The Extrapyramidal Symptom Rating Scale (ESRS) was developed to assess four types of drug-induced movement disorders (DIMD): Parkinsonism, akathisia, dystonia, and tardive dyskinesia (TD). Comprehensive ESRS definitions and basic instructions are given. Factor analysis provided six ESRS factors: 1) hypokinetic Parkinsonism; 2) orofacial dyskinesia; 3) trunk/limb dyskinesia; 4) akathisia; 5) tremor; and 6) tardive dystonia. Two pivotal studies found high inter-rater reliability correlations in both antipsychotic-induced movement disorders and idiopathic Parkinson disease. For inter-rater reliability and certification of raters, >or=80% of item ratings of the complete scale should be +/-1 point of expert ratings and >or=70% of ratings on individual items of each ESRS subscale should be +/-1 point of expert ratings. During a cross-scale comparison, AIMS and ESRS were found to have a 96% (359/374) agreement between TD-defined cases by DSM-IV TD criteria. Two recent international studies using the ESRS included over 3000 patients worldwide and showed an incidence of TD ranging from 10.2% (2000) to 12% (1998). ESRS specificity was investigated through two different approaches, path analyses and ANCOVA PANSS factors changes, which found that ESRS measurement of drug-induced EPS is valid and discriminative from psychiatric symptoms.