Antipsychotic Side-effect Checklist (ASC) - Overview
n Communication with patients about side-effects improves medication adherence.
n The ASC was designed to assess for various side-effects of antipsychotic medication and
the subjective distress associated with the side-effects.
n The ASC does not screen for tardive dyskinesia (TD) or acute dystonia.
The ASC is a checklist of common problems for which the patient is asked to check only the
boxes that apply. The patient can complete the form in the waiting room or at home before
seeing the clinician.
The ASC is also designed for clinicians to use as a brief interview for side-effects during
a regular treatment session. The ASC is an instrument that focuses only on common or
bothersome side-effects. It does not cover uncommon but important side-effects such as
acute dystonia, TD, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, urinary retention and seizures.1
A guide to the ASC is on the following two pages. A more extensive training guide for
using the ASC program can be accessed via the Journal of Psychiatric Practice website:
n In a multi-center pilot study set up to evaluate the utility of checklists, 86% of patients
responding considered the ASC to be useful in communicating their problems to
psychiatrists and other members of the healthcare team.2
n 47% of healthcare team respondents reported that the ASC had assisted them in
identifying side-effect problems not previously acknowledged.2
1. Weiden P, Miller A, Which side-effects really matter?: Screening for common and distressing side-effects of
antipsychotic medications. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, January 2001: 41-47
2. Dott SG, Weiden P, Hopwood P, Awad AG, Hellewell JS, Knesevich J, Kopala L, Miller A, Salzeman C,.
An innovative approach to clinical communication in schizophrenia: the approaches to schizophrenia
communication checklists. CNS Spect. 2001 (4): 333-338.
STABLE RESOURCE TOOLKIT
Guide to the AS