Book Review

Book Review: Rating Scales in Parkinson's Disease: Clinical Practice and Research

Authors: Cristina Sampaio, MD, PhD, Christopher G. Goetz, MD, Anette Schrag, FRCP, PhD

 

Review by Dr. Santiago Perez Lloret, MD, PhD
Department of Pharmacology, Toulouse University
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Publisher: Oxford University Press (2012)

February 2013

The Movement Disorder Society appointed a Task Force in 2002 to review, evaluate and critique in a systematic manner existing rating scales for various domains in Parkinson’s disease (PD). They were also charged with the development of the new version of the Unified PD Rating Scale, the MDS-UPDRS. In this book, the Editors have not only assembled the papers written under the auspices of the Task Force but also went further on and included previously unpublished topics and a whole section on methodological issues of rating scales.

Measurement is a key issue in clinical practice and scientific research. From an epistemological stand point, to measure is to register the value of an attribute of a given object or subject. In some cases such attributes are readily observable, as for example, the color of our patients’ skin. Other ones can be registered by means of special equipment, such as weight or heart’s electrical signals. Finally, other phenomena, such as depression, pain or cognitive impairment for example, are not observable at all. Therefore, if we want to measure them, other procedures will need to be employed, including the utilization of rating scales.

In PD, a large proportion of relevant phenomena can only be evaluated by using rating scales. Therefore, this book is a “must have” for clinical practitioners and scientists. Not only does it get together recommendations for the use of rating scales in a great number of relevant phenomena but also includes a whole section dealing with methodological aspects of scales development and validation. Scientists will surely find it very useful.

The task undertaken by MDS is enormous and never ending, so the lack of evaluations for some conditions such as pain, skin, visual disturbances or urinary incontinence, among others, cannot be regarded as a weakness. Indeed, with time such phenomena will probably by the subject of further evaluations. Ideally, their work should also include evaluations of rating scales for other movement disorders. On the other hand, evaluation of rating scales for some clinical relevant conditions, such as dysphagia, constipation and sialorrhea were not included even though they are available as papers.

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Author's comments contributed by Dr. Anette Schrag, FRCP, PhD
Royal Free and University College
London

July 2012

Parkinson’s disease is a complex disorder with multiple signs and symptoms, each having different bearings on the overall disability. Measuring this disability and the disease impact is a difficult task that has bewildered physicians and researchers for decades. Based on papers written under the auspices of The Movement Disorder Society task force created in 2002, and updated with the most recent literature, this book provides evidence based critiques of the rating scales available for the use in Parkinson's disease.

Rating Scales in Parkinson’s Disease provides the tools that physicians and researchers need to measure the signs and symptoms in Parkinson’s disease patients. Written and edited by world leaders, this easy-to-use guide also provides dedicated scales for domains ranging from motor signs to non-motor disease components like depression, anxiety, and sleep disruption in this very specialized field.

Because the various scales are of unequal technical quality or may differ in how easily they can be understood, each chapter provides a systematic overview of how to place each scale in a clinical and clinimetric context. The chapters provide evidence-based recommendations about the appropriateness of individual scales and, when relevant, a best recommendation for evaluating the clinical components of this complex disease.

Rating Scales in Parkinson's Disease: Index

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