The Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) is available in two formats: the BPI short form, which is used for clinical trials and is the version used for the foreign-language translations; and the BPI long form, which contains additional descriptive items that may be clinically useful (for example, items that expand the possible descriptors of pain, such as burning, tingling, etc.). For brevity’s sake and for the patient’s ease of use, however, we recommend the short form of the BPI.

BPI Features

  • Purpose: To assess the severity of pain and the impact of pain on daily functions
  • Population: Patients with pain from chronic diseases or conditions such as cancer, osteoarthritis and low back pain, or with pain from acute conditions such as postoperative pain
  • Assessment areas: Severity of pain, impact of pain on daily function, location of pain, pain medications and amount of pain relief in the past 24 hours or the past week
  • Responsiveness: Responds to both behavioral and pharmacological pain interventions
  • Method: Self-report or interview
  • Time required: Five minutes (short form), 10 minutes (long form)
  • Scoring: No scoring algorithm, but “worst pain” or the arithmetic mean of the four severity items can be used as measures of pain severity; the arithmetic mean of the seven interference items can be used as a measure of pain interference
  • Reliability: Cronbach alpha reliability ranges from 0.77 to 0.91

The Brief Pain Inventory includes a pain drawing and assessment of pain intensity. Here is a sample: BPI

If you are using the BPI for non-funded research or for clinical use it is free. Here is a link to ordering a copy: order BPI