The MD Anderson Symptom Inventory Brain Tumor Module (MDASI-BT)



MD Anderson Symptom Inventory (MDASI) modules augment the 19 core MDASI symptom and interference items with additional items identified as unique to a particular patient population. MDASI modules may be disease-specific, disease-site-specific, or treatment-specific.

The MDASI brain tumor module (MDASI-BT) is a site-specific module. Along with the core MDASI’s 13 symptom items and 6 interference items, the MDASI-BT also assesses 9 symptoms specific to brain tumors

  • weakness on one side of the body
  • difficulty understanding
  • difficulty speaking
  • seizures
  • difficulty concentrating
  • problems with vision
  • change in appearance
  • change in bowel pattern (diarrhea or constipation)
  • irritability

MDASI-BT Features

  • Purpose: To assess the severity of multiple brain tumor-related symptoms and the impact of these symptoms on daily functioning
  • Population: Patients with symptoms caused by brain tumor and its treatment
  • Assessment areas: Severity of multiple symptoms and the impact of symptoms on daily functioning during the last 24 hours
  • Method: Self-report; paper-and-pencil form or tablet PC (self-administered or via interview), or telephone-based interactive voice response (IVR) system
  • Time required: Five minutes
  • Scoring: Please see the MDASI User's Guide
  • Reliability: Cronbach alpha reliability ranges from 0.67 to 0.91

MDASI-BT Language Versions

The MDASI-BT is available in the languages shown below. Click on a linked language to view a sample in PDF format.

Psychometrically and Linguistically ValidatedLinguistically Validated
Chinese (Simplified)
Chinese (Traditional)
French (Canada)
Portuguese (Brazil)

Future Validation Studies: We would like to collaborate with other investigators to develop and validate new language versions of the MDASI-BT.  Contact us for more information. NOTE: The MDASI-BT may not be modified or translated into another language without express written consent (see Notice of Copyright below).

To Order the MDASI-BT

To use the MDASI-BT in a publication or clinical or research trial, you must obtain permission by filling out our order form and you must comply with the copyright. Fees may apply:

Type of UseFirst Language Version (Per Project)Additional Language Versions (Per Project)
Non-funded academic researchNo chargeNo charge
Individual clinical practiceNo chargeNo charge
Funded academic research$300$150
Commercial research$2,000$1,200

The MDASI-BT will be e-mailed to you as a PDF file within 7 to 10 business days. If your request is urgent or the language version you seek is not shown, contact us to make special arrangements:

Department of Symptom Research
Attn: Assessment Tools
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Unit 1450
Houston, Texas 77030  

If applicable, an invoice will be e-mailed to you. Reference the invoice number on your payment and include on the memo line, "MD Anderson Assessment Tool Distribution."

Notice of Copyright

The M. D. Anderson Symptom Inventory (MDASI) copyright is held by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and administered by the MDASI's developer, Charles S. Cleeland, PhD. The copyright applies to the MDASI, its modules, and all its derivatives in any language.

The MDASI-BT may not be used or reproduced without permission from Charles S. Cleeland, PhD, or his designee. Fees for use may apply (see above).

The MDASI and its modules may not be modified or translated into another language without the express written consent of the copyright holder. Failure to comply may result in legal action. Contact us via e-mail at or at the address shown above to obtain permission to alter or translate the instrument.

Selected References


Armstrong TS, Mendoza T, Gning I, Coco C, Cohen MZ, Eriksen L, Gilbert MR, Cleeland C. Validation of the M. D. Anderson Symptom Inventory Brain Tumor Module (MDASI-BT). J Neurooncol 80(1): 27-35, 2006.

Armstrong TS, Cohen M, Eriksen L, Cleeland C. Content validity of self-report measurement instruments: an illustration from the development of the brain tumor module of the M. D. Anderson Symptom Inventory. Oncol Nurs Forum 32(3): 669-676, 2005.

Cleeland CS, Mendoza TR, Wang XS, Chou C, Harle M, Morrissey M, & Engstrom MC. Assessing Symptom Distress in Cancer: The M. D. Anderson Symptom Inventory. Cancer 2000; 89:1634-1646.

Gning I, Armstrong TS, Wefel JS, Acquaye A, Vera-Bolanos E, Mendoza TR, Gilbert MR, Cleeland CS. Validation of the M. D. Anderson Symptom Inventory-Brain Tumor (MDASI-BT) Caregiver version. [abstract]. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Division of Internal Medicine Research Retreat, Houston TX, May 24, 2012.

Clinical Application

Armstrong TS, Wefel JS, Gning I, Acquaye A, Vera-Bolanos E, Gilbert MR, Cleeland CS, Mendoza T. Congruence of primary brain tumor patient and caregiver symptom report. Cancer 118(20): 5026-5037, 2012.

Armstrong TS, Vera-Bolanos E, Gning I, Acquaye A, Gilbert MR, Cleeland C, Mendoza T. The impact of symptom interference using the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory-Brain Tumor Module (MDASI-BT) on prediction of recurrence in primary brain tumor patients. Cancer 117(14): 3222-3228, 2011.

Armstrong TS, Gning I, Mendoza TR, Weinberg JS, Gilbert MR, Tortorice ML, Cleeland CS. Clinical utility of the MDASI-BT in patients with brain metastases. J Pain Symptom Manage 37(3): 331-340, 2009.

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