Evaluation of side effects using the BARS, SAS and AIMS in pediatric psychopharmacologic studies

G. Zalsman, M. Opler, T. Steinberg, A. Apter, A. Weizman

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The number of new psychopharmacologic studies on the effectiveness and safety of atypical anti-psychotic medication is growing rapidly. Several rating scales are commonly used in adult populations for evaluating extrapyramidal side effects. Three in particular have been used extensively in pediatric studies: 1. Abnormal Involuntary Movements Scale (AIMS); 2. Simpson Angus Scale (SAS); and 3. Barnes Akathisia Rating Scale (BARS). Based on our review, most of the items in the three rating scales seemed to be useful in pediatric studies as in adult studies. With the exception of some minor changes and adaptations, we find the AIMS, SAS and BARS to be acceptable tools for use in psychopharmacology studies in pediatric populations. As new studies of novel antipsychotics are initiated to help treat child and adolescent onset psychotic disorders, collection of data on motor side effects should be systematically studied and compared with data from adult studies to help develop evidence-based approaches to side effect management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-129
Number of pages2
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr. Opler is supported by the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Grant #: K01 MH080114-01A1.


  • Adolescent psychiatry
  • Antipsychotics
  • Schizophrenia
  • Tests


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