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Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS)
Please visit this website for more information about the instrument: Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale
Supplemental: Epilepsy, Mitochondrial Disease (Mito), and Parkinson's Disease (PD)
Short Description of Instrument
Purpose: To assess patients who display symptoms of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.
Description: An 18-item scale that measures positive symptoms, general psychopathology and affective symptoms. A pediatric version is also available.
Comment: A well-established scale that is sensitive to changes and allows for broad evaluation. Item score grouping allows scoring on specific symptoms (i.e., mannerisms and posturing). However, it is limited in scope as it focuses on positive and general psychopathology.
Primary Dependent Measures: Total score (0-126).
Time Estimates: 20-30 minutes.
Vendor: Public Domain.
Comments/Special Instructions
Parkinson's Disease-Specific: The BPRS is recommended for the cognitively intact PD population particularly if the patient is the primary informant of the symptoms. It is recommended by the MDS (Fernandez et al.) for use in clinical trials, but is tedious and not specific to PD.
This scale has limited applicability to PD.
Scoring and Psychometric Properties
Scoring: Each item is scored on 0-7 Likert scale ranging from "Not Present" to "Extremely Severe". The instrument is administered through a combination of clinician interview and observations from the patient's family from the previous 2-3 days.
Strengths: This is a commonly used scale in trials used to treat patients with primary psychotic disorders and therefore would allow a comparison of the frequency and severity of PD psychosis and other psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.
Weaknesses:  The scale does not have the administer and takes quite a bit of training to establish reliability on the 7-point Likert scales used to assess patient symptoms; The scale does not assess minor psychotic symptoms often experienced by PD patients such as visual illusions, passage hallucinations and sense of presence. There is a large overlap in psychosis in PD and cognitive impairment and this scale is designed for cognitively intact psychotic patients.
Key References:
Overall, JE, Gorham, DR. The Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale. Psychol Rep. 1962 Jun 1;10(3):799-812.
Overall, JE, Gorham DR: Introduction: the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BRPS): Recent developments in ascertainment and scaling. Psychopharmacol Bull. 1988;24:97-9.
Parkinson's Disease-Specific Reference:
Fernandez HH, Aarsland D, FÉnelon G, Friedman JH, Marsh L, TrÖster AI, Poewe W, Rascol O, Sampaio C, Stebbins GT, Goetz CG. Scales to assess psychosis in Parkinson's disease: Critique and recommendations. Mov Disord. 2008 Mar 15;23(4):484-500.
Document last updated August 2022