Development and validation of a screening instrument for bipolar spectrum disorder: the Mood Disorder Questionnaire

Am J Psychiatry. 2000 Nov;157(11):1873-5. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.157.11.1873.


Objective: Bipolar spectrum disorders, which include bipolar I, bipolar II, and bipolar disorder not otherwise specified, frequently go unrecognized, undiagnosed, and untreated. This report describes the validation of a new brief self-report screening instrument for bipolar spectrum disorders called the Mood Disorder Questionnaire.

Method: A total of 198 patients attending five outpatient clinics that primarily treat patients with mood disorders completed the Mood Disorder Questionnaire. A research professional, blind to the Mood Disorder Questionnaire results, conducted a telephone research diagnostic interview by means of the bipolar module of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV.

Results: A Mood Disorder Questionnaire screening score of 7 or more items yielded good sensitivity (0.73) and very good specificity (0.90).

Conclusions: The Mood Disorder Questionnaire is a useful screening instrument for bipolar spectrum disorder in a psychiatric outpatient population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Bipolar Disorder / classification
  • Bipolar Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Telephone