Evaluation of the Short Parkinson's Evaluation Scale: a new friendly scale for the evaluation of Parkinson's disease in clinical drug trials

Clin Neuropharmacol. 1997 Aug;20(4):322-37.


The extensive use of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) has revealed low interrater reliability in some items and redundancy in others. In view of these shortcomings, we have structured a new scale that includes a zero-to three-point scale for each item in the evaluation of PD. The mental axis includes memory, thought disorders, and depression. Activities of daily living (ADL) includes eight items: speech, eating, feeding, dressing, hygiene, handwriting, walking, and turning in bed. The motor examination includes eight items: speech, tremor, rest and posture, rigidity, finger tapping, arising from chair, gait, and postural stability. Complications of therapy were also included: dyskinesias, dystonia, motor fluctuations, and freezing episodes, collected by history. In addition, a global scoring for motor fluctuations that should complement the Hoehn and Yahr Scale was incorporated. In this report, we present a statistical analysis of the ADL, motor evaluation, and complications of therapy sections. Concerning the interrater reliability mean, Kendall's W values were >0.9 for most of the items in the Short Parkinson's Evaluation Scale (SPES). Kendall's W <0.8 (motor evaluation) was found for two items of the SPES and nine items of the UPDRS. The mean interrater reliability for both scales across all seven centers (seven Kendall's W for seven centers) (Mann-Whitney test) showed no statistical differences between the scales. Spearman's correlations between items of both scales were significant. Factor analysis of the SPES and UPDRS data revealed a four-factor solution that explained approximately 60% of the data. All participating centers found the SPES easier to apply and quicker to complete, when compared with the UPDRS. The results obtained strongly favor the introduction of SPES for clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Antiparkinson Agents / adverse effects
  • Antiparkinson Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / methods
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Observer Variation
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis*
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology
  • Psychometrics
  • Psychomotor Performance


  • Antiparkinson Agents