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The Millon Behavioral Health Inventory (MBHI™)

by Theodore Millon, Ph.D., Catherine J. Green, Ph.D., & Robert B. Meagher, Jr., Ph.D.

Never, before the MBHI™, has such a comprehensive inventory been available for application in such a wide range of medical settings. Not long ago, a medical professional using psychological tests as an aid to medical diagnosis needed to consider a whole battery of costly, time-consuming instruments. And the results of these diverse, unintegrated tests, many of which were suitable only for the psychiatrically ill, could be less than useful. In constructing the MBHI, Drs. Millon, Green and Meagher set out to concentrate a full range of relevant assessments into one comprehensive, concise instrument. Using norms based on a wide range of medical populations, they designed a tool for use exclusively with physically ill and behavioral medicine patients, always keeping in mind the requirements of medical-behavioral decision making.

The primary purpose of the MBHI™ test is to provide information to clinicians, including psychologists, physicians and nurses, who deal with physically ill and behavioral medicine patients. It can aid in the psychological assessment of these patients and facilitate the steps required to formulate a comprehensive treatment plan. It provides information regarding a patient's likely style of relating to health-care personnel, problematic psychosocial attitudes and stressors, as well as an individual's similarity to patients with psychosomatic complications or poor responses to either illness or treatment interventions.

A handy screening tool, the MBHI™ test is especially useful for patients involved in workmen's compensation situations, specialty clinics (for example, pain or stress), and health maintenance programs. The simplicity of its administration, as well as its rapid scoring and report services, enhance its value for routine use in outpatient clinics, hospitals, and individual or group medical practices. The MBHI™ test is also suitable for research applications.


The most appropriate norm base. Little of diagnostic value can be learned from measuring medical subjects against normal or psychiatric comparison populations. Development of the MBHI was accomplished originally with a norm base of more than 2,500 representative medical patients. Specific disease scales were developed by subdividing patients with the same illness. Similarly, scale measures were calculated and quantified from actuarial base rate data rather than normalized scoring data.


While most psychodiagnostic tools have been developed largely independently of clinical theory, the MBHI™ test is rooted in a comprehensive theory and a wide range of coordinated research. The MBHI provides scores on 20 scales in four broad categories of assessment. Eight reflect basic coping styles: Introversive, Inhibited, Cooperative, Sociable, Confident, Forceful, Respectful, Sensitive. Six provide descriptions of psychogenic attitudes: Chronic Tension, Recent Stress, Premorbid Pessimism, Future Despair, Social Alienation, Somatic Anxiety. The remaining six are for use only with patients exhibiting specific disease syndromes. Three of these assess psychosomatic correlates: Allergic Inclination, Gastrointestinal Susceptibility, and Cardiovascular Tendency. Three others gauge prognostic indices: Pain Treatment Responsivity, Life Threat Reactivity, and Emotional Vulnerability.



The uncomplicated 150-item format of this medically-oriented inventory minimizes fatigue and resistance. Most patients will be able to complete it in about 20 minutes.


The Interpretive Report is a 4-page document that begins with a profile organized for ready configural analysis in  broad areas of basic coping styles and psychogenic attitudes, along with specific disease scales measuring psychosomatic correlates and prognostic indices. A detailed narrative report speaks clearly to the patient's perception of life stresses and somatic ailments. Additional sections discuss the extent to which emotional factors complicate particular psychosomatic ailments, and help to predict psychological complications associated with many diseases.

The MBHI is available through Pearson Assessments at 1-800-627-7271 (voice) or 1-800-632-9011 (fax).


"Millon," M-PACI," "MACI," "MAPI," "MBHI," "MBMD," "MCMI-II," and "MCMI-III" are trademarks and "MIPS" is a registered trademark of DICANDRIEN, INC.

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