A test for bipolar disorder: The mood disorder questionnaire
Practice Guidelines as Topic
The lifetime prevalence of bipolar spectrum disorder (including bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, and cyclothymia) ranges from 2.6% to 7.8%. Unfortunately, the recognition and diagnosis of bipolar spectrum disorder is poor. The average patient waits for a decade for a correct diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The reason for such poor recognition of bipolar disorders is that patients rarely present to clinicians with symptoms of mania, but rather with symptoms of depression and anxiety. One method to increase recognition of bipolar spectrum disorder is to screen for it. This paper presents a brief screening instrument for bipolar spectrum disorder, the Mood Disorder Questionnaire. A Mood Disorder Questionnaire score of 7 or more items yields good sensitivity (0.73) and very good specificity (0.90). The development of the instrument and proper use are described.