Development and validation of a clinical scale for rating the severity of Blepharospasm

Giovanni Defazio, Mark Hallett, Hyder A. Jinnah, Glenn T. Stebbins, Angelo F. Gigante, Gina Ferrazzano, Antonella Conte, Giovanni Fabbrini, Alfredo Berardelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Existing scales for rating the severity of blepharospasm (BSP) are limited by a number of potential drawbacks. We therefore developed and validated a novel scale for rating the severity of BSP. The development of the scale started with careful examination of the clinical spectrum of the condition by a panel of experts who selected phenomenological aspects thought to be relevant to disease severity. Thereafter, selected items were first checked for reliability, then reliable items were combined to generate the scale, and clinimetric properties of the scale were evaluated. Finally, the confidence with which the scale could be used by people without high levels of movement disorders skill was assessed. The new scale, based on objective criteria, yielded moderate to almost perfect reliability, acceptable internal consistency, satisfactory scaling assumptions, lack of floor and ceiling effects, partial correlations with a prior severity scale and with a quality of life scale, and good sensitivity to change. Despite a few limitations, the foregoing features make the novel scale more suitable than existing scales to assess the severity of BSP in natural history and pathophysiologic studies as well as in clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-530
Number of pages6
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Blepharospasm
  • Blinking
  • Dystonia
  • Rating scale
  • Severity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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