The West Haven-Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory (WHYMPI/MPI)

Author of Tool: 

Kerns, R.D., Turk, D.C., & Rudy, T.E.

Key references: 

Kerns, R.D., Turk, D.C., & Rudy, T.E. (1985). The West Haven-Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory (WHYMPI). Pain, 23, 345-356.

Primary use / Purpose: 

The West Haven-Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory (WHYMPI/MPI) is designed to provide a brief, psychometrically-sound, and comprehensive assessment of the important components of the chronic pain experience. The instrument is recommended for use as part of behavioral and psychological assessment strategies in the evaluation of chronic pain patients in a clinical or research setting.


The West Haven-Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory (WHYMPI/MPI; Kerns, Turk, and Rudy, 1985) is a 52-item, 12-scale inventory that is divided into three parts. Part I includes five scales designed to measure important dimensions of the chronic pain experience including; 1) perceived interference of pain in vocational, social/recreational, and family/marital functioning, 2) support or concern from spouse or significant other, 3) pain severity, 4) perceived life control, and 5) affective distress. Part II assesses patients’ perceptions of the degree to which spouses or significant others display Solicitous, Distracting or Negative responses to their pain behaviors and complaints. Part III assesses patients’ report of the frequency with which they engage in four categories of common everyday activities; Household Chores, Outdoor Work, Activities Away from Home, and Social Activities. In addition to the individual scale scores, a General Activity scale score, obtained from the combination of all four activity scale scores, has been recommended for some purposes (Turk & Rudy, 1990). Patient’s responses to WHYMPI items are made on a 7-point scale.


Kerns, Turk and Rudy (1985) demonstrated that the internal reliability coefficients of all WHYMPI scales range from .70 to .90; the test-retest reliabilities of these scales over a 2-week interval range from .62 to .91. The validity of the WHYMPI has been supported by the results of confirmatory and exploratory factor analytic procedures. The procedures revealed that the WHYMPI scales were significantly correlated with several criterion measures of anxiety, depression, marital satisfaction, pain severity, and health locus of control.



Digital Object Identifier (DOI):