Resolving Missing Data from the Movement Disorder Society Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale: Implications for Telemedicine.

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Telemedicine has become standard in clinical care and research during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Remote administration of Movement Disorder Society Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) Part III (Motor Examination) precludes ratings of all items, because Rigidity and Postural Stability (six scores) require in-person rating.


The objective of this study was to determine imputation accuracy for total-sum and item-specific MDS-UPDRS Motor Examination scores in remote administration.


We applied multivariate imputation by chained equations techniques in a cross-sectional dataset where patients had one MDS-UPDRS rating (International Translational Program, n = 8,588) and in a longitudinal dataset where patients had multiple ratings (Rush Program, n = 396). Successful imputation was stringently defined as (1) generalized Lin's concordance correlation coefficient >0.95, reflecting near-perfect agreement between total-sum score with complete data and surrogate score, calculated without patients' actual Rigidity and Postural Stability scores; and (2) perfect agreement for item-level scores for Rigidity and Postural Stability items.


For total-sum score when Rigidity and Postural Stability scores were withdrawn, using one or multiple visits, multivariate imputation by chained equations imputation reached near-perfect agreement with the original total-sum score. However, at the item level, the degree of perfect agreement between the surrogate and actual Rigidity items and Postural Stability scores always fell below threshold.


The MDS-UPDRS Part III total-sum score, a key clinical outcome in research and in clinical practice, can be accurately imputed without the Rigidity and Postural Stability items that cannot be rated by telemedicine. No formula, however, allows for specific item-level imputation. When Rigidity and Postural Stability item scores are of key clinical or research interest, patients with PD must be scored in person. © 2022 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.





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Luo, Sheng, Christopher G Goetz, Dongrak Choi, Sanket Aggarwal, Tiago A Mestre and Glenn T Stebbins (2022). Resolving Missing Data from the Movement Disorder Society Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale: Implications for Telemedicine. Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society. 10.1002/mds.29129 Retrieved from

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Sheng Luo

Professor of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics

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