Guidelines for TD screening and routine monitoring of patients on antipsychotic drugs (APDs)
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) recommends1:
- Clinical assessment for TD at each visit
- Assessment with a structured instrument, such as AIMS:
- If a new onset or exacerbation of preexisting movements is
- At least every 6 months in patients at high risk for TD
- At least every 12 months in other patients
Improve the assessment process by establishing a collaborative relationship with patients and their carepartners2
Use AIMS to assess tardive dyskinesia (TD) symptoms
The Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) is the standard structured assessment for the initial screening and the routine monitoring of TD
The AIMS evaluates symptom severity across 12 items2-5
- Items 1-7 assess the severity of involuntary movements across body regions
- Items 8-12 address global severity, patient awareness and incapacitation, and dental issues
- 0: Not present,
- 1:Minimal, may be extreme normal (abnormal movements occur infrequently and/or are difficult to detect),
- 2:Mild (abnormal movements occur infrequently and are easy to detect),
- 3:Moderate (abnormal movements occur frequently and are easy to detect), or
- 4:Severe (abnormal movements occur almost continuously and/or of extreme intensity)
The sum of items 1-7 is the AIMS total score. This may range from 0 to 28. A decrease in score between visits indicates an improvement in symptoms.7
- Item 8 is based on the highest single score of items 1-7 and may be used independently as an indication of overall severity4,6
- Items 9 and 10 assess the impact of TD and may be useful in clinical decision-making4,6
Watch Amber Hoberg, PMHNP-BC, discuss the importance of assessing and managing TD
Ask further questions to identify and evaluate the impact of TD
Beyond the involuntary movements, and regardless of symptom severity, TD can have effects on your patient’s life8-10
Your patient may not even recognize all the ways TD is bothersome in their life, so it’s important to ask them specific questions about symptoms.
An evaluation of impact should include questions related to 3 areas of well-being10-14:
Biological and physical factors
Watch as patients share the impact of TD on their day-to-day lives
Watch: Social Factors
Patients share how TD has affected their relationships and their interactions with others.
Watch: Biological and Physical Factors
Patients discuss the physical effects of TD.
Watch: Psychological Factors
Patients share how TD symptoms affect their mental state.
There is no evidence that treating TD affects the outcomes above.
It is possible to assess TD quickly, efficiently, and accurately in the telehealth setting15,16
- In-person assessments should be utilized when possible15,17
- Regardless of the setting, the standard of care should be maintained16,18
- Any assessment-related limitations should be documented
Before the telehealth visit16,19,20
Recommend that a carepartner be present during the visit to assist with camera positioning and other aspects of the examination.
Ask the patient or carepartner to make sure they have the following:
- A straight-back chair with no arms
- Enough space to:
- Sit in a chair for review of movements
- Walk back and forth while being observed
- Appropriate lighting
- Bandwidth to ensure good resolution to see movements
During the telehealth visit
AIMS may be used to effectively assess your patient in the telehealth setting.17,21
- AIMS scoring should be used when rating severity of symptoms in a semi-structured assessment, as it is necessary for payer coverage16
- Document the impact of TD on the patient’s daily life18
- If a helper is not available to assist in camera positioning or if video resolution is poor, you may need to rely on the patient’s responses to evaluate certain areas of the body16
- To assess rigidity, observe the patient while they are walking. An absence of arm swing is a clinical sign that there may be rigidity19
Watch Dr. Arvinder Walia demonstrate how to conduct TD virtual assessments
Watch: Long Virtual Assessment
A virtual assessment with full view of the patient’s body.
Watch: Short Virtual Assessment
A virtual assessment without full view of the patient’s body.
REFERENCES: 1. Keepers GA, Fochtmann J, Anzia JM, et al. The American Psychiatric Association Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Schizophrenia. Third edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2020. 2. Munetz MR, Benjamin S. How to examine patients using the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale. Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1988;39(11):1172-1177. 3. Guy W. ECDEU Assessment Manual for Psychopharmacology: Revised, 1976. Rockville,
MD: US Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Public Health Service, Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration, NIMH Psychopharmacology Research Branch, Division of Extramural Research Programs; 1976. DHEW publication number ADM 76-338. 4. STABLE Resource Toolkit. STABLE National Coordinating Council Resource Toolkit Workgroup. https://
provider.medmutual.com/pdf/STABLE_toolkit.pdf. Accessed July 8, 2020. 5. Gharabawi GM, Bossie CA, Lasser RA, Turkoz I, Rodriguez S, Chouinard G. Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) and Extrapyramidal Symptom Rating Scale (ESRS): cross-scale comparison in assessing tardive dyskinesia. Schizophr Res. 2005;77(2-3):119-128.
6. Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS). Oregon Health & Sciences University website. https://www.ohsu.edu/sites/
Movement%20Scale.pdf. Accessed October 24, 2020. 7. AUSTEDO® (deutetrabenazine) tablets current Prescribing Information. Parsippany, NJ, Teva Neuroscience, Inc. 8. Aquino CCH, Lang AE. Tardive dyskinesia syndromes: current concepts. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2014;20(suppl 1):S113-S117. 9. Cloud LJ, Zutshi D, Factor SA. Tardive dyskinesia: therapeutic options for an increasingly common disorder. Neurotherapeutics. 2014;11(1):166-176. 10. Ascher-Svanum H, Zhu B, Faries D, Peng X, Kinon BJ, Tohen M. Tardive dyskinesia and the 3-year course of schizophrenia: results from a large, prospective, naturalistic study. J Clin Psychiatry.
2008;69(10):1580-1588. 11. Strassnig M, Rosenfeld A, Harvey PD. Tardive dyskinesia: motor system impairments, cognition
and everyday functioning. CNS Spectr. 2018;23(6):370-377. 12. Yassa R. Functional impairment in tardive dyskinesia: medical and psychosocial dimensions. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1989;80(1):64-67. 13. Caroff SN. Overcoming barriers to effective management of tardive dyskinesia. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2019;15:785-794. 14. Waln O, Jankovic J. An update on tardive dyskinesia: from phenomenology to treatment. Tremor Other Hyperkinet Mov (NY). 2013;3:tre-03-161-4138-1. 15. Jain R. Can the AIMS exam be conducted via telepsychiatry? https://www.psychcongress.com/article/can-aims-exam-be-conducted-telepsychiatry. Published December 9, 2019. Accessed October 24, 2020. 16. Data on file. North Wales, PA: Teva
Neuroscience, Inc. 17. Shore J, Vo A, Yellowlees P, et al. Antipsychotic-induced movement disorder: screening via
telemental health. Telemed J E Health. 2015;21(12):1027-1029. 18. Jackson R. Dr. Richard Jackson on assessing and
monitoring TD through telepsychiatry. Psychiatry & Behavioral Health Learning Network. June 15, 2020. https://
October 24, 2020. 19. Citrome L. Treating TD in the COVID-19 era: 5 steps to success. https://www.psychcongress.com/
multimedia/treating-td-covid-19-era-5-steps-success. Published June 8, 2020. Accessed October 24, 2020. 20. Cubo E, Mari Z. Telemedicine in your movement disorders practice: how does the COVID-19 crisis affect us. https://
Workshops-Conferences/MDS-Webinars/Telemedicine-for-Movement-Disorders-during-the-COVID-19-crisis-How-does-this-affect-us.htm. Accessed October 24, 2020. 21. Amarendran V, George A, Gersappe V, Krishnaswamy S, Warren C. The reliability of telepsychiatry for a neuropsychiatric assessment. Telemed J E Health. 2011;17(3):223-225.