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Screening for bipolar disorder: lessons not yet learned
  1. Mark Zimmerman
  1. Department of Psychiatry, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, USA; mzimmerman{at}

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ABSTRACT FROM: Kung S, Palmer BA, Lapid MI, et al. Screening for bipolar disorders: clinical utilization of the Mood Disorders Questionnaire on an inpatient mood disorders unit. J Affect Disord 2015;188:97–100.

What is already known on this topic

When presenting for treatment, patients with bipolar disorder are more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety than symptoms of mania or hypomania. Bipolar disorder is therefore prone to being overlooked because its diagnosis is more often based on retrospective report than cross-sectional assessment. Recommendations for improving the detection of bipolar disorder include the use of screening questionnaires. Most studies on the performance of bipolar disorder screening scales rely on structured diagnostic interviews to assess bipolar disorder, and few studies have been of psychiatric inpatients. A previous meta-analysis of studies of the Mood Disorders Questionnaire (MDQ),1 the most frequently studied bipolar disorders screening measure, reported an overall sensitivity of 66%.2

In clinical practice, a diagnosis of bipolar disorder from a …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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