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Cogn Behav Neurol. 2005 Mar;18(1):18-27.

A review of rating scales for measuring behavior change due to frontal systems damage.

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  • 1Brown University Medical School, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.



To perform a critical review of scales designed to measure frontal behavior change.


Changes in cognition due to frontal disease or damage have been well described, but noncognitive changes in behavior are often more deleterious functionally for frontal patients.


The review concentrates on five behavior rating scales: the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions (BRIEF), the Dysexecutive Questionnaire (DEX), the Frontal Behavior Inventory (FBI), the Frontal Systems Behavior Scale (FrSBe), the Iowa Rating Scales of Personality Change (IRSPC), and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). Other scales purporting to measure specific aspects of frontal functioning, but having less research support, are described briefly.


The BRIEF and FrSBe have good reliability and large-scale norms. No norms are available for the other scales. The FrSBe and IRSPC have been shown to be valid in discriminating frontal from nonfrontal lesioned patients, but this has not been shown in the other scales. The FBI and NPI require trained raters, whereas the FrSBe, IRSPC, and BRIEF are administered to patients and/or family informants directly. The NPI and FBI are sensitive to certain changes in behavior attributed to frontal systems disruption but have been used primarily in dementia.

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