The sensitivity and specificity of the mood disorders questionnaire varies with the intensity of mood illness

Karthik S. Suresh, R. Jeannie Roberts, Rif S. El-Mallakh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Mood Disorders Questionnaire (MDQ) is a tool that was created for screening for bipolar disorders. This study investigates the utility of the MDQ in an acute psychiatric in-patient setting. All patients admitted to an acute inpatient psychiatric unit completed the MDQ. Discharge diagnoses strictly followed DSM-IV criteria, but were determined through clinical interviews, collateral information, and psychiatric history, and were used to calculate the sensitivity and specificity of the MDQ in this setting. 44 subjects were admitted during the study period; 42 completed the MDQ. 12 had bipolar illness. Sensitivity of MDQ was 0.58, and specificity was 0.76 (P < 0.05). Positive predictive value was 0.50 and negative predictive value was 0.82. The specificity and sensitivity of the MDQ appears to vary with the illness severity of the patients screened.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-341
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatric Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013



  • Bipolar disorder
  • Diagnosis
  • Mood Disorders Questionnaire
  • Negative predictive value
  • Positive predictive value
  • Sensitivity
  • Specificity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this