We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale?

By Debra Barnhart
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) is a test used by mental healthcare professionals to gauge a patient’s psychiatric symptoms. It is most often used with patients who have severe psychological impairment, especially bipolar affective disorder and schizophrenia. This scale has between 18 and 24 sections, with each focusing on a different set of symptoms. It usually has a rating scale of one through seven, with a rating of one for little or no symptoms, and a seven for severe symptoms. Patient response to test questions and the healthcare professional’s observations are both taken into account in the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale. The test can be used to both diagnosis and assess patient progress and is also employed by researchers in the development of new treatments.

Concern over physical health, and levels of anxiety, depression or hallucination are some of the sections on the BPRS test. When working on the hallucination section, the mental healthcare professional might ask the patient a question like, “Do you hear people talking to you when you are drifting off to sleep?” After hearing the patient’s response, the healthcare professional might delve deeper into the patient’s symptoms by asking about the quality of the voice or sounds that the patient hears.

Generally a rating of seven on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale is used for symptoms that completely interrupt daily activity and do not allow the patient to work, socialize and be independent. For instance in evaluating anxiety levels, a rating of two means that the individual experiences some infrequent anxiety, which is pretty normal. Extremely severe anxiety, or a rating of seven, means the patient is focused on his or her worries all day and that the anxiety totally disrupts daily activity. The patient might experience physical symptoms too, like rapid heartbeat, panic attacks and sweating.

While patient self-disclosure is an important element of the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, observation by the mental healthcare professional is key as well. In some sections of the test the patient is interviewed by the healthcare professional about his or her symptoms. In other sections, the healthcare professional makes independent observations about the patient. These observations focus on areas like disorganized thought patterns or speech and lack of emotional expression. A mental healthcare professional, for example, might observe that a flat tone of voice, immobile facial expression, and mechanical gestures indicate that the patient cannot express emotion.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.