Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS)
- General information
- Structure and administration
- Sample norms, reliability, and validity
Author(s)/developer(s): Overall, J.E. & Gorham, D.R.
Date(s) of publication: 1962, 1967, 1986, 1988
Version(s): Original (BPRS-18; 1962), BPRS-16 (1967), Expanded (BPRS-E; 1986), Children's (BPRS-C; 1986), and Anchored (BPRS-A; 1988)
Primary: General mental health assessment
Secondary: None identified
Somatic concerns, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, hostility, guilt, elevated mood/mania, grandiosity, suspiciousness/paranoia,. hallucinations, unusual thought content, behaviour, self-neglect, disorientation, affect, motor retardation, distractability, motor hyperactivity.
To provide a broad overview of the type and severity of an individuals' current psychiatric symptoms. It is NOT a diagnostic instrument.
Use(s) of information:
This measure can be used to screen patients for various psychiatric illnesses, as an indicator of treatment effectiveness, or as part of a treatment program evaluation.
Children, adolescents, and adults ages 5 and up. BPRS-C is specifically designed for children and adolescents ages 5-18.
Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, French (Canadian and International), German, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
Additional information to inform measure useOther considerations:
The Ontario branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association provides copies of this measure on their website.
Ontario-based programs or initiatives using this measure:
None at this time.
Structure and administration
Method(s) of administration:
Clinician-administered interview/observational report. Can also be done using a chart review method. Overall and Gorham (1962) recommend each individual being assessed by two clinicians to increase reliability of results.
Number of items:
16 for BPRS-16, 18 for BPRS-18, 21 for BPRS-C, and 24 for BPRS-E
For BPRS-E: Thinking Disturbance, Hostile/Suspiciousness, Withdrawal/Retardation, and Anxious/Depression
For BPRS-C: Behavioral Problems, Depression, Thinking Disturbance,
Psychomotor Excitation, Withdrawal-Retardation,
Anxiety, and Organicity
7-point Likert scale from 1 ("not present") to 7 ("extremely severe")
Estimated time to administer:
Must be a trained clinician.
Training requirements, scoring and interpretation:
Must be a trained clinician.
Sample norms, reliability, and validity
The norms, reliability and validity statistics included in each measure profile are those reported by the author(s) of the measure. It is important to note that altering, adding or removing questions from a measure voids these reported statistics, possibly making the revised tool unreliable and invalid.
Sample for development of norms:
For the BPRS-C: 48 children from Houston (33 boys and 15 girls) ages 5-18.
For the original version (Overall & Gorham, 1962), the authors reported inter-rater reliabilities of 0.56-0.87. Studies on the various versions of the BPRS have reported alphas of 0.46 to 0.94, inter-rater reliabilities of 0.38 to 0.99, and a test-retest reliability of 0.82. For the BPRS-C, the authors report inter-rater reliabilities of 0.46-0.89 and alphas of 0.69-0.91. Further studies on the BPRS-C have found inter-rater reliabilities of 0.40-0.95 and alphas of 0.57-0.87.
Studies on the various versions of the BPRS have found evidence of moderate to extensive concurrent validity, as well as good discriminative validity/ability and minimal convergent validity. The BPRS-C specifically has demonstrated discriminative validity/ability.
Free (public domain). Available from the Canadian Mental Health Association - Ontario, Community Mental Health Evaluation Initiative. Please see contact information below.
Contact Information / Ordering Information:
Community Mental Health Evaluation Initiative
Janet Durbin, Project Director
Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
180 Dundas Street West, Suite 2301
Toronto, ON M5G 1Z8
Phone: 1-416-535-8501 ext. 6229
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Status: Verified and completed
Last updated: 2016-02-09