BACKGROUND A study was conducted to validate a comprehensive self-rating scale for measuring side-effects of neuroleptic drugs.
METHOD 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:
RESULTS 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.
CONCLUSIONS The LUNSERS is an efficient, reliable and valid method of assessing neuroleptic side-effects.