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Mood Disorder Questionnaire

Mood Disorder Questionnaire

What is MDQ

The Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ) is a brief self-report screening instrument for bipolar spectrum disorders, which include bipolar I, bipolar II, and bipolar disorder not otherwise specified. The MDQ screens for a lifetime history of a manic or hypomanic syndrome by including 13 yes/no items derived from both the DSM-IV criteria and clinical experience.

MDQ Printable PDF

You can create a free account on PsyPack to access fillable PDFs, manuals and educational resources for the MDQ

MDQ Scoring and Interpretation

PsyPack can automatically score the MDQ assessment and prepare corresponding tables and graphs.

Further, PsyPack automatically plots a graph to help you easily track progress over time.


Bipolar Disorder

What does MDQ measure

The purpose of the evaluation is to:

  • screen for bipolar spectrum disorders.



Type of outcome tool


Assessment modes


Age and eligibility

18 years and above

Estimated time

Less than 5 minutes


Since the questionnaire relies on client self-report, all responses should be verified by the clinician, and a definitive diagnosis is made on clinical grounds taking into account how well the client understood the questionnaire, as well as other relevant information from the client.

This instrument is designed for screening purposes only and is not to be used as a diagnostic tool.

In order to screen positively for bipolar spectrum disorder, in addition to a threshold number of symptom items, the respondent had to check “yes” for the item asking if the symptoms clustered in the same time period and had to indicate that the symptoms caused either “moderate” or “serious” problems.

By using this 7-or-more-item threshold, seven out of 10 people with a bipolar spectrum disorder would be correctly identified by the Mood Disorder Questionnaire, whereas nine out of 10 of those who did not have a bipolar spectrum disorder would be successfully screened out.

Attribution and References

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. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.157.11.1873. PMID: 11058490.