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  1. A J Lees
  1. Reta Lila Weston Institute of Neurological Studies, University College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor A J Lees, Reta Lila Weston Institute of Neurological Studies, University College London, London, UK; andrew.lees{at}

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In the last 15 years, previsit questionnaires have proved particularly popular in healthcare screening and in dentistry where they are designed to draw the practitioner’s attention to the presence of unreported symptoms of potential clinical significance. In a hospital setting, they are increasingly used to expose concerns, which patients do not necessarily link to their presenting complaint, but which nevertheless may be impacting significantly on their quality of life. In some cognitive disorders clinics, detailed sets of questions are posted out before the clinic visit in order to ascertain information about the family and medical history, the dates and type of previous investigations such as head scans and neuropsychological assessments and the list of current medications. Some of the questions are designed to determine what the patient and their family hope to get from the consultation and to explore whether they might be interested in participating in research projects. There is space for free text, giving family members as well as the patient the opportunity to draw attention to important matters, which sensitivities may have prevented being broached during the consultation. The responses are then reviewed at a multidisciplinary team meeting before the start of each clinic. Concerns highlighted in the questionnaires often differ markedly from both the presenting complaint and the issues highlighted in the doctor’s letter of referral.

The Non-Motor Symptoms Questionnaire (NMS Quest) ( is one of the most widely used pro formas in Parkinson’s disease clinics. It was introduced in 2006 in an attempt to remind physicians and nurse specialists that autonomic and neuropsychiatric symptoms are often disregarded causes of morbidity. The questionnaire takes less than 10 min to complete and can be downloaded from Parkinson’s UK website. Some patients bring it with them to discuss at the consultation. It requires the patient and their family …

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  • Funding The author has not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned. Externally peer review by Simon Lewis, Sydney, Australia, and Bas Bloem, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

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