A study was conducted to validate a comprehensive self-rating scale for measuring side-effects of neuroleptic drugs.
The Liverpool University Neuroleptic Side Effect Rating Scale (LUNSERS), which includes ‘red herring’ items, was twice administered to 50 DSM–III–R schizophrenic patients, who were also interviewed using the UKU side-effect rating scale; 50 unmedicated controls also completed the LUNSERS.
The test-retest reliability of the LUNSERS was good (r = 0.811, P< 0.001) as was its concurrent validity against the UKU (r = 0.828, P< 0.001). Scores correlated with chlorpromazine equivalent doses (r = 0.310, P< 0.02). ROC analysis demonstrated that the scale discriminated between patients and non-medicated controls, who scored differently for real side-effects but not for ‘red herring’ items.
The LUNSERS is an efficient, reliable and valid method of assessing neuroleptic side-effects.