The Bristol-Myers Anorexia/Cachexia Recovery Instrument (BACRI): a brief assessment of patients' subjective response to treatment for anorexia/cachexia

D. F. Cella*, J. VonRoenn, S. Lloyd, H. P. Browder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


A brief visual analogue instrument was developed and tested in the context of a multicentre randomized double-blinded four-dose trial of megestrol acetate for the treatment of AIDS-related anorexia/cachexia. This nine-item instrument, the Bristol-Myers Anorexia/Cachexia Recovery Instrument (BACRI), was administered every 4 weeks after initiation of study drug (placebo vs 100 mg, 400 mg or 800 mg of drug). The purpose of the instrument was to quantify patient perception of benefit in areas such as decreased concern over weight, decreased concern over appearance, increased pleasure in eating and increase in global perception of quality of life. Post-trial psychometric evaluation of the instrument strongly supported the use of a seven-item index of subjective recovery from symptoms of anorexia/cachexia (BACRI-7) and a single criterion item depicting patient perception of benefit (BACRI-1). The BACRI-7 and BACRI-1 scales showed significant improvement over 12 weeks in patients who received higher dose active drug (400 and 800 mg) compared with the placebo and 100 mg doses. Further differentiation of 400 vs 800 mg arms was seen in the BACRI-7 results, consistent with dose-response improvements in weight and lean body mass changes. Quadratic trends over time in lean body mass change and provider-rated appetite grade suggested peak therapeutic effect at 8 weeks for these endpoints, whereas the absence of these trends in overall weight and patient-reported BACRI scores suggested that these benefits are more persistent. Although subjective (patient-reported) benefit is strongly associated with objective indicators of improvement, there remains the possibility that there is some added, independent benefit of megestrol acetate to subjective well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-231
Number of pages11
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1995


  • Anorexia
  • Bristol-Myers Anorexia/Cachexia Recovery Instrument
  • Cachexia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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