Measuring catatonia: a systematic review of rating scales

J Affect Disord. 2011 Dec;135(1-3):1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2011.02.012. Epub 2011 Mar 21.


Background: Despite a growing scientific and clinical interest in catatonia, its precise definition remains debated.

Aim: The aim of this study was to offer a systematic review of the different rating scales that have been developed to assess catatonia in clinical practice.

Methods: A Medline-search was performed, up to December 2010.

Results: Seven catatonia rating scales were retrieved: the Modified Rogers Scale, the Rogers Catatonia Scale, the Bush-Francis Catatonia Rating Scale (BFCRS), and its revision, the Northoff Catatonia Rating Scale (NCRS), the Braunig Catatonia Rating Scale (BCRS), and the Kanner Scale.

Conclusion: Several catatonia rating scales are proposed to detect the catatonic syndrome and to evaluate treatment response. BFCRS, NCRS and BCRS are reliable for use in variable populations in which catatonia is prevalent. The BFCRS is preferred for routine use, because of its validity and reliability, and its ease of administration.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Catatonia / classification*
  • Catatonia / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • Reproducibility of Results