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J Affect Disord. 2011 Feb;128(3):199-210. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2010.07.012. Epub 2010 Aug 8.

Three studies on self-report scales to detect bipolar disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Miami, 5665 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, FL 33146, USA. cmiller@psy.miami.edu



This study investigated the usefulness of self-report scales for detecting bipolar disorder in several settings.


Study 1 developed a short form of the Hypomanic Personality Scale (the HPS-6) based on clinic/community and undergraduate samples. Study 2 used this scale for recruiting participants with bipolar disorder from the community. Study 3 administered the full-length Hypomanic Personality Scale, the Mood Disorder Questionnaire, and a short form of the General Behavior Inventory (the GBI-15) to an undergraduate sample. Each study featured a reference standard diagnostic interview.


In Study 2, about half of those responding to the advertisement (based on the HPS-6 developed in Study 1) reported a history of at least one hypomanic episode on a telephone-based SCID. In Study 3, the most robust findings emerged for the GBI-15: about one-third of participants screening positive on that measure met criteria for bipolar disorder using the Structured Clinical Interview for the DSM-IV (SCID).


Despite large sample sizes and stratified sampling, this study was limited by a low number of participants with bipolar I disorder.


These three studies produced mixed findings regarding the detection of bipolar disorder via self-report. The HPS-6 was reasonably successful in recruiting participants with a history of at least one manic or hypomanic episode into a study on bipolar disorder. The GBI-15 showed some promise as a screening tool in an undergraduate setting, but there is a need for more sensitive and specific scales. Discussion focuses on potential strategies for developing such scales.

© 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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