MOOD DISORDER QUESTIONNAIRE
It is easier to use this questionnaire by printing it out once it is on your screen.
The Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ) is a screening tool to help doctors better distinguish between depression and bipolar disorder. It was developed by a team of psychiatrists, researchers and consumer advocates led by Robert M.A. Hirschfeld of the University of Texas, Medical Branch.
The questionnaire is self-administered and comprised of 5 questions. It asks:
if you’ve experienced any of 13 specific behaviors associated with bipolar disorder
if the symptoms you checked in question one occurred at the same time
about the severity of your symptoms
about your family’s history of mental illness
if you’ve previously been diagnosed with a mental illness
Early research found the MDQ to have both good sensitivity and specificity. In a 2002 publication, Dr. Hirschfeld reported that the MDQ correctly identified 7 of 10 patients with bipolar disorder, and correctly screened out 9 of 10 patients without bipolar disorder.
You shouldn’t accept a diagnosis of bipolar disorder based on a brief questionnaire. If your doctor or a therapist uses the MDQ or another similar screening tool, you should simply consider this a starting point towards an accurate diagnosis. Your physician should proceed with a full clinical evaluation for bipolar disorder.