akathisia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Thomas R. E. Barnes*
Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, Academic Unit, Horton Hospital, Epsom, Surrey KT19 8PZ


A rating scale for drug-induced akathisia has been derived that incorporates diagnostic criteria for pseudoakathisia, and mild, moderate, and severe akathisia. It comprises items for rating the observable, restless movements which characterise the condition, the subjective awareness of restlessness, and any distress associated with the akathisia. In addition, there is an item for rating global severity. A standard examination procedure is recommended. The inter-rater reliability for the scale items (Cohen's x) ranged from 0.738 to 0.955. Akathisia was found in eight of 42 schizophrenic inpatients, and nine had pseudoakathisia, where the typical sense of inner restlessness was not reported.

Copyright © Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1989 

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