Screening for bipolar disorders using a French version of the Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ).J Affect Disord. 2005 Sep; 88(1):103-8.JA
Bipolar disorders remain much too often unrecognized and subsequently inappropriately treated. This paper presents the translation into French and validation of the MDQ, a screening instrument for bipolar spectrum disorders, in an adult psychiatric sample. Modifications of its criteria for a positive screening as well as its test-retest reliability are also addressed.
A sample of 96 patients, attending outpatient treatment programs and suffering from mood disorders, completed the MDQ before being interviewed according to the mood module of the structured clinical interview for DSM-IV (SCID). They completed the MDQ a second time 1 month later, in order to examine its stability over time.
According to the SCID interview, 54 patients were suffering from bipolar disorder and 42 from unipolar disorder. Among the bipolar sample, the MDQ identified 74.1% of them, with higher sensitivity in bipolar I (90.3%) than bipolar II (52.4%) and 90.5% specificity. Lowering the level of impairment required for positive screening led to improved sensitivity for bipolar II patients (76.2%). The French MDQ demonstrated adequate internal consistency (Cronbach alpha=0.89). Its test-retest reliability proved to be satisfactory, with a kappa coefficient of 0.79. Similar stability over a 1-month interval was obtained for bipolar type I and type II (kappa=0.75 and 0.77, respectively).
Similarly to the American version, the French MDQ has lower sensitivity for bipolar II disorders.
The performance of the French MDQ is comparable to the one reported in the original American study conducted with a similar patient population. In a psychiatric outpatient sample, the French MDQ proves to be a feasible and reliable screening instrument.