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Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ)

How to Use

The Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ) can be administered either by the clinician or self-administered by the patient.
The MDQ consists of 15 questions and takes about 5 minutes to complete. The first 13 questions about possible symptoms are answered either “yes” or “no.” The other 2 questions assess presentation of symptoms and disease severity.

How to Score

Positive Screen - All 3 of the following criteria must be met:
Question 1:  7 out of 13 positive (yes) responses
Question 2:  Positive (yes) response
Question 3:  “Moderate” or “Serious” response

Psychiatric Patient Sample:
Sensitivity:  73%
Specificity:  90%
Community Sample:
Sensitivity:  28%
Specificity:  97%
Zimmerman M, et al.  J Clin Psychiatry . 2004;65(5):605-610.


The Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ) is an excellent screening tool for bipolar disorder. It is considered a gold standard screening tool in the world of bipolar disorder. Even though treatment guidelines around the world recommend the use of measurement-based care, a shortcoming in our field is the lack of in-depth knowledge about what this instrument is, how to interpret scores, and how to utilize the MDQ in everyday clinical practice. This short (less than 8 minutes), learner-friendly video is designed to introduce the MDQ and get you ready to use it today. The creator and narrator of this video is Saundra Jain, MA, PsyD, LPC, a Psych Congress Steering Committee member.

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