Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS)

18 clinical questions to assess severity of consolidated symptoms


The Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) was published in 1962 as a sixteen question questionnaire by Drs. John Overall and Donald Gorham, later enhanced it by adding two additional categories (Excitement and Disorientation), resulting in the 18-item scale used widely to assess the effectiveness of treatment. The BPRS is a rating scale which a clinician or researcher may use to measure psychiatric symptoms such as depression, anxiety, hallucinations, psychosis and unusual behaviour. The scale is one of the oldest, most widely used scales to measure psychotic symptoms. It should be administered by a clinician who is knowledgeable concerning each of the symptom domains, and severe mental health disorders. It is particularly useful in gauging the efficacy of treatment in patients who have moderate to severe psychoses. The rater enters a number for each symptom construct that ranges from 1 (not present) to 7 (extremely severe).


Leucht S, Kane JM, Kissling W, Hamann J, Etschel E, Engel R.

British Journal of Psychiatry: the Journal of Mental Science 2005, 187: 366-71

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1. Somatic Concern

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Degree of concern over present bodily health. Rate the degree to which physical health is perceived as a problem by the individual, whether complaints have realistic bases or not. Somatic delusions should be rated in the severe range with or without somatic concern. Note: be sure to assess the degree of impairment due to somatic concerns only and not other symptoms, e.g., depression.

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