Prevalence of Tardive Dyskinesia in an Electronic Medical Record Study at a Large Community Mental Health Treatment Center

Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2022 Jun 28;24(4):21m03069. doi: 10.4088/PCC.21m03069.


Objective: To determine the prevalence of tardive dyskinesia (TD) identified by clinicians in naturalistic data in a real-world treatment setting.

Methods: Electronic medical record data were analyzed from a single large community mental health treatment center for all psychiatric provider encounters of 120,431 unique adult and child patients during a 5-year period from January 2013 through December 2017, focusing on clinician-identified TD in patients prescribed antipsychotic medication.

Results: Only half of the antipsychotic-prescribed patients had Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) information recorded in their medical records, and only 1% of those with AIMS data had a positive AIMS identifying TD. AIMS testing represented the largest source of all identified TD in these patients, but only one-third of the patients with a positive AIMS in the record had a clinical diagnosis of TD recorded in the prescriber's diagnostic impression list from billing code data. The clinical identification of only 1% of antipsychotic-prescribed patients with TD in this study is far below generally established TD prevalence estimates of previous research. An important methodological contributor to this discrepancy is generation of the data by treating clinicians in this study who greatly under identified TD relative to systematic research methodology.

Conclusions: Given the recent availability of US Food and Drug Administration-approved pharmaceutical agents for treatment of TD, it is now more important than ever to identify and intervene in TD. Agency-wide policies and procedures can be established to ensure that TD assessments are systematically conducted with regularity and accuracy among all antipsychotic-prescribed patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antipsychotic Agents* / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Prevalence
  • Tardive Dyskinesia* / chemically induced
  • Tardive Dyskinesia* / drug therapy
  • Tardive Dyskinesia* / epidemiology


  • Antipsychotic Agents