COSMIN database

A systematic review of scales to measure dystonia and choreoathetosis in children with dyskinetic cerebral palsy

Stewart, K., Harvey, A., and Johnston, L. M.
AIM: To identify and systematically review the psychometric properties and clinical utility of dystonia and choreoathetosis scales reported for children with cerebral palsy (CP).

METHOD: Six electronic databases were searched for dystonia and choreoathetosis scales with original psychometric data for children with CP aged 0 to 18 years.

RESULTS: Thirty-four papers met the inclusion criteria, which contained six scales purported to measure dystonia and/or choreoathetosis in children with

CP: the Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale; Barry-Albright Dystonia Scale; Unified Dystonia Rating Scale; Movement Disorder-Childhood Rating Scale; Movement Disorder-Childhood Rating Scale 0-3 Years; and the Dyskinesia Impairment Scale.

INTERPRETATION: Each scale provides useful information about dyskinesia, with most focusing on dystonia. The Barry-Albright Dystonia Scale, which was designed for CP, is the most commonly reported scale and least complex to use clinically. The Dyskinesia Impairment Scale is the only tool to consider both dystonia and choreoathetosis in CP. All tools are designed to classify movement disorders at the level of body functions and structures, rather than activity limitations or participation restrictions, although many provide some insight into the impact of dystonia on activities. Further studies are required to fully examine the validity, reliability, responsiveness, and clinical utility of each scale specifically for children with CP.
Dev Med Child Neurol
Publication year:
Functional status:
Physical functioning
Children (0-18)
Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period and related symptoms
Diseases of and symptoms related to the nervous system
PRO / non-PRO:
Patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
1 - Questionnaires
2 - Interviews
BADS - Barry Albright Dystonia Scale
Burke-Fahn-Marsden Rating
DIS - Dyskinesia Impairment Scale
MDCRS - Movement Disorder Childhood Rating Scale (versions: MDCRS 0-3 years)
UDRS - Unified Dystonia Rating Scale