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Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS)
Please visit this website for more information about the instrument: Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale


The instrument is freely available for Individual/Personal use.
Supplemental: Parkinson's Disease (PD)
Short Description of Instrument
The Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) is a clinician-rated outcome used to assess the severity of abnormal movements in different parts of the body. The AIMS consists of 10 items scored with a five-point Likert metric. Each item is scored with higher scores indicating more severe abnormal movements. Items 1 to 4 rate the presence and severity of the abnormal facial and oral movements. Items 5 and 6 rate the presence and severity of abnormal movements in the extremities. Item 7 rates the presence and severity of truncal abnormal movements. The last three items rate, respectively, the global severity of the abnormal movements, the disability derived from the abnormal movements, and patient's awareness of the abnormal movement. Two final points refer to dental hygiene and wearing of dentures. The scale includes specific instructions to standardize the evaluation and requires the examiner to observe the patient sitting quietly at rest and again while carrying out selected motor tasks. The highest severity of the abnormal movements is rated. If movements only occur upon activation procedures, the severity score is one level lower than if the same intensity is seen spontaneously. The scale was originally developed for rating tardive dyskinesia but has been used for rating of Huntington's disease-related dyskinesia and PD-related dyskinesia. Modifications that exclude the one-point reduction for movements seen only with activation and exclude the dental questions have also been used. There are multiple versions of the scale but clinimetric assessments have been limited mostly to the original version.
Scoring and Psychometric Properties
Scoring: Each item is scored on a scale from 0 to 4 (absent, minimal, mild, moderate, severe). The maximum score is 40.


Psychometric Properties: Most clinimetric support for AIMS comes from inter-rater and intra-rater reliability assessments of the original version of this scale. In patients with tardive dyskinesia, the scale showed high inter-rater and test-retest reliability. Others substantial clinimetric data (such as floor and ceiling effect or concurrent validity) are not available. None of the modified versions of the scale has gone through validation procedures. There is no firm evidence that AIMS is able to detect change in dyskinesia severity across different stages of PD is available. The core elements of the AIMS (body areas involved and severity ratings) have been incorporated into the more widely used Unified Dyskinesia Rating Scale (UDysRS).
Key Reference:

Guy W. Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale. ECDEU assessment manual for psychopharmacology. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office; 1976:534-537.



Katzenschlager R, Schrag A, Evans A, Manson A, Carroll CB, Ottaviani D, Lees AJ, Hobart J. Quantifying the impact of dyskinesias in PD: the PDYS-26: a patient-based outcome measure. Neurology. 2007 Aug 7;69(6):555-63.


Sweet RA, DeSensi EG, Zubenko GS. Reliability and applicability of movement disorder rating scales in the elderly. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1993 Winter;5(1):56-60.


Whall AL, Engle V, Edwards A, Bobel L, Haberland C. Development of a screening program for tardive dyskinesia: feasibility issues. Nurs Res. 1983 May-Jun;32(3):151-6.


Document last updated August 2022