• Theoretically linked to the cognitive-behavioral conceptualization of chronic pain, where emphasis is placed on the assessment of subjective distress and the impact of pain on patient’s lives.
  • A slightly revised version of the MPI was devised for the SCI population.
  • Consists of 3 sections with 12 subscales (subscales are bracketed):
    • Section 1: Pain Impact (life interference, support, life control, pain severity, affective distress).
    • Section 2: Responses by Significant Others (distracting responses, negative responses, solicitous responses).
    • Section 3: Activities (household activities, activities away from home, social activities, outdoor work).

Clinical Considerations

  • The emphasis of the MPI-SCI is on the assessment of the subjective distress experienced by patients in terms of pain and suffering and how pain impacts the individual’s life.
  • Although evidence supports the use of the MPI-SCI to assess the impact of chronic pain with SCI populations, more psychometric evidence is needed to warrant its sustained use.
  • The MPI-SCI was developed specifically for use in SCI populations. The questionnaire can be self-completed or done via interview/proxy and is not considered to be a burden to patients.

ICF Domain

Body Functions ▶ Sensory Functions


  • Self-report questionnaire that may also be administered by a trained assessor.
  • Administration takes at least 20 minutes.

Number of Items





  • Each item is rated on a 7-point scale (0-6).
  • Scale scores are computed by summing over all items and then the mean is composed based on the number of scale items.
  • A total score is not used.


  • The MPI-SCI is only available in English.
  • The MPI is available in Swedish, Dutch, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Japanese.

Training Required



Can be found in the appendix of the following article: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11887122/

# of studies reporting psychometric properties: 4


MCID: not established in SCI
SEM: not established in SCI
MDC: not established in SCI

No information is given regarding norms or meaningful cutoff scores for the SCI population.


  • Low to High Test-retest reliability for MPI-SCI Subscales:
    ICC = 0.26-0.86

(Widerstrom-Noga et al. 2006)

  • Low to High Internal Consistency for MPI-SCI Subscales:
    α = 0.66-0.94

(Soler et al. 2013)


All MPI-SCI subscales were compared with an instrument evaluating the same constructs by using Pearson correlations.

  • All subscales with the exception of the Perceived Responses from Significant Other subscale were significantly correlated with the related construct.
  • The pain severity subscale was highly (r = .61) and significantly (P<.000) correlated with the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) for pain intensity.
  • Life interference was strongly (r = .61) and significantly (P<.000) correlated with the Pain Disability Index (PDI).
  • Although support was significantly (r = .23, P<.05) correlated with the appraisal subscale of Interpersonal Support Evaluation List (ISEL), the perceived responses by significant others subscales (negative, solicitous, and distracting responses) were not significantly correlated with the ISEL.

(Widerstrom-Noga et al. 2006)


  • Persons with tetraplegia scored lower (34.3 ± 16.4) than those with paraplegia 45.0 ± 19.4.
  • The magnitude of the effect (effect size) was moderate (0.6).

(Widerstrom-Noga et al. 2006)

Floor/Ceiling Effect

No values were reported for the presence of floor/ceiling effects in the MPI-SCI for the SCI population.


Dr. Vanessa, Noonan, John Zhu, Jeremy Mak, Kyle Diab, Risa Fox

Date Last Updated

22 August 2020

Cruz-Almeida Y, Alameda G, Widerström-noga EG. Differentiation between pain-related interference and interference caused by the functional impairments of spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord. 2009;47(5):390-5.

Kerns RD, Turk DC, Rudy TE. The West Haven-Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory (WHYMPI). Pain 1985; 23: 345-356.

Soler MD, Cruz-almeida Y, Saurí J, Widerström-noga EG. Psychometric evaluation of the Spanish version of the MPI-SCI. Spinal Cord. 2013;51(7):538-52.

Widerstrom-Noga EG, Cruz-Almeida Y, Martinez-Arizala A, Turk DC. Internal consistency, stability, and validity of the spinal cord injury version of the multidimensional pain inventory. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2006;87:516-523.

Widerstrom-Noga EG, Duncan R, Felipe-Cuervo E, Turk DC. Assessment of the impact of pain and impairments associated with spinal cord injuries. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2002;83:395-404.