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The Mayo-Portland Adaptability Inventory

Categories: Cognitive Assessments - Thinking and Emotional Skills

The Question

Is the Mayo-Portland Adaptability Inventory a reliable tool for assessing individuals with brain injury?

Past Studies

Past Studies The Mayo-Portland Inventory (MPAI) is an evaluation for individuals with acquired brain injury. The MPAI is administered after an individual is out of the hospital. This tool is helpful for clinical evaluation during the rehabilitation period. The MPAI evaluates the most frequent problem areas that individuals can experience after hospitalization for acquired brain injury. These general areas are ability, adjustment, and participation. Specifically, these areas include categories for difficulties with body movements, thinking skills, emotions, behavior, and social skills. 

The MPAI is designed to be completed by professionals, individuals with acquired brain injuries, and their significant others. Agreement between scores given by different people is one way of measuring a scale’s reliability, or the consistency that the scale measures what it is supposed to measure. The MPAI has been revised several times by researchers and is in its fourth revision, the MPAI-4.

This Study

This study examined MPAI-3 (3rd version) evaluations that were administered to 134 rehabilitation outpatients with acquired brain injury. The researchers re-scored the MPAI-3 data using the new criteria of the MPAI-4. The purpose of this study was to determine how consistently the MPAI-4 measures what it is supposed to measure (i.e. reliability). To do so, the researchers compared the MPAI-4 responses of three groups of participants: professionals, individuals with brain injuries, and their significant others. The researchers found the degree of response agreement among the three groups to be promising, meaning that the MPAI-4 might give a true score even when different people fill it out. Response disagreements between the three groups were minimal and may be a reflection of their different perspectives. For instance, individuals with acquired brain injury may lack insight to their abilities or rate themselves higher, based on what they would like to achieve. Significant others appeared to rate the individuals more critically. This may be because they view things differently from their role as advocates or caretakers. Staff appeared to underestimate impairments and the effect of such impairments on the individual’s life. The researchers state that the different perspectives of the three groups are important to consider during rehabilitation. 

Who May Be Affected By These Findings

Individuals with acquired brain injury and their significant others, healthcare professionals, researchers.


The participants in this study included individuals with a variety of types of brain injuries. Sixty-five percent of the group had traumatic brain injuries. The other participants had brain injuries caused by strokes, tumors, infections, and other conditions in their adulthood. The group also had different injury severity levels and different amounts of time had passed since their time of injury. It is not known how these factors may have affected the results of this study.

Bottom Line

The Mayo-Portland Adaptability Inventory (MPAI-4) appears to be a reliable tool for assessing individuals with brain injury.

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Find This Study


Malec, J.F. (2004). Comparability of Mayo-Portland Adaptability Inventory ratings by staff, significant others, and people with acquired brain injury. Brain Injury, 18, 563-575.