Brief Pain Inventory (BPI)

The Brief Pain Inventory evaluates the intensity, quality, relief and interference of pain in cancer patients, and patients’ ideas of the causes of pain.  In addition, it can be used to make outcome predictions for advanced cancer patients.

Respondents are asked to use a 0 to 10 numeric scale at. The test consists of 17-items addressing severity, location, chronicity, and amount of relief.


Department of Neurology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Reliability and Validity

Data collected from a sample of non-cancer patients and cancer patients revealed a coefficient alpha reliability rating of above 0.70. Over short intervals, the BPI showed acceptable test-retest correlations. The BPI was closely compared with the SF-36 Bodily Plan, showing high correlation ratings. The BPI has been translated into 12 languages, including French, Spanish, Hindi, and Chinese.

Obtaining the BPI

MD Anderson Cancer Center

(Includes sample forms of both short and long versions)

Administration, Analysis and Reporting

Statistics Solutions consists of a team of professional methodologists and statisticians that can assist the student or professional researcher in administering the survey instrument, collecting the data, conducting the analyses and explaining the results.

For additional information on these services, click here.


Cleeland, C. S. (1989). Measurement of pain by subjective report. In C. R. Chapman & J. D. Loeser (Eds.), Advances in pain research and therapy: Issues in pain measurement (Vol. 12) (pp. 391-403). New York: Raven Press.

Daut, R., Cleeland, C., & Flanery, R. (1983). Development of the Wisconsin Brief Pain Questionnaire to assess pain in cancer and other diseases. Pain, 17(2), 197-210.

Hølen, J. C., Lydersen, S., Klepstad, P., Loge, J. H., & Kaasa, S. (2008). The Brief Pain Inventory: Pain’s interference with functions is different in cancer pain compared with non-cancer chronic pain. The Clinical Journal of Pain, 24(3), 219-25.

Tan, G., Jensen, M. P., Thornby, J. I., & Shanti, B. F. (2004). Validation of the Brief Pain Inventory for chronic nonmalignant pain. The Journal of Pain 5(2), 133-137.

Tittle, M. B., McMillan, S. C., & Hagan, S. (2003). Validating the Brief Pain Inventory for use with surgical patients with cancer. Oncology Nursing Forum, 30(2), 325-30.

Other Pain Instruments

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