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Neurology. 2009 Nov 10;73(19):1584-91. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181c0d416.

International study on the psychometric attributes of the non-motor symptoms scale in Parkinson disease.

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  • 1National Center of Epidemiology, Carlos III Institute of Health, Av. Monforte de Lemos, 3, 28029 Madrid, Spain.



Nonmotor symptoms (NMS) have a great impact on patients with Parkinson disease (PD). The Non-Motor Symptoms Scale (NMSS) is an instrument specifically designed for the comprehensive assessment of NMS in patients with PD. NMSS psychometric properties have been tested in this study.


Data were collected in 12 centers across 10 countries in America, Asia, and Europe. In addition to the NMSS, the following measures were applied: Scales for Outcomes in Parkinson's Disease (SCOPA)-Motor, SCOPA-Psychiatric Complications (SCOPA-PC), SCOPA-Cognition, Hoehn and Yahr Staging (HY), Clinical Impression of Severity Index for Parkinson's Disease (CISI-PD), SCOPA-Autonomic, Parkinson's Disease Sleep Scale (PDSS), Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire-39 items (PDQ-39), and EuroQol-5 dimensions (EQ-5D). NMSS acceptability, reliability, validity, and precision were analyzed.


Four hundred eleven patients with PD, 61.3% men, were recruited. The mean age was 64.5 +/- 9.9 years, and mean disease duration was 8.1 +/- 5.7 years. The NMSS score was 57.1 +/- 44.0 points. The scale was free of floor or ceiling effects. For domains, the Cronbach alpha coefficient ranged from 0.44 to 0.85. The intraclass correlation coefficient (0.90 for the total score, 0.67-0.91 for domains) and Lin concordance coefficient (0.88) suggested satisfactory reproducibility. The NMSS total score correlated significantly with SCOPA-Autonomic, PDQ-39, and EQ-5D (r(S) = 0.57-0.70). Association was close between NMSS domains and the corresponding SCOPA-Autonomic domains (r(S) = 0.51-0.65) and also with scales measuring related constructs (PDSS, SCOPA-PC) (all p < 0.0001). The NMSS total score was higher for women (p < 0.02) and for increasing disease duration, HY, and CISI-PD severity level (p < 0.001). The SEM was 13.91 for total score and 1.71 to 4.73 for domains.


The Non-Motor Symptoms Scale is an acceptable, reproducible, valid, and precise assessment instrument for nonmotor symptoms in Parkinson disease.

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