Ruff Neurobehavioral Inventory (RNBI)

  • Purpose: Assesses cognitive, emotional, physical, psychosocial functioning and general quality of life
  • Application: Ages 18 years and older
  • Administration Time: Questionnaire takes 30-45 minutes to administer

The RNBI is a 243-item self-report questionnaire that assesses an individual’s perception of the important dimensions of his/her daily life activities following a catastrophic event, such as a major illness or injury.

The RNBI can provide diagnostic insights and assess treatment outcome. During the recovery phase, the RNBI can track the rate of improvement based on the patient’s self-perceptions of daily problems. Understanding the level of the patient’s self-awareness is essential for diagnosis, as well as for treatment programs that depend on behavioral interventions. The responses are ecologically valid, because most questions rely on the performance of daily functional activities.

The RNBI uses two different types of questions to assess both premorbid and postmorbid intrapersonal and interpersonal functioning. The intrapersonal component evaluates the neurobehavioral functions that rely on internal resources. The interpersonal component reflects the individual’s vocational, financial, recreational, social, and spiritual areas of functioning. Comparing the premorbid and postmorbid responses allows the clinician to identify functional areas that may have been directly affected as a result of the catastrophic event (illness or injury).

The RNBI consists of 17 Premorbid Basic scales and 18 Postmorbid Basic scales. Scale scores are combined to create four Premorbid and four Postmorbid Composite scale scores that provide global information about the individual’s perceived cognitive, emotional, and physical functioning, as well as his or her overall quality of life. The RNBI also contains four Validity scales: two that assess abnormal response styles (i.e., Inconsistency and Infrequency), and two that assess impression management (i.e., Negative and Positive). The 17 RNBI Critical Items provide additional interpretive information according to various clinical areas of interest.

The RNBI offers a number of advantages over a general history form.

  • Gathers data according to theoretical constructs (responses are scaled psychometrically).
  • Allows judgments based on normative data for either the general population or a clinical population.
  • Captures premorbid functions in a comprehensive manner, facilitating a direct comparison between premorbid and postmorbid functioning.
  • Allows the clinician to analyze comparable scales and explore potential interactions among reported symptoms.
  • Provides four Validity scales (Infrequency/Inconsistency and Negative/Positive).
  • Presents information about perceived functioning that can be integrated with performance-based assessments of functioning.

More about the test materials and ordering information can be found on the publisher’s website.



Murray, R.F., Asghari, A., Egorov, D.D., Rutkowski, S.B., Siddal, P.J., Soden, R.J. and Ruff, R. “Impact of spinal cord injury on self-perceived pre- and postmorbid cognitive, emotional and physical functioning.Spinal Cord 45, 429-436. (2007)

Johansson, S., Weyer Jamora, C., Ruff, R. and Pack, N. “A biopsychosocial perspective of aggression in the context of traumatic brain injury.”  Brain Injury 22, 999-1006. (2008)

Young, G., Merali, N.L. and Ruff, R.M. “The Ruff Neurobehavioral Inventory: Validity indicators and validity.Psychology, Injury and Law 2, 53-60. (2009)

Weyer Jamora, C., Young, A., and Ruff, R.M. “Comparison of subjective complaints with neuropsychological tests in individuals with mild versus more severe traumatic brain injuries.Brain Injury 26, 36-47. (2012)

Schröder, S., Weyer Jamora, C., and Ruff, R.M. “Pain and mild traumatic brain injury: The implications of pain severity on emotional and cognitive functioning.Brain Injury 27, 1134-1140. (2013)

Schröder, S., Ruff, R.M. and Jäncke, L. “Posttraumatic stress disorder exacerbates emotional complaints but not cognitive impairments in individuals suffering from postconcussional disorder after mild traumatic brain injury.” Zeitschrift für Neuropsychologie 26, 1-14. (2015)