Assessment of Depression Using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale

  • J. E. Overall
  • L. E. Hollister


The Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), initially developed for efficient evaluation of treatment response in clinical psychopharmacology research, has been widely used for the assessment of severity of depression and for the descriptive classification of depressive disorders. The initial version of the BPRS, which was published in 1962, consisted of 16 symptom-rating constructs representing distinct aspects of manifest psychopathology that had been identified in a series of factor analyses of larger item pools [21]. Interest in use of the BPRS for descriptive classification of psychiatric patients, as well as for rapid and efficient assessment of treatment response in selected target populations, prompted the addition in 1966 of two rating constructs to better delineate excited states and organic brain syndromes. That resulted in the current form of the instrument, which has been reproduced in numerous previous publications [8, 9, 18, 19, 20].


Brief Psychiatric Rate Scale Motor Retardation Profile Pattern Research Diagnostic Criterion Guilt Feeling 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Beller, S.A., and Overall, J.E. 1983. The Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) in geropsychiatric research: Representative profile patterns. Geropsychiatry, In press.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Carpenter, W.T., Strauss, J.S., and Bartko, J.J. 1973. Flexible system for the diagnosis of schizophrenia: Report from the WHO International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia. Science 182: 1275–1278.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cobb, J.C., and Overall, J.E. 1981. Computer simulation and comparison of specific diagnostic concepts for schizophrenia and depression. In: H.G. Hefferman (ed.), Proceedings of the Fifth Annual Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care, pp. 412–416. IEEE, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cronbach, L.J., and Gleser, G.C. 1953. Assessing similarities between profiles. Psychol. Bull. 50: 456–473.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Delmonte, P., Gabrielli, F., Giberti, F., Overall, J.E., and Rossi, R. 1970. Concetti classificationi diagnostici tra gli psychiatri italiani. Archivio Di Psicologia Neurologia E Psichiatria 6: 531–555.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Engelsmann, F., Pichot, P., Rossi, R., Hippius, H., and Overall, J.E. 1970. International comparison of diagnostic patterns. Transcultural Psychiatric Research 7: 130–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Feighner, J.P., Robins, E., Guze, S.B., Woodruff, R.A., Winoku, G., and Munoz, R. 1972. Diagnostic criteria for use in psychiatric research. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 26: 57–63.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Guy, W 1976. ECDEU Assessment Manual for Psychopharmacology (DHEW no.76-338). National Institute of Mental Health, Rockville, MD.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hedlund, J.L., and Vieweg, B.W. 1980. The Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS): A comprehensive review. Journal of Operational Psychiatry 11: 48–65.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hollister, L.E., Bennett, J.L., Kimbell, I., Jr., Savage, C., and Overall, J.E. 1963. Diazepam in newly admitted schizophrenics. Diseases of the Nervous System 24: 1–4.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hollister, L.E., Overall, J.E., Kimbell, I., Jr., Bennett, J.L., Meyer, F., and Caffey, E. 1963. Oxypertine in newly admitted schizophrenics. Journal of New Drugs. 3: 26–31.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hollister, L.E., Overall, J.E., Bennett, J.L., Kimbell, I., Jr., and Shelton, J. 1965. Triperidol in schizophrenia: Further evidence for specific patterns of action of antipsychotic drugs. Journal of New Drugs. 5: 34–42.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Overall, J.E. 1963. A configural analysis of psychiatric diagnostic stereotypes. Behav. Sci. 8: 211–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Overall, J.E. 1968. Historical and sociocultural factors related to the phenomenology of schizophrenia. In: D.V. Siva Sankar (ed.), Schizophrenia, Current Concepts and Research. pp. 36–43. PJD Publications LTD, Hicksville, NY.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Overall, J.E. 1971. Association between marital history and the nature of manifest psychopathology. J. Abnorm. Psychol. 78: 213–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Overall, J.E. 1974a. Rating scales in the measurement of change. In: Neuropsychopharmacology, pp. 208–212. Excerpta Medica International Congress Series no. 359. Excerpta Medica, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Overall, J.E. 1974b. The brief psychiatric rating scale in psychopharmacology research. In: P. Pichot and R. Oliver-Martin (eds.), Psychological Measurements in Psychopharmacology: Modern Problems in Pharmacopsychiatry, pp. 67–78. Karger, Basel.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Overall, J.E. 1977. Actuarial methods in the diagnosis of schizophrenia. In: E. Fann, I. Karacan, A.D. Pokorny, and R.L. Williams (eds.), Phenomenology and Treatment of Schizophrenia. Spectrum, Jamaica.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Overall, J.E. 1978. Critères de diagnostic et de classification des dépressions. In: P. Pichot and C. Pull (eds.), La Symptomatologie Dépressive: Enregistrement et évaluation, pp. 15–30. Editions Spire, Paris.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Overall, J.E. 1981. Criteria for the selection of subjects for research in biological psychiatry. In: H.M. Van Praag, M.H. Lader, O.J. Rafaelsen, and E.J. Sachar (eds.), Handbook of Biological Psychiatry, Part VI, Practical Applications of Psychotropic Drugs and Other Biological Treatments, pp. 359–404. Dekker, Basel.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Overall, J.E., and Gorham, D.R. 1962. The brief psychiatric rating scale. Psychol. Rep. 10: 799–812.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Overall, J.E., and Porterfield, J. 1963. The powered vector method of factor analysis. Psychometrika. 28: 415–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Overall, J.E., and Hollister, L.E. 1967. Studies of quantitative approaches to psychiatric classification. In: J. Cole and W. Barton (eds.), The Role and Methodology of Classification in Psychiatry and Psychopharmacology, pp. 277–299. U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Overall, J.E., and Henry, B.W. 1972. Decisions about drug therapy I: Selection of treatment for psychiatric outpatients. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry. 26: 140–145.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Overall, J.E., and Klett, C.J. 1972. Applied Multivariate Analysis. McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Overall, J.E., and Hippius, H. 1974. Psychiatric diagnostic concepts among German-speaking psychiatrists. Compr. Psychiatry 15: 103–117.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Overall, J.E., and Higgins, C.W. 1977. An application of actuarial methods in clinical diagnosis. J.Clin. Psychol. 33: 973–980.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Overall, J.E., and Hollister, L.E. 1979. Comparative evaluation of research diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 36: 1198–1207.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Overall, J.E., and Hollister, L.E. 1980. Phenomenological classification of depressive disorders. J. Clin. Psychol. 36: 372–377.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Overall, J.E., and Zisook, S. 1980. Diagnosis and the phenomenology of depressive disorders. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 48: 626–634.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Overall, J.E., and Hollister, L.E. 1982. Decision rules for phenomenological classification of psychiatric patients. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 50: 535–545.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Overall, J.E., and Rhoades, H.M. 1982. Refinement of phenomenological classification in clinical psychopharmacology research. Psychopharmacology 77: 24–30.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Overall, J.E., and Beller, S.A. The brief psychiatric rating scale in geropsychiatric research. I: Factor structure. Geropsychiatry. In press.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Overall, J.E., Hollister, L.E., Johnson, M., and Pennington, V. 1966. Nosology of depression and differential response to drugs. Journal of the American Medical Association 195: 946–948.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Overall, J.E., Hollister, L.E., and Dalai, S.N. 1967. Psychiatric drug research: Sample size requirements for one vs. two raters. Arch. General Psychiat. 16: 151–161.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Overall, J.E., Hollister, L.E., and Pichot, P. 1967. Four dimensional model of major psychiatric disorders. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 16: 146–151.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Overall, J.E., Cobb, J.C., and Click, M.A., Jr. 1982. The reliability of psychiatric diagnoses based on alternative research criteria. Journal of Psychiatrical Treatment Evaluation. 4: 209–220.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Pichot, P., Overall J.E., Samuel-Lajeunesse, B., and Dreyfus, J.F. 1969. Structure factorielle de l’échelle abrégée d’appréciation psychiatrique (B.P.R.S.). Revue de Psychologie Appliquée. 19: 217–232.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Pichot, P., Bailly, R., and Overall, J.E. 1966. Les stéréotypes diagnostiques des psychoses chez les psychiatres français: Comparaison avec les stéréotypes américains. In: Proceedings of IV World Congress of Psychiatry, pp. 16–26. Excerpta Medica International Congress Series no. 129. Excerpta Medica, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Prusmack, J.J., Hollister, L.E., Overall, J.E., and Shelton, J. 1966. Mesoridazine (TPS-23). A new antipsychotic. Journal of New Drugs. 6: 182–188.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Rubin, R.T., and Overall, J.E. 1970. Manifest psychopathology and urine biochemical measures. Multivariate analyses in manic depressive illness. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 22: 45–57.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Spitzer, R.L., and Fleiss, J.L. 1974. A re-analysis of the reliability of psychiatric diagnosis. Br. J. Psychiatry 125: 341–347.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Spitzer, R.L., Endicott, J., and Robins, E. 1975. Research diagnostic criteria (RDC). Psychopharm.Bull. 11: 22–24.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Tryon, R.C., and Bailey, D.E. 1970. Cluster Analysis. McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Woodward, J.A., and Overall, J.E. 1975. Patterns of symptom change in anxious depressed outpatients treated with different drugs. J. Nerv. Ment. Dis. 36: 125–129.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Zisook, S., Overall, J.E., and Click, M.A., Jr. 1981. Treatment validity of different diagnostic concepts of depression. Psychiatry Research. 5: 77–85.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. E. Overall
  • L. E. Hollister

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations