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Monitoring of extrapyramidal side effects in patients on antipsychotic treatment: a completed audit cycle

  • MI Butler (a1) and J Chandrakanth (a2)



Movement disorders are a common problem in those receiving antipsychotic medication. Clinical guidelines recommend that these side-effects are monitored regularly throughout treatment. However, due to a lack of training, clinician confidence levels in assessment are often low and regular monitoring may be neglected.


To audit current practice in our services regarding monitoring of extrapyramidal side effects (EPSE) and improve monitoring through education of clinicians.


The clinical records of patients receiving antipsychotic treatment, seen in the outpatient clinic over a 2-week period, were reviewed. Data were collected on whether or not EPSE had been assessed. A re-audit was undertaken following a teaching session.


Documentation regarding EPSE was present in only 14% of patient records. Following a teaching session, the overall level of documentation of EPSE rose to 42%, with rates of assessment dramatically improving in non-consultant hospital doctors.


In our practice, clinicians are generally poor to assess and record EPSE. However, rates of assessment improved significantly following a teaching session, especially in NCHDs.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: M. Butler, Department of Liaison Psychiatry, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin. (Email:


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