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Am J Psychiatry. 2000 Nov;157(11):1873-5.

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

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical Branch, the University of Texas at Galveston 77555-01888, USA.



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.


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.


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


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

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