Date of Award

Spring 5-25-2024

Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Manuscript

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Briony DuBose, PhD


Background: Movement disorders caused from psychotropic medications affect an estimated 500,000 people in the United States. These disorders bring an added cost for treatment to the patient, cause emotional distress, and may hinder daily life. Overall health and additional medication costs were increased for these patients by $25,879 per patient per year compared to patients without a movement disorder.

Purpose of Project: To address the issue, the team of mental health providers at an outpatient clinic assess their mental health patients at start of care and at follow up visits utilizing the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale. With the goal of early diagnosis of movement disorders associated with psychotropic medications and early intervention.

Framework/ EBP Model: The evidence-based project is designed utilizing the Iowa Model of evidence based practice to promote quality care. The Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale is utilized as a screening tool.

Evidence-based Intervention/Benchmark: The project implements screening of patients on psychotropic medications using the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale. This is a 12 item screening tool performed by medical professionals to assess for and rate severity of movement disorders.

Involuntary movements are rated and observed in the face, extremities, and trunk. A rating is given for severity of the movements, if there is any incapacitation due to the movements, patient’s own awareness of their movements, and dental status.

Evaluation of Results: Results concluded that when movement disorders associated with psychotropic

medication use was diagnoses that earlier intervention was implemented over a 3 month period. There was an increase in patient satisfaction with their providers with the additional screening and education on potential for movement disorders.

Implications for Clinical Practice: Routine assessments for involuntary movements with use of the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale may aid providers in earlier detection of these disorders. Earlier intervention for the movement disorders could be associated with the screening.

Conclusions: Future research can focus on other methods of detection and prevention of movement disorders associated with psychotropic medication use.Keywords: abnormal involuntary movements, AIMS, tardive dyskinesia, psychotropic medications, EPS, early intervention.