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Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ)
Please email the author for information about obtaining the instrument: Dr. Robert Hirschfeld,
Please visit this website for more information about this instrument Mood Disorder Questionnaire
Supplemental: Headache and Mitochondrial Disease (Mito)
Short Description of Instrument
The Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ) is a screening instrument for bipolar disorder that can easily be utilized in primary care settings. The MDQ can correctly identify 7 of 10 patients with bipolar disorder, while 9 of 10 patients without bipolar disorder would be correctly screened out.
The MDQ is intended for adults and adolescents aged 12 years and above. The MDQ includes 13 questions plus items assessing clustering of symptoms and functional impairment. The MDQ can provide primary care physicians with a quick and easy way to identify patients most likely to have bipolar disorder and is well validated in the adult population.
Scoring and Psychometric Properties
Scoring: If the patient answers "Yes" to seven or more of the 13 items in question number 1 and "Yes" to question number 2 as well as "Moderate" or "Serious" to question number 3, a positive screen would be indicated.
Psychometric Properties: The MDQ has good sensitivity and very good specificity (Hirschfeld et al., 2000) The MDQ's sensitivity of 0.73 and specificity of 0.90 compare well with the accuracy when compared to other instruments (i.e., Beck Depression Inventory) used to screen for depression in primary care settings of these other instruments. (Hirschfield et al., 2000; Mulrow et al., 1995)
Strengths/Weaknesses: The MDQ is best for screening for Bipolar I (depression and mania) but is not as sensitive to Bipolar II (depression and hypomania) or Bipolar Not Otherwise Specified (NOS) disorder. Sensitivity and specificity of the measure is also dependent on study inclusion and exclusion criteria.
Key Reference:
Hirschfeld RM, Williams JB, Spitzer RL, Calabrese JR, Flynn L, Keck PE Jr, Lewis L, McElroy SL, Post RM, Rapport DJ, Russell JM, Sachs GS, Zajecka J. Development and validation of a screening instrument for bipolar spectrum disorder: the Mood Disorder Questionnaire. Am J Psychiatry. 2000 Nov;157(11):1873-5.
Additional References:
Maizels M, Smitherman TA, Penzien DB. A review of screening tools for psychiatric comorbidity in headache patients. Headache. 2006 Oct;46 Suppl 3:S98-109.
Mulrow CD, Williams JW Jr, Gerety MB, Ramirez G, Montiel OM, Kerber C. Case-finding instruments for depression in primary care settings. Ann Intern Med. 1995 Jun 15;122(12):913-21.
Robbins L. The Bipolar Spectrum in Migraine, Cluster and Chronic Tension Headache. Eur Neurol Rev. 2008;3(1):123-4.
Document last updated March 2024