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.