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Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) « Mental Health « Surveys/Scales « Downloads

Date postedFebruary 7, 2012
Downloaded9639 times
CategoriesMental Health, Surveys/Scales


The UCLA Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale has been shown to be reliable instrument through more than 15 years of extensive research. The MANUAL contains instructions for administering the BPRS and rating the various symptoms, an interview for eliciting the symptoms of major mental disorders, and anchor points on 24 scales for rating the severity of symptoms. Twenty four distinct symptoms such as Delusions, Hallucinations, Thought Disorders, Blunted Affect, Emotional Withdrawal, Hostility, Depression, Anxiety, and Suicidality are in the BPRS. When you purchase this tool, you also receive a portfolio of reprints of publications describing how to train reliable raters for using the BPRS, how the BPRS can be used in routine clinical practice, and a GRAPH for encoding and monitoring changes in psychopathology over time.

The BPRS is an 18-item observer-scale designed to assess patients with major psychiatric disorders, particularly schizophrenia. The BPRS measures positive symptoms, general psychopathology and affective symptoms. Some items (e.g. mannerisms and posturing) can be rated simply on observation of the patient; other items (e.g. anxiety) involve an element of self-report by the patient. The BPRS is administered by a trained clinician via a semi-structured interview.

When rating BPRS, it is important to allow unstructured sections in the clinical interview so that disorganization in the patient’s thought and speech and unusual thought content can be observed.

Each BPRS item is rated on a seven-point scale (1=not present to 7=extremely severe).

The BPRS is most frequently used in schizophrenia. It is still considered to provide at least as good a measure of the deficit syndrome as the more recently developed scales, that were designed specifically for that purpose, which makes the use of extra ‘specific’ scales superfluous.

Benefits of the BPRS:
Well established – among the most researched instruments used in psychiatry
Well known – clinicians tend to be familiar with symptom scores and changes
Sensitive to change – may be used to rate treatment response
Broad evaluation – allows rating of severity of a number of different symptoms
Used in many classic studies of new antipsychotics
Psychometric properties and underlying factor structure is well-established
Grouping on item scores allow scoring on distinct factors (tension; emotional withdrawal; mannerisms and posturing; motor retardation; uncooperativeness)
Scoring of the BPRS results in 18 item scores, five factor scores and a total score.

Ventura, Green, Shaner & Liberman (1993)

Psychiatric Rehabilitation Consultants

Ventura, Green, Shaner & Liberman (1993) Training and quality assurance with the brief psychiatric rating scale: “The drift buster” International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research.