Parkinson's Impulse-Control Scale for the Severity Rating of Impulse-Control Behaviors in Parkinson's Disease: A Semistructured Clinical Assessment Tool

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Background:Impulse-control behaviors (ICBs) are increasingly recognized in Parkinson's disease (PD) as drug-related effects of dopaminergic mediation that occur in 15% to 35% of patients with PD. The authors describe the design and evaluation of a new, clinician-rated severity scale for the assessment of syndromal and subsyndromal forms of impulse-control disorders (ICDs), simple (punding) and complex (hobbyism) repetitive behaviors, and compulsive overuse of medication (dopamine dysregulation syndrome). 
Methods:The Parkinson's Impulse-Control Scale (PICS), the first PD-specific, semistructured interview to cover the full range of PD-related ICBs, is described along with initial evidence on its clinimetric properties including interrater reliability, discriminant validity and sensitivity to change. A convenience sample of PD patients with ICBs and those without were administered a semistructured interview (n = 92). 
Results:The scale distinguished between those with and without clinically detected ICBs and between patients with syndromal ICD and subsyndromal ICB (receiver operating characteristic areas under the curve, 92%–95%). Cutoff values were suggested, and substantial agreement was reported on weighted kappa (Κ) values for clinician-clinician rating of severity (Κ = 0.92). Significant improvements were detected on the scale after a randomized controlled trial of cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication adjustment (t[22] = 5.47; P <0.001). Conclusions The PICS appears to be a reliable measure of the full range of PD ICBs with good levels of interrater reliability. It may provide a useful measure to assess the severity of ICBs and monitor change in clinical and research settings; although, given the specialized centers used for recruitment of this sample, further psychometric evaluation is required.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalMovement Disorders Clinical Practice
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2016


  • impulse-control disorder, Parkinson's disease, severity, rating, carer

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