Report Viewer

NINDS CDE Notice of Copyright
McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ)
Please visit this website for more information about the instrument: McGill Pain Questionnaire
The copyright for this test is owned by Ronald Melzack, © 1975.
Supplemental – Highly Recommended: Myalgic encephalomyelitis/Chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) due to wide use across medical conditions
Supplemental:  Chiari I Malformation (CM), Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Myotonic Dystrophy (DM), Neuromuscular Disease (NMD)
Short Description of Instrument
Construct measured: Pain
Generic vs. disease specific: Generic
Means of administration: Interview or Self-Administered
Intended respondent: Patient
# of items: 3 items
# of subscales and names of sub-scales: N/A
# of items per sub-scale: N/A
Time to Administer: 2-5 min short form, 5-10 min standard form
Background: The McGill Pain Questionnaire can be used to evaluate a person experiencing significant pain. It can be used to monitor the pain over time and to determine the effectiveness of any intervention. It was developed at by Ronald Melzack at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec Canada and has been translated into several languages. The 3 major measures are: (1) the pain rating index, based on two types of numerical values that can be assigned to each word descriptor, (2) the number of words chosen; and (3) the present pain intensity based on a 1–5 intensity scale. Highly validated and widely used. The MPQ has been translated into Spanish, Danish, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, and Slovak.
ME/CFS-Specific: CDC recommendations for CFS: "Pain: If characterization of pain is necessary, we recommend using the McGill Pain Questionnaire. The McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ) is well validated, relatively inexpensive, available in several languages, and in a short form. The 4 components of the MPQ include 1) a human figure drawing on which patients are asked to mark the location of their pain; 2) a series of 78 adjectives divided into 20 groups from which patients identify their experience by circling word descriptors; 3) questions about prior pain experience, pain location, and information on the use of pain medication; and 4) a present pain intensity index. The short form (MPQ-SF) does not assess areas of bodily involvement and, if used in CFS research studies, should be supplemented by pain diagrams." (Reeves et al., 2003)
ME/CFS-Specific validation: Yes, in fibromyalgia (FM), but not in ME/CFS. Used in almost all acute and chronic pain states.
Minimum pain score: 0 (would not be seen in a person with true pain), maximum pain score: 78. The higher the pain score the greater the pain. Scored by hand. Count the number of words used to obtain a total word score (number of words chosen NWC). Then the rank values of the words chosen are summed to give a total PRI score and scores on each of the 4 subscales. The PPI is scored by noting the number-word combination chosen by the respondent. 1–2 minutes. Higher scores indicate higher pain and pain severity.
Melzack R. The McGill Pain Questionnaire: Major properties and scoring methods. Pain. 1975; (1): 277-299.
Stein C, Mendl G. The German counterpart to McGill Pain Questionnaire. Pain. 1988; 32: 251-255.
ALS-Specific References:
Cohen SR, Mount BM, Strobel MG, Bui F. The McGill Quality of Life Questionnaire: a measure of quality of life appropriate for people with advanced disease. A preliminary study of validity and acceptability. Palliat Med. 1995;9(3):207-219.
Cohen SR, Mount BM, Bruera E, Provost M, Rowe J, Tong K. Validity of the McGill Quality of Life Questionnaire in the palliative care setting: a multi-centre Canadian study demonstrating the importance of the existential domain. Palliat Med. 1997;11(1):3-20.
DM-Specific References:
George A, Schneider-Gold C, Zier S, Reiners K, Sommer C. Musculoskeletal pain in patients with myotonic dystrophy type 2. Arch Neurol. 2004; 61(12):1938-1942.
George A, Schneider-Gold C, Reiners K, Sommer C. [Musculoskeletal pain as the most prominent feature in myotonic dystrophy type 2]. Schmerz. 2006;20(5):388, 390-394, 396-397. (German).
ME/CFS-Specific References:
Burckhardt CS and Jones KD. Adult measures of pain: The McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ), Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain Scale (RAPS), Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ), Verbal Descriptive Scale (VDS), Visual Analog Scale (VAS), and West Haven-Yale Multidisciplinary Pain Inventory (WHYMPI) Arthritis Rheum. 2003;49(S5): S96-S104.
Reeves WC, Lloyd A, Vernon SD, Klimas N, Jason LA, Bleijenberg G, Evengard B, White PD, Nisenbaum R, Unger ER; International Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Study Group. Identification of ambiguities in the 1994 chronic fatigue syndrome research case definition and recommendations for resolution. BMC Health Serv Res. 2003;3(1):25.
Stouten B. Identification of ambiguities in the 1994 chronic fatigue syndrome research case definition and recommendations for resolution. BMC Health Serv Res. 2005;5:37.


Document last updated July 2019
Recommended Instrument for