Diagnostic challenges revealed from a neuropsychiatry movement disorders clinic

Heather Rigby, Angela Roberts-South*, Hrishikesh Kumar, Leonardo Cortese, Mandar Jog

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Abnormal movements are frequently associated with psychiatric disorders. Optimized management and diagnosis of these movements depends on correct labeling. However, there is evidence of reduced accuracy in the labeling of these movements, which could result in sub-optimal care. Objective: To determine the consensus inter-rater reliability between a movement disorders neurologist and physicians referring from the community for phenomenology and diagnoses of individuals with co-existing psychiatric conditions and movement disorders. Method: Charts of all consecutive patients seen in a combined Movement Disorders and Neuropsychiatry Clinic between 2001-2009 were reviewed retrospectively. Consensus estimates and kappa values for inter-rater reliability were determined for phenomenology and diagnostic terms for the respective referring source and movement disorders neurologist for each patient. Results: A total of 106 charts were reviewed (62 men and 44 women). Agreement for phenomenology terms ranged from 0% (psychogenic) to 73% (tremor). Only 3 terms had kappa values that met or exceeded criteria for moderate inter-rater reliability. Agreement for diagnosis terms was highest for tardive dyskinesia (83%), drug induced tremor (33%), and drug induced parkinsonism (20%). In 18 of the 22 charts (82%), a diagnosis was made of drug induced movement disorder (DIMD) by the referring physician. In contrast, a diagnosis of DIMD was made in only 54 of 106 charts (51%) after the patients were assessed in the clinic. Conclusions: A movement disorders specialist frequently disagreed with referring physicians' identification of patient phenomenology and diagnosis. This suggests that clinicians would benefit from educational resources to assist in characterizing abnormal movements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)782-788
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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