Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

McGill Pain Questionnaire

  • Cheryl L. Shigaki
  • Andrew MenattiEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1993




The McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ) consists of 20 groups of single-word descriptors categorized into three main descriptor classes: sensory (ten items), affective (five items), and evaluative (one item), along with three miscellaneous items. Each item group contains between two and six words, and word groups are arranged in rank order from the word that reflects the least pain to the one that indicates the worst pain. The patient selects only those words that describe the pain at the time the questionnaire is administered (Melzak 1975a, b). Examples include: flickering-quivering-pulsing-throbbing-beating-pounding; jumping-flashing-shooting; hot-burning-scalding-searing; fearful-frightful-terrifying; annoying-troublesome-miserable-intense-unbearable.

The MPQ yields three main types of scores (Melzak 1975a, b). A “Pain Rating Index” (PRI) can be calculated for individual descriptor classes or for all categories combined and is the sum of the...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health PsychologyUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.NeuropsychologyUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA