The theory of resonance interference factor (RIF) method is examined for thermal reactor problems, and the approximations and limitations are identified. To evaluate the interference effect between resonance isotopes, the RIF method establishes an approximate equivalent relationship between a heterogeneous system and a homogeneous system by introducing background cross sections, and the approximation is a source of deviation in self-shielding calculations. Furthermore, each resonance isotope is treated individually in the self-shielding procedure, which requires unnecessary calculation effort, especially for whole-core and burnup cases. Based on the analysis, a heterogeneous pseudo-resonant isotope method (HPRIM) is proposed to overcome these problems. The mixture of resonant nuclides is considered as a pseudo-resonant isotope, and the resonance integral is generated in a one-dimensional heterogeneous system. The numerical results show that HPRIM improves the accuracy of evaluating the resonance interference effect and improves the efficiency of the self-shielding procedure.